Shropgeek (R)evolution 2012

On Friday I attended Shropgeek (R)evolution (a web conference in Shrewsbury). It was a excellent way to spend the evening, a friendly and fun atmosphere, with beer and interesting conversation. There was a number of talks throughout the evening and plenty of time for networking / drinking.

On arrival, we were given some goodies, a name badge (with lanyard) and a Sharpie keyring, to write our names and Twitter handles (I'm @intrbiz ) on our badges. Followed by a trip to the bar to get a pint of EPA.

Neil Kinnish got the event under way with an interesting talk on Shropshire Screen . A simple site to aggregate rural cinema listings across Shropshire. A neat site, which shows how easily WordPress can be abused to fit a wide array of needs.

The next hour allowed for some drinking and networking, a chance for me to catchup with a number for friends I don't get to see that often.

Next up was Jake Smith talking about the D&AD awards system they built. It was a fascinating talk, even if I'm still not sure who D&AD is and the videos dragged on a little. It sure looked an interesting project to have been involved in. Their attitude of the project is more important than the client is refreshing. Their approach of fully involving the client during the analysis and model stages of a project is something I agree with.

Neil Kinnish and Mike Kus followed on with a brave presentation on WorkFu and how/why it failed. It's not often that people stand up and talk about how they failed, making it an unusual topic for a conference. However they made some very interesting points. One point which stuck was launching the least viable product, in order to minimise your losses in case it doesn't work.

The last talk of the evening was Paul Annett about gov.uk .

While at Shropshire I had followed the gov.uk project closely. It was amusing listening to how Government has to an extent resisted gov.uk, it's good to finally see the government focusing on the user, for a change. Directgov, had the glimmer of a good idea, just implemented utterly the wrong way. It was interesting hearing aobut how gov.uk is using their design principles to change the fundamental workings of government.

Following the talks, a number of people hung around to socialise into the night. I even got to see Paul Annett do some magic tricks.

Throughout the evening, one topic seemed to keep getting mentioned: Iterate quick and often. Make it easy to deploy your application. Listen to feedback. Code, test, deploy, listen and repeat.

Lastly, thanks to the Shropgeek team , sponsors and speakers for putting on a great evening. I look forward to next year