EuroClojure 2012 – Part 2

EuroClojure for me was also about community and diversity.

The community aspect of EuroClojure was obvious from the start. It was a great selection of friendly and welcoming people, which has always been my experience in the clojure community. During the community talk (from Robert Rees and Devin Walters) all of the various community organisers in the room were asked to stand up and give a shout out for their group. It felt like there were a dozen or so community organisers at the event. I also know that after the talk that there are a number of new clojure communities that are going to be formed.

Diversity overall was a mixed bag. There was good representation in the room from a number of different European countries in addition to the USA and Canada. The talks were from a mixture of professional clojurians and hobbyist clojurians. There was a good mix of ages, though no one under 20 I believe.

I also felt, and as a programme committee member strived for, a wide variety of talks. Some of the talks were theortical, and a good number were practical. The subjects covered things in the core language, tooling, devops, art, music, maths and logic. If flights from Prague had been easier we would have also had some digital humanities in the form of computational linguistics. I also hope that there was a wide enough variety of skills needed for each of the talks from beginner through to advanced.

As with many technical conferences we weren’t so good on racial and gender diversity. Most of the audience was white and male, though not exclusively. No women submitted talks this year. I hope to change that next year. I think we can do better and I hope to be able to follow the example of the OpenHatch project and do more outreach overall. I think we do have a community that welcomes difference and diversity. I think we need to do more to prove it though. 

Overall, the conference was fantastic and thanks to Marco Abis. I had a great time. I survived my talk (Rich Hickey’s eye based death beams didn’t incinerate me as I had dreamed). I got to plug my startup Mastodon C in my talk. I met a lot of lovely and friendly people (including Rich Hickey, who isn’t nearly so scary in real life). I also came away very enthusiastic and hopeful about the clojure community in Europe and worldwide. I’m now really looking forward to what we are all able to do over the next year.

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