Recently fizzPOP celebrated the two of its first birthday’s. On January 26th the mailing list was set up and on February 28th we had our first meeting. We count each one as our birthday, which, in theory, means more cake!
Leftovers from the last session. Photo by Nikki Pugh
I’m really quite proud of what myself and Nikki have achieved so far with fizzPOP. As I’ve stated in my many presentations about hackerspaces and fizzPOP it was first set up to scratch an itch: I wanted to have a space outside of education to learn more about electronics and technology. Luckily Nikki had the same itch and we soon found ourselves working on the creating and running of fizzPOP.
I wont rattle on about the history of fizzPOP as we’re still creating it, and there’s little to gain from talking about the pitfalls we’ve had. The thing that I’m most proud of is that we can regularly get people from all over the west midlands (and occasionally reaching as far as Liverpool and London) in a room to do what they love most. I just wish we could do this more regularly, maybe even every day!
Photo by Nikki Pugh
What next for fizzPOP? I’m still recovering from fizzPOP workshop from the awesomeness that is Mitch Altman and Jimmie Rodgers, so have no brain space left to think about anything else! All I know is that I want to see more workshops like that and more people showing off their mad hacker skills.
From February 2th6 to 27th I was in London for dev8d. It describes itself as:
Dev8D is 4 days of 100% pure software developer heaven. It will be intense. It will be exhilarating. It will make you a better programmer.
• Learn to use unfamiliar languages (such as Python, Ruby and Clojure)
• Team up with other developers and build rapid development projects for tech prizes
• Take part in lightning session discussions with industry experts
• Swap skills and ideas with other developers
It was indeed like some kind of heaven! I arrived later in the week on Friday, but I still learnt quite a lot. I spent a lot of my time in the Expert Zone and at GB’s Arduino workshops.
Think of the Expert Zone as a more relaxed Pecha Kucha or Ignite. You get 15 minutes to talk about or promote whatever you want. I gave a short presentation on hackerspaces, with particular emphasis on fizzPOP, and why you should either form one or join one.
The Arduino workshops, led by fizzPOP regular GB, were really fun.
I’ve had an Arduino ever since the Howduino event last year but I’ve never really played around with it. Being around lots of people who are in the same position really helped me to make a move in learning it. In the end I got lots of LED’s flashing and a little buzzer to play some music. A small achievement to some, but a massive leap into the world of electronics!
Being at dev8d (and at the GNOME Hackfest, which I’ll write about another time) really taught me a lot about software development. It all starts with an idea, but taking that idea and turning it into a reality I feel is best achieved in a group setting with those who can contribute ideas and skills.
Congrats to the dev8d and devCSI team for putting on a very successful event. I’ll definitely be along next year!