Showing posts from 2018

The Future As Seen By Me In 2010

Well looky here, things one has scanned in eh. (ignore the photo, that's some guy that made some accounting software, not sure what became of him ;) MIKE RIVERSDALE is fuming. The expensive headphones he bought in Sydney three weeks ago have just died. His first reaction is not to randomly spill expletives into his coffee, but to use his iPhone to vent his frustration to his Twitter con- tacts, under the moniker Miramar Mike. "I will also put, 'What should I do?' It's a conversation. I'm reaching out to the people following me." The council predicts hand-held digital devices such as smartphones will rule the world in 2040. They already rule the life of Mr Riversdale, whose company WaveAdept helps businesses adapt - their computing sys- tems to allow staff to work from anywhere - and with anyone. In order of fre- equency, he uses his iPhone to tweet (1136 followers; 8363 tweets since joining), e-mail, make phone calls and use online services, such as checki

Hackathons are NOT competitions

In all good hackathons there has to be a range of organisations supporting the event. The finest supporters are those that directly contribute to the attendees at the event - ensuring the WiFi is top notch, paying for the coffee, laying on specialised data, making available technical gurus, or even lending mana to the event and supporting by "being there". Companies and individuals that focus their support on the attendees and their needs are to be praised above all. Over the past few years I have noticed a growing number of hackathons (not so much barcamps / unconferences) have been focusing their support / sponsorship on providing prizes - be that cold hard cash, meetings with Ministers, a chance to pitch to a mythical group of moneybags, or even "a chance to go on to greater things". "Yeah, your point is Mike?" ... simply this, why are hackathons changing into competitions? At no point in the general definition of a hackathon is it a "mus

The Goldilocks of Hackathon Challenges

The six things every hackathon / unconference / barcamp needs are well known, namely: Suitable venue Convenient date / time Engaging ddentity ("logo") "Just right" Purpose Relevant people ALL the "Playdo" You get all those ticked off and you have an event - my favourite bar, Saturday at 1pm-4pm, "HackMike 2018", "Increase Mike's Knowledge Of Diversity", you and me, and a load of knowledge and techniques ... see, that's an event. Or you could call it catch up with a buddy, but once you have the six items in place the only thing you're increasing is scale - how big and shiny do you want your event to be? btw: it has to be ALL of the items, you can't have an event that doesn't tick off each item; and nor can you have an event that doesn't focus on each item to ensure the best you can get - it's a great way to split up your 'committee'/organising team ... plus a layer of logistics underneath

JAFAC 2018, "A podcasters journey from the heart of agile"

My talk at the Just Another Fucking Agile Conference (JAFAC) 2018 conference focussed on the "heart" and "head" of agile and how Access Granted was born from one and is having to learn to apply the other. The 100-seat conference was sold out in a week so keep an eye out for 2019 as it is a brilliant event - this year's speakers included, Melissa Firth, Ben Gracewood, Miki Szikszai, Maru Nihoniho, Nick White, Helen Littlewood, Eli Hirschauge, and Hadas Wittenberg. I'll publish my notes once I've done the talk - check back around 2pm on Friday

Hackathons - Are They Just Free Labour For Corporates And Government Agencies?

What a great model, pay the sector to participate acknowledging we are businesses at the end of the day. As you know I am sick of the constant calls on my goodwill esp time from my staff for government IP-harvesting-athons or accelerators with no tangible outcome — Victoria MacLennan (@optimalhq) May 10, 2018 This was Victoria, a close friend of mine, tweeting recently about how frustrating it is to be constantly asked to do work for free. And she's not alone, as you can already see it was Don Christie exclaiming similar that caused Vic to reply: This is interesting. Aside from the proposal writing the UK Government will not expect us to work for free. I sometimes feel the "hackathon" culture adopted by governments has gone a little to far in what it expects from profesionals — Don Christie (@normnz) May 10, 2018 And he was responding to the UK Computer Weekly article  Government launches GovTech competition [May 10th, 201

The Best Support Is To Become a Customer

The phrase, "The Best Support Is To Become a Customer:, has been for a long time popping out of my mouth, and yet there are many that dispute my stance, especially with the, "This is just another failed "Buy Kiwi" type of approach". I understand that point of view, I really do. There is absolutely no reason to support companies that charge more on the basis that they are merely headquartered in New Zealand (or wherever your home city, region, or country is). Slapping a "100% Kiwi Made|Owned" label on something, ramping up the prices, and then selling goods or services that are ostensibly delivered from overseas suppliers seems to be me the height of false advertising and is only designed to more money into the owners pockets. I also don't think the phrase, "The Best Support Is To Become a Customer", can be any sort of sweeping statement applied in all circumstances - if you are looking at two competing products and services then you

It's Never A Big Week At The Office When You Work With Great People

A week of Techweek TV from Auckland to Christchurch and then a 24 hour hackathon for ActInSpace had me running all over the country. And boy it was a LOT of fun. Of course, it was a lot to do, a lot of tired evenings, and a little bit of stress but generally - fun fun fun. And what made it fun was the people. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata! The people, the people, the people! A shoutout is required - Raj, my Access Granted co-founder, awesome guy, and all round oil on water. Together with Jono we made a glorious travelling TV crew :) And with Techweek's Courteney wrangling the guests and making Techweek TV all happen in the background WE DID IT! As soon as we had finished Friday's Techweek TV I rushed off to ActInSpace , the New Zealand wing of the inaugural international series of events, for which I was the Event Producer. What does that mean really when you have a team of people such as Kelsi, Christel, Emma, Kim, and many others on the day/night - aweso

Join Us Live On #twnz18 Techweek TV

Over on our podcast, Access Granted NZ , we are joining up with the fine folks at Techweek and streaming live on Facebook at all the headline events around the country. We'll be live between 12pm-2pm talking with speakers, exhibitors, and YOU!

What Is A "Hackathon"?

It's a great question, especially when the word itself starts off with those first 4 letters, "hack" - ALERT ALERT! I have privileged to host a large number of hackathons in my time, with many more to come, and whilst they have been varied, diverse, and unique in many of their facets they do have a few things in common. In a nutshell a hackathon is an event bringing people together that self-form into teams, work on a challenge, and present their workings in order to connect, learn, and share their skills and knowledge. Some hackathons are free to attend - in fact the majority of hackathons in New Zealand are free to participants. They are supported by generous partners and sponsors that ensure there is an appropriate venue, the participants and volunteers are fed and watered throughout and all the "playdo" for the teams to weave their magic upon is made available. Hackathons in New Zealand have tended to be over a weekend, with participants leaving o