Event #2: Leeds

These events are experimental in many ways.  Rich & I haven’t organised anything like this before, so we really grateful for the feedback we got from Mondays gig in Sheffield.  One recurring comment was seating, so never let it be said that we ignore this stuff – in Leeds we sorted seating!

It was interesting for us to see how each event could really have a very different feel: because of the venues, the line-up of speakers and the audience – perhaps after doing our first in Sheffield, our increased confidence too?  With that in mind, we’re really looking forward to the next two in Liverpool on the 15th and Manchester on the 17th!

The venue (upstairs at BarRoomBar on Call Lane) seemed to work pretty well and gave a nice intimate feel about it.  Really nice to be able to look out from the stage to see so many faces.  I have to admit, I did actually quite enjoy being the compare this time around ;)   First up, Stuart Smith gave us an overview of the complexities around developing native apps and widgets for mobile devices, which I’m sure many that haven’t really dipped into mobile development might not’ve realised – and you can’t go too far wrong with a slide of a corn on the cob shaped vibrator!

Chris Mills from Opera regaled us with songs from his far distant homeland gave us some great insight into HTML5 and all of it’s idiosyncrasies – which although did share a bit in common with Bruce’s talk from Monday, also showed how much there is to take advantage of with this new version of HTML.  A couple of great plugs for HTML5Doctor that Rich contributes to, which were welcomed!

Part of what these nights are about is socialising – talking to people you’ve not met before, so hopefully the break started people on that path.  We again had some books and merchandise to give away, kindly donated by No Starch Press & O’Reilly but were fortunate to have Gavin & Ellie, organisers of the DIBI conference down from Newcastle and generously gave away some t-shirts and a ticket to their event.

We were really pleased to be able to welcome Andy Clarke to our little gig series, not only as a speaker but as a sponsor, so we started by giving some jammy lucky winners a complete set of his For a Beautiful Web DVDs and a copy of Transcending CSS (enjoy!) before getting stuck into Chapter 1 of his Hardboiled CSS talks ‘I, The Jury’.  As someone said to me after, it was like seeing a famous comedian doing a warm-up show in a pub in London – one of those rare moments where you get to see something they’ll be using in some capacity at bigger gigs, working it through and being able to feed back to them.

There was a loads of great examples and ideas to digest and while being a little controversial in some eyes, there’s some great reasoning behind it.  Aim for the edges, do the best you can with the capabilities the browser has to offer and find a good level of experience for browsers that maybe don’t support everything.

Also in the audience it was great to see Sam (@nocturnalmonkey), who’s done all of our design work for the gigs and Rich Quick who’s Squizzle app is one of our sponsors and has helped make it all possible – especially after traveling all the way down from St Andrews to be there last night!

All in all, we’re really pleased that so many people came and made it a success and we’re grateful to all of the speakers and sponsors who have helped to do this.  Roll on Monday… after some much need sleep ;)

Cheers,

Dan & Rich

Great to read a few opinions on last night’s gig already:

http://andyhey.posterous.com/speaktheweb-leeds

http://www.3sheep.co.uk/2010/02/12/speak-the-web-leeds-review/

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2 Responses to “Event #2: Leeds”

  1. Ian says:

    Hey guys, I posted some of my half-baked opinions: http://www.devolute.net/2010/02/16/speak-the-web-leeds/

    It was a good evening. Nice one.

  2. Dan says:

    Hey Ian – thanks for taking the time to blog about this! We’re really interested to hear what people make of what we’re trying to do… for better or worse!