From the stage of Gophercon India and Gophercon Dubai

Not often do I get a chance to be the Master of Ceremonies for an event. Compèring for 2 events was a dream – in all honesty, a tiring but satisfying dream come true. Gophercon India and Dubai have now become sister events with a lot of common speakers.

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The second edition of Gophercon India was held in the Taj Vivanta, Bangalore on 19th and 20th of Feb, 2016. This time we saw a record 350 people attending on both days. Gophercon Dubai, held on 23rd Feb, was the first edition and saw about 110 people attending.

The speaker lineup was fascinating – with a mix of talks, ranging from concepts, code, libraries and also soft talks on best practices and building the community.

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To compère an event, we need to keep the audience engaged and what better way than to introduce speakers with a touch of humour. This also got me a chance to interact with each speaker and get to know them personally. It was fascinating to get to know about speakers history, their open-source contributions and also about their hobbies, interests and then zero in their best or craziest moments in life – their “claim to fame” 🙂

I had to prepare my introduction for each speaker before they got on stage. Some speakers have a lot to tell and some have very little or nothing at all. Digging up funny facts and keeping the audience guessing all the time was a daunting task but a lot of fun. In fact, once the modus operandi was clear, it was a tad funny that after profiling the first few speakers, I heard something like “Hey, the thing you can tell people about me … ” and I hadn’t even started ask them how to correctly pronounce their name.

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Nothing better to get proceeding started than the commotion of attendees introducing themselves to each other. It helps everyone stay alert and listen. Gophercon India had a mix of professionals and students and there was only a small percentage in the crowd that were complete beginners in Go. GopherCon Dubai was different story and there was a small percentage of people who regularly used Go, the others were there to cultivate their interest in Go and learn more about the language.

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Since we had quite a few speakers contributing as part of the Go Core team, there were a few talks that had everyone’s rapt attention. Other talks were a good mix of tools, best practices, Go Mobile, Complexity and Scaling large systems.

I’m not going through details of the talks because the videos will be published soon but I could recount some facts about some speakers (without disclosing their names, ahem..)

Here are things in no particular order that can inspire you to do all the crazy things in life and also be and amazing Gopher!

  • Get Deported from England (my all time favourite – I doubt if anyone can beat that).
  • Get married twice to the same woman.
  • Buy Paul McCartney a drink.
  • Grow a beard to match your twitter profile!
  • Ride and elephant to your wedding!
  • Roast marsh-mellows in a volcano.
  • Stay along in a 320 acre farmland
  • Live in 17 cities in 17 years.
  • Work in a Sound Studio.
  • Grow chickens on a farm
  • Be a part of successful shut-downs!
  • Have a dog that weighs as much as you.
  • Be a National Ranked wrestler!
  • Get stuck in a air-raid in Zegreb
  • Get surrounded by wolves in your car.

If you are speaker at conferences and have some crazy facts that want me to add to that list, send me a tweet on @gautamrege

So long and thanks for all the fish!

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About Gautam Rege

Rubyist, Entrepreneur and co-founder of Josh-Software - one of the leading Ruby development shops in India.
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