D8 Event at the NERD CenterSunday February 6, 2011
Yesterday, I was at the D8 Event at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge (which was amazing in itself; I even got to play with the Surface). The event was free and invited both college and high school developers and designers in the Cambridge/Boston area to hear talks from various industry leaders and meet with some local start ups.
Overall, the talks were great. Angus Davis of Swipely started us off with a glimpse into what it’s like to work at a start up. Followed by a powerful speech by Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot on the passion of developing. Other speakers included Mike Burns of ThoughtBot on diving into the Unix Shell (command line comedy), Tom Preston-Werner of GitHub on the advantages of GIT (whom I also spoke to at length on GIT vs SVN), and John Resig the creator of jQuery with a nice intro into jQuery and jQuery Mobile. Also, big props to the other speakers that I didn’t mention (full list here).
After the talks, participants were allowed to meet up with a few start ups that joined the fray. Some of these included: Box.net, GITHub, Swipely, Performable, and HubSpot. While it was nice to speak with these companies, I felt that there was a lot more conversation pointed towards developers at this “developer and designer” conference. I, myself, consider myself as both, but often found myself ignored or pushed aside by “recruiters” since I labeled myself as a designer (we were given badges which listed the distinction). While it is somewhat understandable that developers are in high demand in today’s job market, it seems unprofessional to push away someone who has genuine interest in what your company is doing.