GambiConf — Why do we need a new tech event?

GambiConf is the event I’ve always desired to happen, and it fits a specific unmet demand in tech conferences.

Tech events like Code BEAM, BrazilJS, Strange Loop Conference, and GOTO Conference are great, but they usually end up fitting into two categories:

  • it’s a conference focused on an environment (e.g., Code BEAM is about languages that run on BEAM, BrazilJS about JS and web in general)
  • it’s a conference focused on forefront technologies and research, normally useful for industry (e.g., Strange Loop Conference and GOTO Conference)

It’s all good. If you’re looking for cutting-edge technology check out the GOTO Conference playlist. If you’re curious about the latest internet developments, then you’ll enjoy the BrazilJS playlist.

But it’s missing a vital thing: we are people. We like to do 4fun projects. We like to develop pet projects exploring random things just for the sake of curiosity. We also want to share our achievements. But unfortunately, it’s harder to find a place to share them.

Pet projects usually aren’t focused on being used in the industry, thus serious events focused on the industry likely won’t accept them.
Another feature that makes it harder to talk about random subjects is the technology requirement. Let’s say that I want to talk about how to build a computer using water — but since it isn’t related to any programming language or environment, events focused on these features often won’t accept it.
Sometimes you can try to comply: suppose you got to run DOOM in a PDF file. It’s fun, and you want to share it. Then you notice that the PyCon conference is coming up. Since you used a Python script to achieve it, you can try to apply it to PyCon… but since the proposal is outside the audience’s normal expectations, there may not be much interest.

GambiConf is the solution! This is an event for mind-blowing personal projects and random computer subjects that are fun. We focus more on the purpose of the presented projects, the unique nature of the sessions, and what one can learn from a random, very unusual idea.

If someone needs to quench their thirst for curiosity, they can rely on GambiConf. It’s also the place to be inspired for their next personal project.

These kinds of unusual talks are helpful to learn a new topic. For example, a talk about running DOOM in a PDF file can cover how the PDF format works, its specs, other related formats, etc. A talk about making a computer using water can cover what is computation itself, explain the Antikythera mechanism, and so on.

Of course, there are events with a purpose similar to GambiConf. As far as I know, the closest is !!Con. It’s a place to find fun talks and crazy personal projects that surprise you. But its talks are limited to 10 minutes. It’s good for getting some highlights, but someone can learn a lot more from a random topic that takes time for the speaker to explain in more detail. That’s why in GambiConf, the speaker has the freedom to decide on the length of their talk. As a result, GambiConf not only fits short talks like !!Con does, but also talks that explore a broader subject.
I would also like to also mention SIGBOVIK, which is like when someone took the joke too seriously. They publish a “paper” with all the crazy ideas and have a fun “academic congress”. The diverse subjects presented at this event have a close spirit that I want to bring to GambiConf.
You can check the !!Con YouTube channel and the annals of the previous SIGBOVIK editions.

I love both events. They inspired me a lot to make GambiConf.
In the end, GambiConf is a mix of these events, my desire to have more events unrelated to the industry, focused on 4fun talks, and flexible time slots for speakers to cover the subject as far as they want.

In the first edition of GambiConf, we achieved this goal, and we had a couple of fun talks covering many subjects with an excellent technical level. I would like to highlight some of them (all in Portuguese):

The first GambiConf edition was in Portuguese since it was focused on a Brazilian audience (that’s also why the mascot is a golden lion tamarin). Since it had fantastic feedback, I decided to expand it to Europe, now in English. GambiConf is a good way to encourage the culture of making 4fun projects with computers, learning random subjects, and sharing them. As far as I know, there is currently no event like this in Europe, since both !!Con and SIGBOVIK are USA-based.

If GambiConf sounds fun to you, you are invited to apply to the CFP and be present to watch the talks. Let’s make computing more fun!

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Bruno Macabeus

Bruno Macabeus

https://twitter.com/bmacabeus

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