What is HappinessConf and Why is it Important?

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What is HappinessConf?

HappinessConf is a two day, single track conference, to help promote developer happiness. That’s the single line pitch for the conference, but there’s more to it than that.

To fully understand why I, along with Scott Feinberg, am organizing a conference such as this we have to jump back to the Summer of 2014.

The History Part

Over the last few years I’ve been flying around the world speaking at many different conferences, all with their on style and slant on what a conference should be. I learned a lot during that those trips, but one thing in particular really stuck out

Conferences can get very repetitive. The same topics, the same speakers, etc… One can only take hearing the same talk so many times before you want to rage flip the coffee stand in the hallway.

In May of 2014 I spoke at Devs Love Bacon in London, England. What a great conference! It was almost all «soft» talks! But they weren’t just any ordinary set of soft talks, they were about things that developers love! I watched one talk that was about the differences in different types of Whiskey, including a tasting session! I watched another talk about power lifting! What?? It was great. Bacon really stuck with me as one of the most interesting conferences I have ever attended.

Fast-forward a few months and it was announced that the Wicked Good Ruby conference, meant to be held in my home town of Boston, was going to be canceled. There would be no conferences in Boston in 2014. I was disappointed by this, but understood completely why the organizers canceled it.

Shortly after the cancellation of Wicked Good, I was having a drink with Scott Feinberg (here’s his take on HappinessConf) who suggested we organize a conference in Boston to replace Wicked Good. I flat out refused. I told him that I think there are too many Ruby conferences already, and that if the organizers of Wicked Good couldn’t make it work, we couldn’t either.

I then told Scott that the only type of conference I would help organize would be one similar to Devs Love Bacon. HappinessConf was born.

So Exactly What Does «HappinessConf» Mean?

Scott and I want to organize a conference where developers, regardless of their programming language of choice, level of experience, etc… could come together and help improve each other’s happiness.

We want talks that cover tools, languages, practices, fun side projects, weird hacks, office setups, anything that makes you, as a developer, happy, and that can help make another developer happy.

We picked a cool venue, the Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA. We’re getting cool sponsors (if you’re interested in sponsoring, please let us know). We’re going to show an old movie, have free beer, and a bunch of other fun surprises.

It’s going to be the place to be for 2 days, we’ll make sure of that.

Why is it Important?

You only get one life and it should be the best one you can make it. You should be happy. It’s that simple. Your job shouldn’t be torture. It should be something that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning. Something you have to pry yourself away from at the end of the day.

As developers we should help each other achieve those goals. To do that we just need to talk and share.

Together we can make all of our lives better.

The CFP is open until March 1st, so hurry up and get your talk submitted. Help make your fellow developers happier!

CFP - https://www.papercall.io/happiness-conf

Early bird tickets are now on sale, but they’re selling fast, so I would recommend getting them quick.

Tickets - http://tickets.happinessconf.com

I hope to see you all at the Somerville Theater in April, it’s just going to be so much damn fun!