I love developer conferences. They’re a great way to learn new things and to connect with various people in the dev community I might not normally meet. There are also some great conferences in Australia and New Zealand for developers – the DDD conferences in Melbourne and Brisbane, the wonderful CodeMania conference in Kiwi-land and the Yow! conferences that happen along Australia’s east coast each year.

Unfortunately for me, I struggle to find the time to attend these conferences. They often clash with work or family commitments, and most are outside my home city adding extra costs to attend and increasing the time away from my family. I presume this would be the case for a lot of other people as well, especially those in country areas or cities where there are no conferences at all.

I could whinge about it or I could do something about it. I decided for option 2 (after doing a little option 1)

Announcing the ANZ Coders virtual conference!

As the tag line says, this is the developer conference you can attend in your pyjamas!

As I said earlier, the interactions I have with the speakers and other attendees are a vital part of any in-person conference and with ANZ Coders I wanted to make sure that an equivalent level of interaction could be possible during the conference. To this end we’ll be using crowdcast.io to host the conference. Each session will have an open chat room (much like Twitch.tv has for game streaming) and people will be able to interact directly with the presenter, live, while the session is on air! We’ll also have Q&A and polling features for other interaction options.
This won’t just be a bunch of one-directional screencasts you can fall asleep in.

Additionally I wanted to make this as accessible and inclusive for developers as possible, so we’ll be running the conference for two hours a night for a whole week, starting May 25th. That way, if you’ve got something happening one night, you can still make it to the other nights and be a part of it. At only two hours a night we don’t wipe out your entire evening with the family either.

So, what happens now? Currently we’re asking for speakers to submit 30-minute session proposals. After that, we’ll put all the proposals up for an open vote by the community and ask the highest voted topics to present. Too easy, right?

Head on over to the conference site for more information and don’t forget to mark the week of the 25th in your calendars. I hope you can join us!