Last year was my first monkigras. It was full-on madness. Not only was I invited to run the knitting circle on the Friday afternoon but I also gave a talk – the theme was Nordic crafts, and my choice was easy, really. Models in Icelandic jumpers, not boring slides. It was great.
I’d never been before. I knew James and his conferences/parties had been on my radar, but never in a million years would I, as a non-coder, have intruded in these hallowed halls full of people building great things. I don’t do hack days either, for the same reason.
It’s not like I’m totally non-technical. I used to code. I wrote websites in pure html. Even on the crafting side, the knitting machine I got since last year’s monkigras has a 25 year old computer built-in and I figured that out. (And programmed an Escher pattern, of course.) But I just don’t feel like I’m part of the digital maker scene. I am committedly on the side of ‘helping people even less technical than me deal with the new normal.’
(Although it’s somehow much tougher finding work on this side. So one of my resolutions for this year is doing an Agile Foundation course. I’m scared already.)
Last year’s monkigras dealt with all my inhibitions about attending, and it did it well. I was invited as a crafter, I didn’t somehow have to make my craft relevant to software developers. It was, of course, great for me to run the knitting circle, and I think people enjoyed it. This year’s theme is still craft, with some of the amazing craft beer scene involved, whose beers you’ll get to try, but also some knitting-related content. And I’ll run another knitting circle on the Friday, of course.
We’ll have amazing food, watch a movie and play some games.
Maybe we’ll even get a spinning wheel to admire. I’m still working on that.
Conferences that don’t invite speakers selling anything are sometimes the most difficult to explain. What, nobody is going to tell me exactly what I need to do to succeed? But the people building stuff now are the ones changing the world. What you create is what’s going to affect everyone’s lives – on different scales, sure.
So get your heads out of your code and your plans and into something entirely different and see what happens.
See you at monkigras 2016 – or on twitter. I’m @the_anke.