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To the most inspiring people - the Carpentries community!

June 11, 2018

First and foremost – I can’t believe the inaugural CarpentryCon is over! After so many months of planning, it feels surreal that those three amazing days are behind us. I lost count of the number of times I felt downright emotional with happiness and love and belonging and happiness and love (and have I mentioned happiness?).

One of my favourite outcomes of this event is that every single CarpentryCon attendee benefited from the conference in different ways. It has been incredible to hear from so many people what their favourite sessions were, or, even better, how they felt they were able to grow from the experience. Personally, my confidence in speaking to (and in front of!) people and in my ability to manage tasks has increased ten-fold over the last week. I also feel like I’ve been exposed to the most wonderful display of inclusivity, accessibility, and diversity, and I’m determined to carry what I’ve learned about being an ally into my life and work in Canada.

Frankly, a big portion of the conference was an absolute blur. I learned that my strongest role in this venture was not in handling (or even totally understanding) the financial side of things, or organizing catering, or booking rooms, or making important decisions. Instead, I found myself eager to deal with the day-to-day logistics and seemingly minute details that ideally help things run smoothly. I get fixated on the details, and CarpentryCon was no exception. I worried about things like “Which sessions will need rooms with plugs?”, and “Is the correct time zone being used for pre-scheduled tweets?”, and forgot entirely about things like “Which rooms have been booked?”, and “Where is the conference dinner being hosted?”… As such, I hugely appreciate being part of an amazing team who were able to see the forest rather than just the trees (or, in my case, the moss growing on the branches of the trees). Admittedly, this was my first “real” experience with conference organization, and there were a LOT of details that I (or any of us!) hadn’t considered until they suddenly needed to be addressed. As a result, you may have seen me running up and down the stairs in a flurry; if I rushed past you in a sweaty mess muttering about losing my program again – sorry!

On that note, THANK YOU to the amazing volunteers, task force members, Carpentries staff and conference attendees who stepped up to take on last minute tasks like re-printing and re-posting all our signage (we joke that the original “CapentryCon2018” signs will become memorabilia someday), setting up Etherpads, stuffing bags, taking notes at sessions, guarding luggage, and the million and one other seemingly small but incredibly important tasks that made this conference such a success. I also want to personally say a big THANK YOU to all of you who flooded Twitter with your insights, observations, and live tweets from the various sessions! Having the community actively contribute to our social media presence not only helped to share the conference with the world but also took a huge amount of work off my hands. Francois has written an awesome report about how Twitter and our #CarpentryCon2018 hashtag was used!

I’m so excited to start reviewing feedback from the conference and working through the offboarding process; I’m confident that I can speak for the entire task force when I say that we learned A LOT and look forward to passing that knowledge on to the Carpentries community and beyond.

Because I simply can’t say it enough: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

Much love,
Danielle Q