When I attended Pear Conf last year, a major motivation was that I wanted to find a job where I could pair program. That was where I found out about Redbubble, and a few months later, I started working there. So, I was very excited to return this year, to the conference that helped me find a job I love.
I enjoyed it just as much as last year, but there were also some exciting new highlights! Here are a few:
From one day to three
Last year, Pear Conf was two days long: one day of workshops and one day of unconferencing. However, I was only able to attend the unconference day.
This year, Pear Conf added a day of prepared talks, and I got to attend all three days. I was especially excited about the day of talks, since I had wished for one last year. They were great! They weren’t all about pair programming (fortunately—as much as I love pairing, that probably would have gotten repetitive), but they were all from speakers who value collaboration and humanity in software development.
At some point a few weeks before the conference, I searched for “pear stickers” on Redbubble and found that there were tons of awesome designs. I immediately knew I had to order a bunch to give away on our sponsor table at the conference. Compliments of Redbubble, I brought 73 pear stickers, each with a different design. They were a huge hit—every single one was taken! When has that ever happened?!
(By the way, if you were there and got one, I’d love to see what you did with it! You can share it by replying to the tweet I linked to above.)
Talking about job hunting
One of the unconference sessions I participated in was called “How do we make it easier to find jobs where you can pair?” This session was the push I needed to launch something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while: We Pair, a crowd-sourced list of companies that pair program. I’ve already merged contributions from 3 awesome people, and I hope to see many more.
If you know of any companies that pair program, please consider making a contribution, and if you’re on Twitter and you want to see this project grow, you can help by retweeting my tweet promoting it.
Talking about Twitter
Oh yeah, speaking of Twitter… after deleting my account a few months ago, I am back. This was inspired by another unconference session I was in, “Participating in Tech & Tech Conferences without Twitter”.
I proposed this session, hoping it would be my chance to soapbox about RSS and maybe convince some people to join Micro.blog, but hearing everyone’s thoughtful accounts of why they use Twitter made me feel like my reasons for abstaining were a little silly. I’m giving it another shot, and although I’m rediscovering some of the more annoying things about that site, it’s where my professional community hangs out online, and I want to be a part of that. (Micro.blog really is lovely, though…)