It is the day after a successful and busy Oggcamp, and as is customary I sit down at my laptop and start to write.
"This was the most professional Oggcamp ever!"
Yes someone said this to me, and it is wonderful to hear.
Oggcamp is organised by a team.
Dan, Lorna, Simon and myself spend months talking to potential sponsors, arranging deliveries of equipment, and scouting venues. Dan and I visited the venue in December 2018! Then we went for a Greggs power lunch!
The kids track was organised by Liz Smart and it was excellent! Great to see the kids hacking. Also special thanks to micro:bit Foundation for donating a micro:bit for every child.
Special thanks to Caroline Keep and Mark Feltham for the hardware hack and exhibitors track.
My personal thanks to all of the organising team for organising the merchandise and ensuring the talks were scheduled and on track!
But what makes Oggcamp?
Image courtesy of Heed
Oggcamp is a community event, and in the tech community we typically focus on tech, which also involves the code and documentation for the projects that we use and enjoy. But Oggcamp is the nexus of communities.
Community: the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.
There are those in the community who share more than just their tech skills. They share their time and skills to help events happen.
At Oggcamp this is The Crew, and I am proud to have been their Chief.
The Crew sort everything! Moderating the talks, fetching and carrying all manner of merchandise, food, rubbish bags. They make Oggcamp happen. Sure the organisers stand on the stage and speak, but it is the team behind the scenes who make everything work!
Did you know?
We have a Dr (GP) on our crew, who is on hand to tend to any medical issues. Thankfully this has not been required, even for crew hangovers.
I deeply love my crew, every crew, from every year. I protect their time, enabling them to see as much of Oggcamp as possible. I listen to their ideas, and give them the space and power to try out the idea. I am not a great leader, nor motivational speaker but I hope that my manner and respect for others is enough to spark the fire of another soul in the community. What do the crew get for their service? T-shirts and mugs!
Every time I am chief, I send a thank-you message to my crew and last night I did so via our crew Discord group, and Telegram. Here it is.
To all of my Crew I am proud of each of you. You gave your time and energy, and were away from those you love, to bring an event to life. You make the event a success, you work hard to help others enjoy the event, you sacrifice so much to help others. Community is more than code and documentation, it is about those willing to help others. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, it is a pleasure to be your chief one last time. If anyone needs any recommendations for their CV or LinkedIn, just ask! Best wishes, and again thank you so much.
My Oggcamp is different to yours.
Oh do I have stories! I have been to every Oggcamp and I have been chief for most of them. My Oggcamp is behind the scenes, fixing and setting up for the event, tidying up, talking to exhibitors and the public to ensure that they enjoy their time. What I enjoy the most are the conversations, with everyone in the community. I have spoken to couples who have since grown to become families in the past decade. People who I have met via Oggcamp have become close personal friends. For example Aijaz and Stuart ran an installfest with me in 2010, and in the years since they have been on the crew multiple times, and helped make Oggcamp happen.
Oggcamp is not about tech, rather it is about people.
This is my last time as The Chief
Image courtesy of Caz
I retired in 2015 but when Dan said that he was going to lead the 10th anniversary, I came back for one last gig. I am glad that I did. The weekend is now a blur, but I know that it was great. I will be back at future Oggcamps, but now as an attendee.
The Chief is dead, long live The Chief.
A little break from tradition, but I wanted to pay particular thanks to Andy Piper. Who in my humble opinion is the ideal form of The Chief. They are caring, compassionate, funny and precise. They solved many problems before they occurred, while still running on stage to be a host. Andy, you earned the name "The Razor".