Digitalks Cheltenham – July

Having let the dusk settle and having taken time to think about it (well, it has been a week!) I feel like I should post about my view of last week’s Digitalks as an organiser.

As usual we ran the event upstairs in the D’Fly; a venue which continues to provide a good home for the event (though the lager’s too expensive. Try the cider though; it’s a bargin!) The doors opened at 7pm and people started filtering in to get a chance to meet the organisers and speakers before the event and just generally mingle.

We’d booked three speakers by the event; Andy Barr of 10yetis (a public relations agency), Sheldon Witney of RedSixty (remote network installation) and Mike Schorah of StarfishCI (a software development firm) who appeared in that order.

Andy went first and had the crowd in stitches at various points with his presentation on “How the World Wide Web Touched Me and My Industry in its Special Place (not in that way)“. Brilliantly informal and perfectly delivered.

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Sheldon followed with some interesting views on cloud computing and mobile computing and how the two were inextricably linked. I enjoyed the talk. Interesting points were raised; Sheldon’s observations on what cloud is and isn’t and how “cloud providers” are dressing up old services like virtualisation and erroneously calling it cloud computing were very apt.

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The final presentation was delivered by Mike on the issues with cloud. Mike’s main issues were with privacy (“if you’re not paying for it they’re selling your data”) and security/downtime (he raised the point of Amazon’s EC2 service failure).

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Following conversations afterwards it seemed the general feeling was there was too much technical and more “lighter” talks were needed. I still think there’s definitely place for the more technical issues; perhaps not so much of it though. I still feel like Digitalks should cater for the more technically minded as well as the merely interested.

All in the event was a big success. This was only the second in its current incarnation and it was well attended with a great mood. Conversations were good and a sizable number moved from the event to the bar downstairs after to congregate and catch up.

The next event’s on 8th September, starts at 7pm and is upstairs in the D’Fly bar.