Community Spirit: The Bristol IT MegaMeet
As I’m sure many members of the local IT community know, the Bristol IT MegaMeet, a one day conference and networking event for IT professionals in Bristol and the surrounding area was held on the 19th May at the University of the West of England.
A number of us from Helastel were fortunate enough to be able to attend the conference, and over the coming weeks we will be writing a series of blog posts concentrating on the numerous excellent talks given throughout the day.
The first thing that I think struck us all on arrival was just how popular the event had proved to be. Despite having no marketing budget at all, and relying entirely on word of mouth, around 250 people were in attendance, and it was very clear that everyone was eager to be there.
Numerous local IT and technology groups had a presence at the event. Some, such as PHP South West or the Bristol and Bath Linux User Group, were focused on a particular technology, some were focused on a more general IT topic such as Software Usability, and others, such as the Underscore mailing list, had an even wider focus, covering almost any IT related topic.
As a web and PHP specialist myself, it was very encouraging to see the high focus on web-related technologies at the event; something that I’m sure most will agree reflects the general state of the IT industry. As more and more services move into the cloud, web and Internet related technologies will inevitably continue to grow, and while there will of course always be a place for conventional, locally running software, cloud based systems are quite clearly the future.
The benefits of fully engaging with the IT community were made very clear throughout the day, with several examples of the free exchange of ideas that this enabled being of benefit to all parties. Without a meeting at a Plone developer conference, it’s likely that one of the speakers at the event would have spent days, if not weeks, trying to fix a bug in his application. Instead though, he was able to discuss the problem with other experts, from all around the world, some of whom had already encountered the same problem and found a solution.
It seems very clear that an involvement in the wider IT community is of benefit to everyone concerned. IT professionals are able to discuss problems with their peers, leading to faster solutions to problems and in turn lower development costs all round.
I would like to conclude this article by thanking everyone who organised or spoke at the event, for providing all of the attendees with a very informative and interesting day, which I know will be of benefit to everyone here at Helastel for a long time to come.