#FFCONF, regarded as a single-track conference repeated twice, was one of the first large-scale conferences I had ever attended. It was back in 2016: I was in the midst of the first semester of my Final Year and collating research for my dissertation. I was famish for new ways to develop new techniques, hone my existing knowledge and do everything in between when I found out about a wholesome conference related to front-end development hosted in the beautiful sunny South Coast. The lineup was ticking all the boxes and I snagged my student ticket in a heartbeat. It was the best decision I had ever made.
I walked away from the conference with so many lessons learnt. Takeaways other than the food variety and that I could easily apply to my academic work and, soon after graduating, my career.
One year later, from the generosity of Remy and Julie, the creators of the conference, I was awarded a diversity scholarship to attend 2017’s edition. I found myself to be more confident and approach my fellow professionals in the industry. I learnt how to be a better Software Developer in ways that go beyond coding; to carry oneself in such a way that we can one day pay it forward and help others to build themselves. Watching multiple experts in the technology scene give their astute advice on stage on how we, as individuals, can use our impact to collectively improve society and make technology more accessible to the wider world resonated with the audience.
#FFCONF has two meanings:
- Forever Friends, because it breaks boundaries and shows we are all one in the same. It gives you the chance to actually connect with others you would throw a funny emoji, GIF or both via Twitter, as well as bond over interests with like-minded individuals from the other side of the country (and sometimes the other side of the Atlantic pond!)
As parting words, I wish to give my thanks to Remy and Julie for all the opportunities they have given to the new generation of technologists and many more generations to follow. It is always one of the events I eagerly look forward to as the page of my calendar turns over from one month to another. I urge those who qualify for the diversity scholarship to give themselves a chance and apply. If you come from an under-represented group in tech, whether you are person of colour (PoC), woman, etc., you have until the second Monday of September (the end of tonight) to apply. Details can be found here: https://2018.ffconf.org/scholarships/ Remember: the attributes listed above are not exhaustive and you may still be able to qualify! It all starts with giving yourself a chance.
For those who have available resources, you can still pay it forward and pledge towards the diversity scholarship or gift a ticket to an eligible scholar. Details can be found here: https://www.tickettailor.com/buy-tickets/177188/7469/modal/