Everything has to start from zero. I had zero experience to run a conference. The only hope I had was that I had a solid team. While I was able to form a solid team, very few of them on the team had experience organizing a conference. We all learnt together as a team, sharing knowledge with each other and were able to pull up a good conference for our first year.
I got to learn many skills during planning and execution phase of the conference. Some days I wore the hat of Marketing Team, some days I wore the hat of Fund Raiser through Corporate Sponsors, some days I am the Bookkeeper managing and tracking our invoices and expenses. I learnt a lot on creating and managing Non-Profit Organization.
We used Trello to manage list of activities, that we had to accomplish and as a team we proactively managed to get the tasks done. I got to use my Scrum Master skills here. I also learnt how you can manage and coordinate teams using Slack. Trust me, we did not have any meeting. The only meeting which we have is our Board Meeting. I think that is the beauty of Slack. If you are planning to organize, I definitely suggest to have Slack or any collaboration tool of your choice.
The most important skill which I learnt is, when you have a high performing team it is not required for one to monitor the team. The team is mature enough and they know what is in stake. When you allow them to be autonomous, it will create the magic for your team.
The more time I am involved with the developer community, the more skills I get to learn.
I got to learn VueJs, GraphQL and Markdown this year. My blog is now based on Markdown developed using Gridsome with VueJs templates. There is a lot to improve in my personal website and I am keeping the tabs open for 2020 for some improvements to my website. These would include adding responsive behavior to the blog posts, support to include or embed tweets in the post.
While I was busy managing my time between tasks organizing the conference, I managed to speak at limited number of conference, code camps and meetups this year.
Thanks to Orlando Code Camp, Nova Code Camp, Cincy Deliver, CodePaLOUsa, GemCityJS Meetup and Dog Food Conference for having me speak. It was great experience to speak for the second time at Orlando Code Camp, Cincy Deliver, CodePaLOUsa and Dog Food Conference.
Thanks to Auth0 Ambassador program for supporting me throughout my speaking journey in 2019. I recommend you to check out the program if you are interested in taking your public speaking skills to next level.
I have to be frank here. It is not possible to have a year without ups and downs. I faced some challenges organizing events and maintaining my personal milestones.
I have to make sure that we raise adequate funds so that we can plan to manage our expenses and support our vision to support bootcamp graduates with scholarships. Though we managed to stay green this year in terms of our conference budget, 80% of funds were utilized for conference expenses. Thanks to our sponsors and friends who supported us in 2019.
Scheduling speakers for meetups involve great amount of coordination. In 2020 I am looking to schedule speakers for our online meetups well in advance. It is important to bring in diverse speakers and this is something I plan to address in 2020.
Interested in speaking at our Developer Community Meetups in 2020, Feel free to get in touch with me.
I did not take proper time off this year. This has been a challenge to me. In 2020, I am planning to take proper time off and recharge myself from time to time. This is more important to maintain proper work life balance.
It is more important for us to have a proper workout schedule. Whether we blog, speak, organize and take part in other developer community initiatives or not, it is more important for us to take self-care of our self. This is something I always kept on low priority. If we are not taking self-care of us, there is no point in doing all other activities.
At the end of 2018, I wanted to increase my visibility in developer community in 2019. Thanks to the curiosity in me, which forced me to experience the side of a conference organizer. I made it happen in 2019.
Interested in speaking at our meetups and events feel free to reach out to me.
I am deeply thankful to my wife Dharmashree and blessed to have her in my life.
Happy Holidays. Wish you a Merry Christmas if you celebrate and a Happy New Year.
Looking forward for more learning and contributions to developer community in 2020.