Too often, a coffee shop will present you with some over-frothed, bubble milk and call it a cappuccino, or a barperson will turn Kernel into a drink with 50% head. When Josh, cofounder of Shoreditch Works, made the fatal error of attempting to pour some craft beer into Monki Gras host James’ empty water glass, he went onto explain why things like that piss him off so much:
The way you use products matters. The usage of the products, the affordance, the way you engage with the product matters, and the way that people build products should lead you to use them in particular ways. Craft is the thing, which I think, brings all this together. There’s nothing more disgusting than going into a place that serves beer, ordering a nice beer and then they just tip it up and pour a bunch of foamy crap into your glass. It’s this notion of actually treating things that have been made with love with respect and that’s true whether you’re a builder of a service or a consumer of a service. The way you make coffee matters, the experience you have matters, someone has worked really hard to bring you a great product, so lets try and celebrate that by pouring the beer properly.
This is primarily a developer conference. Come to learn about methods and techniques, things like DevOps, ‘agile development’, and distributed development. Learn from the people who do this best. If you’ve got a keynote from someone at Etsy, for example, everyone wants to know about it – and we do!
“We really want to break down the boundary between the speakers and the audience, everyone at Monki Gras rocks.”
The Monki Gras message is about enabling people top do their jobs better, to have flow, its about how teams can work more effectively, which is course relevant to a wide range of people from all business functions. We’ve had marketing people and a range of different constituencies that are interested but the key for us is a really good audience, really high quality, some grassroots developers and some CEO company founders from substantial Silicon Valley companies.
The talks aren’t as technical as you see in many conferences and the quality of the people is what I think is most impressive. We really want to break down the boundary between the speakers and the audience so we’ve optimised for a peer to peer environment.
Coming to Monki Gras? These hotels caught my eye today. Not too mouth-wateringly expensive.
Fleet River Bakery : Beautiful looking place, food, excellent location…
Holiday Inn Express London City: Spacious, central…
Citadines Barbican: Swanky, great location…
For too long the technology industry, particularly enterprise and business technology companies, have made the assumption that the role of technology is to get rid of people so we can automate and remove jobs. What they don’t see is that this isn’t effective for enabling your employees from a business perspective, whether they’re in marketing, sales, customer service, or in IT.
“Technology is a craft rather than some industrial process you can automate”
If we think that the role of IT is to make IT workers redundant I can understand. If you’re not enabling people to be more effective in their jobs, what exactly are we doing? The idea that we’re all here to be data-entry monkeys for the machine doesn’t make any sense. Generally, people that are building technology are people that are interested in problem solving and if you help them understand the problem space and give them better tools and an environment to learn, train and function as a craftsperson they’re going to do better work.
We’re at a stage where people are talking about ‘social’ now. ‘Social’ basically means making your job not shit anymore, so at Monki Gras we want to talk to developer advocacy; one of the things that organisations that get it are doing. Why are they more effective? It’s because of how they’ve enabled their staff, because they have recognised that technology is a craft rather than some industrial process you can automate.
So we have a couple of great new speakers for the event ready to nail the Scaling Craft theme.
Given one of the most popular themes at Monki Gras last year was how to practice distributed development I wanted Genuitec to come – just like RedMonk the company doesn’t have a central location. Everything is done remotely. There is no office.
So I invited Tim Webb – chief architect for Genuitec’s ALM stuff to speak. He lead the SDC and Pulse products from initial inception through to launch, growing in 5 years to an established user base of over a million desktops.
The other confirmation today comes from Greg Avola, cofounder of @untappd – the beer checkin app and official social network of Monktoberfest and Monki Gras. Untappd is 100% bootstrapped – and Greg can give some great insights into how craft beer businesses scale. He has MOAR DATA on the subject than anyone else.
Meanwhile the contingency plan for location is nailed down and the event will be once again be at Conway Hall in Holborn. Stoked!
I guess I better get that eventbrite set up so you can get some tickets and stuff