Rust2018 - A year of talks

Background: This my blog post for the Rust team's request for community blog posts.

Before I address my hopes for Rust in 2018, I thought I'd look back at a year of meet ups that we've organised for London's Rust user group.

meet_ups.len() // The Numbers Don't Lie

We had 7 talks with an average RSVP of 56 people per meet up. There were 6 "Hack and Learn" events (where we work on Rust together) with an average RSVP of 30 people per meet up. Finally we hosted our year end "Show and Tell" (lightning talks, where no demo is too small) with 22 RSVPs.

That's 14 events, which given that we ran out of speakers (more on this later) was an amazing achievement!

Furthermore I feel we gave our user group a choice to either listen to talks about Rust, or what I'm sure is preferable to most, to hack on Rust!

I'm particularly fond of the "Show and Tell" because it's a relaxed format that allows people to try things out. We've had a few people go on to do main talks, so I feel it's a confidence booster.

str::replace("These are a few of my Favourite Things", "hing", "alk")

I've loved all the talks that I've heard this year, but here are a few that stood out.

Lessons learnt

I need to improve my time keeping; we've been close to being kicked out of the venue because we've run so late. So to address this I plan to nominate someone as time keeper.

Our remote speaking set-up isn't ideal. I'd love to use Mozilla's Vidyo, but licenses don't extend to meet ups. Also Google hangout's UI is so counter-intuitive (don't @ me) that frequently new users end up not screen switching and you spend the first 5 minutes with a very personal face to face chat.

I'm going to try Zoom, but if you have something you swear by that ideally allows 2 way video and screen sharing, drop me a note!

On the subject of remote speakers, if you're lucky enough to have excellent A/V team who provide 2 way audio this is almost as good as having your speaker there with you. If we hadn't made use of remote speakers, I'm certain we'd have fewer meet ups in 2017. Turns out even the capital only has a finite number of people who can and want to talk about Rust!

So what's in store for the talks meetup in 2018?

My overarching goal is to encourage female and non-binary attendees to come to our meetups. Currently the percentage is under 3%. It would be great to get to 51%, to prove that the Rust community is as welcoming and supportive as we'd like to be.

I'm going to be relying on the kindest of friends to help me achieve this, and I'll follow this post up with an outline of the actual plan.

My stretch goals are:


Before I end this blog, I'd like to thank the following group of people without whose help these meet ups wouldn't happen.

You're still reading?

Then why not enjoy our recorded talks from 2017!

Comments or feedback?

Here's the URLO thread to do this.