11 Aug 2023

I went back to MacADUK

I’ll always have a soft spot for Macaduk - partly because they’ve been bringing all the big hitters in the Mac conference scene to London (and now Brighton) since… 2016, but also because in 2018 they let me speak for the very first time at a conference. But I’ve not been brave enough/haven’t had a compelling topic to talk about since presenting at MacDevOps in Vancouver back in 2019.

Not to mention that pandemic thing that made going anywhere or doing anything a bit of a challenge for a while. (see also parenting a small child…)

For this year’s session, I’m indebted to my colleague Sara Michelazzo. She had put together a conference presentation about shifting your mindset on diversity and inclusion, and had also worked with an internal Thoughtworks team to build a whole library of interviews, presentations and resources to help folks learn more about this topic, that are available as a learning program in our internal training environment.

She had also said:

take this deck and present it at a conference or meetup.

I was working with her on something else, and asked if she was serious. She was - and not only did she share a deck and resources, but she also helped support me in writing a conference proposal too. Thanks Sara!

And excitingly, it was chosen and accepted. I was going back to Brighton.

But the thing is… in the same way there’s a joke saying they hired Stanley Kubrick to fake the moon landings… but he’s such a perfectionist they had to fly there to get the shots he wanted…

…I wanted my talk to be authentic - to have my voice… and also, I needed to do my research too, as I needed to be able to answer questions and just generally have a feel for what I was talking about. So I edited, tweaked and remixed, rewrote and generally tinkered with the source material until I was happy with it.

And it wasn’t just me…

My goodness, the feedback I received from other conference attendees was just amazing. Someone turned to me at the bar at the conference social and said:

I’d never really considered any of that accessibility stuff, thanks so much for presenting it. I’m going to take this back and share it with my team.

Which is exactly what Sara wanted. The other thing that was nice is that for the folks who wanted to share the things they’d learned with their teams - I was able to share Sara’s version of the presentation immediately, rather than having to wait for the MacADUK version to go live.

Although thanks to the team at MacADUK for making such a nice job of capturing the speaker talks.

It was also really fantastic to be at an IRL conference again. This was the first time the London Apple Admins cat herders were all together in the same place for a very long time, and it’s another reminder of how great the global Mac Admin community is. And I feel lucky to be a part of it…

Published on 11 Aug 2023 Find me on Twitter and Mastodon.