I did intend to get this post up earlier but I’m not fully into the blogging thing that I get on with articles. Anyway, Thursday saw a trip to the Odessa Club in Dublin for the inaugural Techludd event (Update: There’s now a Techludd blog). By the afternoon of Thursday, over 100 had registered for the [non]event, a quick check from my phone showed. Having seen the numbers increase sharply in the couple of days before the event I was really looking forward to this.
Before talking about the event itself, I’m going to go back a little for the sake of some personal context. I moved back from Singapore in October to my parents place in County Roscommon and have been getting back into the flow of things here in Ireland since. This, as well as looking for a new job. One criterion for a new job is that it;s not based in Dublin as I’m tired of being in large cities, paying expensive rent and substandard social facilities. When I was last in Dublin (6 – 7 years ago) I found the place lonely, cluttered and somewhat frightening – I guess this was mainly due to travelling so much (in the first year I did about 90 flights, taking in USA, Malawi and several countries in The Middle East prior to the move to Asia) and just not having a feel for the city. Techludd is obviously start-up oriented so I was pensive about being there as an unemployed and not so entrepreneurial person!
Onto the event itself, it was easy to slide into and people were more than happy to get chatting. Obviously, quite a few of the people there knew each other from other Web 2.0 related events so they did cluster a bit. The evening was helped significantly by virtue of Microsoft sponsoring through an open bar and having several Microsofties (Clare Dillon, Martha Rotter et al) on hand if anyone needed advice on how Microsoft can help their business. They certainly didn’t over do their presence so all credit to them for stepping up and sponsoring this event along with several others they sponsor here in Ireland. It’s also interesting to see that Digiweb sponsor Techludd through hosting, I wonder if there are any special deals for Techludd inspired start-ups :)
I got talking to quite a few people with just a little effort on my part to chat and people were fantastically helpful in terms of providing introductions to others. For me, this was the best part of the evening. I’m not going to go through all the names as I’m bound to forget some people (edit: I might do change this later as most of the headshots have names now). What I will say though is everyone was very willing to chat and offer advice across the board. Advice ranged from getting settled back into Ireland and getting onto the tech start-up scene to tech specifics (e.g.tools in the case of Microsoft and languages, frameworks, etc. from other people who were sharing usage experience). From a personal perspective I got a great general confidence boost that has inspired quite a bit of thinking in the past couple of days. Something else that stood out for me was the extent to which people had ‘got themselves’ together and how I need to do some personal thinking on communicating what I do, can do and would like to do. Having been in a large multi-national for quite some time has narrowed my focus quite a bit or to put it another way; made my personal work-life pitch very company specific. All healthy stuff of course and it balanced nicely against having been able to chill out in Roscommon over the past while.
Finally, I must post about the latest social networking concept: James!James!James! :)