I’ve got a brand going on here…

Yesterday was the first ever Web Standards Group meeting in London, wonderfully organised by Stuart Colville and with talks by Andy Budd and Christian Heilmann. Why did I go? Because I’m really trying to get out there and get to know other developers, because the talks sounded interesting, and because it was only a ten minute walk from work to get there.

And I’m glad I went. I got there a little early, but there were already people at the venue. I got to chat with Nathan and Olga, who just happened to be holidaying in the UK and decided to pop along to the lectures, as well as a few other people. Having used the tube for the first time that morning they were a little concerned about using it later in the evening once the session had ended, but I think I managed to reassure them that they’d be perfectly safe.

The first talk of the evening was Andy Budd’s “Who Cares About Standards?” in which he gave a rollicking history of the screw and it’s standardisation. This was quickly followed by Christian Heilmann’s talk about “Maintainable JavaScript” and how that’s acheived in the “small westend start-up” that he works for. Both talks were really rather interesting, and the fact that Christian hasn’t done much in the way of public speaking before really didn’t show - he’s a very funny guy.

And then, as quickly as the talks had begun, it was time to go down to the pub. Needless to say, even though the pub was about five minutes from where I work I had no idea how to get there at all.

At the pub I got to talk to lots of people, both random and otherwise. Some I remembered from @media, others were superstars, but most were happy bright new faces that I’d never seen before. I’m starting to lose my inhibitions when it comes to handing out my “business” card, which is good since several of the people I handed it out to last night said something along the lines of “oooh, it’s good to put a face to the writing” or “oh, I know that site!”. That sort of reaction is something that I’d ever have expected, but it’s such an ego boost to hear things like that. Clearly the rebranding I did with the little vectorised me in the top right corner of the site is easily recognisable and did the job I was hoping it would do. I even had one person saying “it has your eyebrows!” to me.

As well as having a great time chatting to other geeks, I also managed to bag myself some swag. Before the talks began, we were all asked to write out our answers to three geeky questions, with the hope of winning a fantastic book at the end of the evening. As it happens, it seems like my answer that I wished that the script for Garfield the Movie had never been written was amusing and off-beat enough to get one. I’d been hoping to be able to pick up a copy of Christian’s new book (Beginning Javascript with DOM Scripting and Ajax), but by the time my name was called out all the copies of that had vanished. So, instead I picked up the very worthy second choice of Jeremy Keith’s “DOM Scripting” (which I got the man himself to sign later on). As well as the book, I managed to pick up a couple of Apress goodies - a t-shirt with an Einstein quote on it, and a giant badge that reads “To err is human. To really foul up requires the root password”. So, a good night for swag.

Towards the end of the evening I finally managed to say hi to Stuart. I’d unsuccessfully tried to hunt him out at @media, but with the conference venue being as packed as it was that was just about impossible. It was good to get to have a bit of a chat with him, and it was fantastic to hear that he’s already got a speaker lined up for the next WSG London lectures.

Huge kudos to Stuart for organising the event, and I’m very much looking forward to more in the future.

Oh yes, and my WSG London Lectures photos are up on Flickr now, with a caption competition to win a super prize!

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comments (3) | write a comment | permalink | View blog reactions


  1. by trovster on July 15, 2006 11:39 PM

    Aye, bumped into your again… however, this wasn’t ‘10 minutes’ from my work, I had a long journey down from the Midlands with a fellow Multipack member taking about 4 hours!

  2. by Neil Crosby [TypeKey Profile Page] on July 15, 2006 11:56 PM

    Aye, but don’t tell me it wasn’t worth it! How was the journey back?

  3. by Stuart Maynard-Keene on July 16, 2006 10:22 PM

    Neil, nice to meet you even if it was brief. Didn’t take us as long to get back because of the time. I do think it was dedication to come down for those 2 hour talks though, kinda think it was worth it in hindsight.

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about wwm

workingwith.me.uk is a resource for web developers created by Neil Crosby, a web developer who lives and works in London, England. More about the site.

Neil Crosby now blogs at The Code Train and also runs NeilCrosby.com, The Ten Word Review and Everything is Rubbish.