Following the success of the The Inaugural NE-RPC back in June, I’m excited to announce the agenda for our follow-up event in September: NE-RPC: Back 2 Sk00l. Tickets are free and available now. We’re streaming Friday 25th September!

Back 2 Sk00l

The thinking this time around was to theme the event. Given the time of the year and the ongoing debate/debacle regarding the return to schools following the COVID-19 lockdown, we though the concept would fit nicely.

Iterative Improvements

We’ve learned a lot from the previous event and had some great feedback from participants and speakers about the overall organisation of the event. It’s great to hear, but it kind-of managed itself.

We set up a Discord group, with all ticket-holders getting an invite. This acted as the ‘hub’ for the day. We had chat rooms for each of the two streams and would post links to the talks and links to join the Zoom Q+A session in there. Having a central hub allowed us to replicate some of that conference feel, by hosting (or kicking off) discussions and providing a means to give continuity announcement to the day.

All videos were pre-recorded and uploaded to Youtube in advance, allowing us to set a ‘go live’ time. That meant we had little to tinker with on the actual day, as Youtube itself would facilitate the publication of content. There were a few teething issues with this - we didn’t realise that prior to a video going live, Youtube displays a countdown video. The volume of that was significantly higher than that of the talks themselves. To correct this we’re going to provide further sound normalisation instructions to speakers in September. In one case, we had a session whose audio got out of sync with the video. Turns out this was beyond our control, but it’s down to how YouTube actually “live streams” the video when it premieres. Replays of the video, or watching on a delayed feed, didn’t experience this issue. Weird but bugs happen.

One of the successes the day was the ad-hoc Lean Coffee session we arranged, days before the event. We’d deliberately allocated a long lunchtime so that those balancing work, childcare and house chores could still get other stuff done, but it gave us an opportunity to bodge in a lean coffee session without timetable changes elsewhere. This time around, we’re allocating proper time for it, so that people don’t have to make a choice between lunch and lean coffee.

I’m Speaking Too

Being on the panel and having a session selected (by the others) is a bit weird, I must admit. For the selection of this talk I was clear that I’d only take the place if the talk stood on its own merits, everything else considered. Thankfully it did, so I’ll be giving an outing to a new talk - “Testing that the code does what the code does” - covering TDD principles, where it’s gone wrong and what we can do to avoid the common pitfalls and traps.

See You There?

All the videos will remain on Youtube after the event, so you can still catch up even if you can’t join us on the day, or for the full day. However, I do hope to see you at the event!