CodePen - What You thought

Written by Beth Clark: C4DI Community Correspondent

What do you get when you take a load of info hungry developers, put them in a room with pizza and beer, provide them with awesome talks and give them a platform from which to share their own cool projects? CodePen, obviously.

With standing-room only, it appears that this month’s CodePen has been popular with members and non-members alike. It’s safe to say the atmosphere was buzzing with people looking forward to the talks. Speakers John Polling, Rory Roberts and Danny Kay were all extremely well received, with each talk respectively inciting plenty discussion and sparking a storm of interest.

John Polling, from Sauce talked about Google’s BigQuery and its possible uses, he was keen to share Sauce’s experience with BigQuery so that other developers could learn from their understanding:

 “Our industry is constantly changing and it’s impossible for developers to keep up to date with everything.  To keep on top of this developers need to come together and talk about their experiences in new things.”

And CodePen is clearly providing the space for developers to do just that. It lacks the stiff sit-and-listen culture of a typical conference or meet-up, so discussion and chatter continues between and after talks, over the pizza and beer. It’s a place where developers can hear other peoples’ perspectives from different technologies and it can act as a stepping stone for those who want to speak at other platforms or conferences, but want to test the water first.

CodePen also has plenty of worth for those who are not developers by trade, but are interested in the subject, “The community is welcoming and eager to discuss things, they’re more than happy to answer questions.” Says James Dewes, from Summit.

Daniel Kay talked about his side project “The Hull Ale directory” and talked through the React code, which was a personal highlight for James, as it provided his first look at React. Rory Roberts followed this up with a talk about new meet up, Hull Devs which, if CodePen is anything to go by, is sure to be popular. (if you want to sign up to that one, go to our events page).

The guy responsible for bringing everything together, Mark Bucknall, was initially nervous that people wouldn’t get the informal, chip-in and share type format of CodePen, but was happy to see the concept was taken up by everyone who attended, “People were getting involved with the speakers and some great discussion happened.”

For the next CodePen, Mark is looking for a good mix of C4DI members and non-members talking about a variety of projects. If you think you’d like to speak, get in touch with him. The aim of CodePen is that anyone feels like they can contribute, regardless of level of experience, whether it’s for feedback on a demo you’ve been working on, a 30 second talk or a 30-minute exploration into your most recent project.

So well done to all involved, I’m sure you’ll all be back for the next one and after all the positive feedback from CodePens past, I’m sure you’ll be joined by many more. Just excuse us a minute while we go and find a bigger room to host it in…