tpflug [tobi, human, engineer]

About BusConf

For the past several years I’ve been organizing BusConf - an Open Space un-conference taking place in Germany on the first weekend of August. This year will be the third time – Just today I announced that you can register your interest for attending (see link on the website).

So what?

There are already plenty of (un-)conferences, hackathons or other kinds of events about Functional Programming. Why does the world need another one, why BusConf?

Meeting, Learning, Sharing, Caring

To me the real focus of BusConf is on the community aspect: I want people to meet, talk, learn and have fun together. There are no keynotes, and no speakers only people with a shared interest and diverse backgrounds. Some of them might have been doing FP professionally for years, others might only have heard about it and are attending to learn more. Both are welcome and I want them to feel welcome as well.

Of course you can also have a good time at traditional conferences. You can also get in contact with people there during coffee breaks and maybe you also join some group for dinner. Yet classical conferences are first and foremost a platform where speakers present ideas and concepts and people that already know each other hang out together. BusConf on the other hand is a platform for its attendees and what they want BusConf to be about.

This is not to say that BusConf or other Open Space conferences are better, they just provide a very different experience which I have come to value a lot.

How does this work?

In case you neither clicked the Open Space Wikipedia Page link above nor actually attended an Open Space conference before, I will try to give you an idea on how this works:

  • There is no prearranged schedule for talks.
  • We meet up in the morning and anyone can propose a session and stick it to the timetable for the day.
  • Sessions can be anything from “I will do a presentation on X” or “I cannot get this PureScript code to work, who can help me?” to “Who is up for a walk in the nearby forrest?”.

So any attendee can be a speaker, if they choose to be. Nobody has to be. Anyone can host a session, which doesn’t have to be a talk. It can be a hacking session, a request for help, a discussion round, it is entirely up to you. A lot of the sessions are about Functional Programming or related matters but there have been completely non-technical topics as well (One that comes to mind which was quite popular was on how to stay healthy at work).

BusConf is all about building bridges and making it easy to enter the community. The more diverse the audience, the better this will work out.

Should I attend?

If you are interested in Functional Programming and would like to spend a weekend with like-minded people then most probably yes. If you are new to FP there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions and learn from others. If you have a lot of experience you can share it with others. Everyone is able, allowed and encouraged to contribute and shape this event.

Over the years the number of folks attending BusConf from underrepresented groups in IT have slowly been increasing. I hope this trend will continue and I also hope to be able to provide fully-paid for diversity tickets again.

BusConf also has a Code of Conduct and it is important to me that all attendees feel safe and respected. If you are somehow engaged in, or supportive of any different kind of discriminating or harassing behavior you are not welcome at this conference.

That’s All

That’s all I had to say about BusConf. If you have further questions reach out via Twitter. DMs are open on @_BusConf_. Make sure to follow to stay up to date :)

PS: If you haven’t noticed by now, BusConf does not take place on a bus. In fact no bus is involved in any shape or form. If you choose to attend to you might get filled in on the story behind the name..