Jez Higgins

Freelance software grandad
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Make The Call : Yr glygfa o Hescwm Uchaf, rhif 13

At the back end of last year, I was talking with GeePaw about Friday Geek’s Night Out. FGNO is a regular call GeePaw and his friends have to just talk programming nonsense. I sounded like a lot of fun, and although I didn’t say so I was a teensy bit jealous. He just said I should start my own. “You know people, right?” he said, turning his innocent gaze upon me.

So I did, and it’s unbelievably great, and encourage you to do the same.


I, like I hope all of us, have friends that I know through conferences, email lists, meetups, etc, etc (although generally not through work - not sure what’s going on there) that I’ve known for years, if not decades. In our case, there’s a conference that most of us would attend most years.

Well, obviously that hasn’t been true quite so much recently

And I missed them.

So, prompted by GeePaw, I emailed them and laid out what I was thinking …​

That’s is a regular Zoom call (every Tuesday!) that GeePaw and a group of his software friends have every week. There’s no particular agenda - sometimes they look at piece of code someone brings, or talk about a work situation, or “sometimes we just grouch about stuff”. Not everyone in the group is there every time, but every week there’s a group and they talk for an hour, or two, or until everyone’s had enough. It sounds good.

… You can maybe see where this is going. …

The “just the bar part” of a convention is familiar to most of us, even if in public people prefer to say “hallway track”. It’s been the case for some time that I go to software conferences primarily because of the people I’m going to see there, most of whom I originally met through a mailing list or Twitter or some other modern equivalent of the small ads in the back of Comics International magazine. You people, the ones I’ve sent this email to. I’d like to see you more often than I do and much as I would love to invite you all to the pub on a regular basis, the realities of geography militate against it - that was true even before I moved to Pembrokeshire 🙂

But we all have computers, and webcams, and all that good modern stuff, so a Zoom call is entirely possible. So, that’s what I’d like to try - a regular call just to get together and talk about stuff. I don’t know how often - weekly feels a bit too often, and monthly not quite enough, so I’m leaning towards every couple of weeks, on a weekday evening, late enough that you can have had your tea, put the bins out, and all that

I stressed that there wasn’t any obligation, even to reply to this initial email. You could say yes, but weren’t committing to being there every time, you didn’t have to arrive at the start and stay until the end. You could come in and out, however frequently or infrequently, nor did you have to explain absence or presence.

But, I hoped, we could establish that cadence so if you wanted to come, you could.

If that sounds appealing, or even just intriguing, please let me know, perhaps with any scheduling preferences you have. If not, I’d be grateful if you let me know, but don’t feel obligated. You needn’t explain, and I won’t be at all offended - I’m aware there’s quite a lot of projection in what I’ve written above, and indeed the whole urge might just be some kind of crisis brought on by my kids leaving home, because I got hit on the head by a hockey ball on Tuesday[1], or something like that.

To my delight, everybody did like the sound of it. We tried, and have settled, on every second Wednesday, kick off at about 8:30pm and finish whenever.

And it’s just been so fantastic.

So, if you think you have a little space something like this could fill, think about who’d you’d like there with you and ask them, because they might well have a little space too.


1. Yes, I had indeed been hit on the head with a hockey ball, and was sporting an enormous black eye at the time. I don’t recommend it, but on the scale of things to be hit on the head with it’s at the lower end

Tagged the-trade


Jez Higgins

Freelance software grandad
software created
extended or repaired

Follow me on Mastodon
Applications, Libraries, Code
Talks & Presentations

Hire me
Contact

Older posts are available in the archive or through tags.

Feed