nor(DEV): con 2023 Retrospectiveby Alex Scotton, on 6 March 2023
What an awesome two days!
At NorDevCon23, we were able to explore the future of tech with a focus on the latest trends in development; whilst also exploring the ecosystem that surrounds great software delivery.
We connected graduates with intern opportunities, juniors with their first roles, and seniors looking to the next step in their careers. We learned about how our human brains work, psychological safety, and the importance of fostering an environment where ideas can be expressed without fear or judgment. We learned how to make software that more people can use and how to get more diversity involved in making that software. We sincerely hope you had a great time learning, debating, and networking with each other.
A large driver behind Norfolk Developers is to create an inclusive, dynamic and welcoming space for all. Encouraging diversity, encourages a diversity of thought. Our speakers this year spoke on this matter in depth. Whilst we look forward to sharing the recordings of these talks very soon, they’re not quite ready yet.
We will mention some of the results of our feedback form though because we're proud to share!
We saw a signifant increase in attendance from Females this year. A sign that our regions investments into addressing this inbalance are making a great impact. We'd also like to think that this also speaks to the inclusive and welcoming nature of our community too :heart:!
Just look at this incredible spread of knowledge; we were able to select talks for a range of experience levels this year and that's reflected upon in a lot of the feedback we've received!
A HUGE increase in our scholarship program! :heart: :heart: :heart:!
This year, we made getting a scholarship ticket easier than ever with our "pay what you want" ticket available to anyone on an honor system.
A total of 70 attended over the two days!
We also reached out and welcomed more students that ever, with our free school ticket scheme. We were thrilled to have students and their teachers attending from Thorpe St Andrew, Sir Isaacs, Access Creative, and City College (CCN).
I came with my class on the Friday afternoon but on my own in Thursday afternoon. I found it really interesting, and they told me they enjoyed it too. They all seemed to enjoy different talks, which surprised me. We felt really welcome and it was a great trip. I'm very conscious it's not aimed at children (or teachers) but we were able to choose talks that were accessible.
Every year we invite you to provide your feedback on the conference. Having feedback from guests helps us improve the overall communication, experience and outcomes of the event. We are truly grateful for those who have taken to time to provide it.
Following on from 2022, a large piece of feedback was in regard to the session timings with little to no gap for delegates to find a seat for their next talk. This year we went from 45min to 40min talks within the same schedule and it's clear from this year's feedback that has worked to some extent but that we also need to find other ways to improve the flow of people and signposting to next talks in a more efficient way.
Beginning this year we're going to report on the finances that go into running NorDevCon.
We ran the conference at a loss this year; however, it is never our goal to profit and any profits we do make are pumped right back into both our own community and fellows too.
Whilst Tech is one of the region's critical economic drivers, as you have probably seen in the media, it isn’t immune to economic conditions. This has led to difficulties in establishing partnerships this year with budgets being restricted. Naturally, we support these decisions and look forward to welcoming them as sponsors in 2024!
Anyway, let's take a look at the numbers:
|Hardware (SD & HDD storage)||£433.45|
|Merch (T-Shirts, lanyards, crabs, etc)||£5,563.17|
|Production (AV, signage, programmes)||£2,336.87|
|Sales (Tickets, Merch)||£14,683.17|
We made a signifant upgrade to our hardware this year, sunsetting our 720p camcorders and welcoming 4k camcorders and video mixers to our inventory.
|3x 4k Camcorders||£2,132.20|
|2x Video Mixers||£578.00|
|Storage (SD Cards, Hard Drives)||£483.92|
Why don't you hire the equipment?
We had a few questions both prior and during the conference as to why we don't hand over the job to a production company.
Cost!! Of the estimates we received, most were way above the investment cost and having the hardware on hand means we can continue to record events throughout the year and every year for "free".
See you in 2024!
Our call for papers is already live; and plans are already being made for the conference.
This year, we're looking to continue our monthly socials, and are in the process of organising a Summer BBQ alongside our friends at SyncNorwich, Hot Source, NGD, and Women In Tech.
To be kept in the loop on all things Norfolk Developers:
- Follow us on Twitter
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell to hear when we publish the #NorDevCon23 videos
- Join our Meetup Group, and join us at our next social
- And finally; hop on our Discord and join the conversation
Thank you, once again for your continued support.