Toward the end of last year, I had been burning out.
Being laid off from Flashtalking wasn't a great feeling, it never is. Having this time off has been invaluable to replenish my creative reserves. I had fallen into a rut, that I hadn't realized I was in.
Today I had the opportunity to attend the Iterate Conference put on by @Okta, and I'm feeling newly motivated. The Conference had two tracks: Build and Evolve. Build focusing on the more technical side of approaching being a better programmer, and evolve to focus more on the personal side of striving to program better with your team.
One of my absolute favorite things about Iterate was that it started with an opening lunch sign in at noon. They had it at the Bespoke event space in the old Emporium under the Dome. It was so nice not to have to rush in the morning to get there. Plus kicking it off with a meal was really cool.
Jeff Atwood's opening keynote presentation kicked things off. Jeff founded Stack Overflow, and through that experience, he discovered how to encourage positive discourse online. And after leaving Stack Overflow went on to found discourse.org. He had some really interesting things to say about story and conversations. Special bonus we each got a copy of Effective Programming, a book based on his blog codinghorror.com.
Emily Morehouse-Valcarcel & Frank Valcarcel led an evolve presentation about how to become a better programmer, talking about factors of motivation through autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Finding purpose by mentoring, community engagement, and donating time to open source. Open Source seemed to be a cornerstone of the conference, something I should be spending more time with.
After that session, I spent the rest of the day in the evolve track.
Craig Kerstiens session Skunkworks focused a lot on how this idea came about, but how effective it was and how it was really structured. You can't just throw the name around, and you have to expect failure.
Then finally Mahdi Yusuf lead a session about optimizing your life by analyzing its data. We collect a surprising amount of data through our devices and paying attention to that data once in a while we can iterate our way through life.
Following all the sessions we had a lovely reception with some delicious food and a bit of beer and wine. I met some great people, and it was nice chatting about the day along with meeting some speakers. Then to top off everything Okta gave each of us a Google Home Mini speaker. Really just an amazing day, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to attend.