This year one of my goals is to become more involved with the broader software community, and to achieve this I’ve set a target of attending 50 community events in 2020.

Hanging around and meeting people at these events has the following benefits for me;

  • Build new connections with peeps in the community
  • Learn new ideas, techs, approaches, experiences
  • Stay informed on industry of trends and directions
  • Catch-up with prior colleagues
  • Discover the culture and delivery techniques of different companies

The first ten

Women in Tech: Pizza & Python

8 January 2020

I took my wife to this one, it was the first General Assembly anything I’ve attended. It was overbooked, their catering ran out prior to commencement, we couldn’t hear anything, and the administrators were quite rude to the waves of people that kept arriving. Huge turn out for a beginning-of-the-year meetup but overall unpleasant, so we left and had ice cream.

Monitoring Sydney: first meetup!

21 January 2020

  • Service Levels and Error Budgets - Robert Scundi (Google)
  • Why Averages don’t End Up - Jordan Simonovski (Lendi)

First time I’ve been to a Google Campus and I was impressed by the number of full-time security guards they have. Otherwise a good overview of what their Site Reliability Engineers are up to and the metrics they chase and optimise.


22 January 2020

A great overview of State Management in Angular Javascript by a couple of ng-sydney regulars. This was the first meetup at the new ng-sydney location, Rokt.

Sydney Alt.Net User Group

28 January 2020

Aaron tells us about his purchase of solar panels for his home and his subsequent journey to monitoring them via Raspberry Pi and Azure IoT Edge. Also a 9 part blog series.

Sydney Serverless

30 January 2020

  • API Management in a Hybrid, Serverless and a Multi-Cloud World - Suhas Rao (Microsoft)
  • Serverless Images - Aaron Powell (Microsoft)

A good overview of the capabilities offered by Azure API Management and Aaron’s back with some Logic Apps + Cognitive Services hackery.

Docker/Kubernetes Sydney

4 February 2020

  • How Rokt tried to fly but ended up sailing: our journey to container management with Kubernetes and Istio - Jonathan Kuleff & Eugene Babichev (Rokt)
  • Monitoring, optimisation, integration and the three pillars of observability - Rajalakshmi Srinivasan, Director - Product Management (Site24x7)

An informative story on Rokt’s (multiple) attempts to not use Kubernetes that ended up with Rokt using Kubernetes. Developers learning by developing, teaching developers. The second talk was an odd sales pitch where the speaker spoke in generalisations and revealed nothing of the product.

Azure Sydney User Group: Cloud and infosec Q&A with Troy Hunt

11 February 2020

A one-off event hosted by Azure Sydney User Group, at WooliesX, where the crowd fired questions at Troy Hunt and he answered them. The first time I’ve seen Troy speak in person, this event turned out great. Troy discussed topics such as haveibeenpwned, password managers, cars, ssl certificates and more. A very entertaining evening.

Sydney Serverless

12 February 2020

  • Serverless Distributed Data Processing - Michael Compton (Rokt)
  • Designing for DynamoDB - Toby Hede
  • Deploying Serverless Functions with Github Actions - Todd Anglin (Microsoft)

In this session we saw a lot of boxes and lines with colours, a very good (though perhaps unintentional?) explanation as to why you should never attempt to make DynamoDb operate as an RDBMS, and a look at Github Actions, which for the record, are free for public repos.


13 February 2020

  • Reducing complexity in React with Hooks; Adding it back by integrating Redux - Stafford Williams (Telstra Purple)
  • Building frontend for your Microservices application - Ibraheem Osama (Dimension Data)

I’ve also a personal goal to have 12 speaking engagements this year, and ng-sydney provided me with the opportunity to tick the first of those off. It was great to see a number of ex-Readifarians this evening, including a talk from Ibraheem on micro-frontends and the difference in delivering this architecture via iFrames or Web component.


18 February 2020

  • JavaScript debugging: the hard way - Marcin Szczepanski (Atlassian)
  • The Duck Tales - Anton Korzunov (Atlassian)
  • Change your world with Typescript Transformers - Michael Dougall (Atlassian)
  • The Future of In-Product Apps - Ajay Mathur (Atlassian)
  • Safely deploying JIRA frontend - Alexey Shpakov (Atlassian)

A monster turn-out for SydJS’s February meetup with standing room only and an all-Atlassian lineups. The talks varied in quality: one introduced me to the concept of the brogrammer for the first time and another had the speaker spouting close to an hour’s worth of disjointed philosophical nonsense that was at the very least well received by his colleagues, but presentations on Jira Frontend were remarkably informative.


With ten down and forty to go to meet my goal, overall I’ve so far enjoyed catching up with old colleagues, meeting new people from the community, and giving a talk myself. The schedule hasn’t been too difficult, although I’m finding meetups that finish at 9pm a bit exhausting and will likely skip out at the 2 hour mark in the future. I’ve been posting my expected attendance internally at Telstra Purple but I’ll post on twitter too from now so follow me here and I’ll look forward to seeing you at some upcoming community events.