Reflecting on my second Mozfest, I was pleased that I managed to shed a little bit of my reserved nature and get properly stuck in towards the end. I’m also very aware that I barely scratched the surface of all the cool things to see and cool people to meet.
Things I’ve learned:
- There were 900 different experiences going on at Mozfest. I know people who sat and worked and occasionally chatted to friends. People who believed in sessions and spaces. People who just hung out in the cafe and chatted to everyone they met – all valid and all wonderful ways of experiencing the atmosphere.
- Mozfest isn’t a conference in the sense of making connections that might be useful to you. It’s a conference that it literally about having the conversation, challenging your beliefs and going away with a slightly different thought process than you arrived with. Some of the most interesting parts for me weren’t technical, or even cultural.
Some things that I was disappointed in:
- Like Wikipedia – Mozfest isn’t beginner friendly. ‘Just get involved’ is pretty unhelpful when you haven’t got a context for the type of event it is, the ethos, and the session setup. I’ve now been to two, spent a lot of time at both talking to people, and I’m only just getting a sense of the ‘why’.
- Disability. I’m pretty sure there are no wheelchair users in the main group photo. Right though the event there appeared to be this assumption that disability was folded into diversity (which is fine) – but then diversity sessions focused on gender, race and sexuality. There’s a space there that is worth exploring and I’d like disability NOT to fall though the cracks. It’s possible that this is a conversation that really needs to be had.