Culture

The Monki Gras Conference: What It Takes to Make the Magic Things

30 Jan 2018 12:49pm, by

The concepts of craft and how it applies to software development is quite relevant but at times contradictory. Technologists aspire to make great tools and services that reflect their attention and passion for making things but paradoxically we also face a culture with values based upon speed and the mass consumption of resources.

How craft relates to the way we work and how is it relevant in a culture that puts such a premium on speed and consumption is what we discuss in this episode of The New Stack Analysts podcast with RedMonk co-founder James Governor and Charity Majors, Honeycomb.io co-founder and CEO. It’s also a core theme for Monki Gras, the conference in London that Governor is hosting this week and where Majors is one of the speakers.

It’s this idea of sustainable craft that Governor is building as a core theme of Monki Gras. The conference will put an emphasis on “topics such as apprenticeship, community management, writing sustainable documentation, software archaeology, sustainable open source, hop farming, and typefaces.”

But what does that mean? For Majors, it means how to create sustainable teams. That process is defined by values, which at Honeycomb is first and foremost about hiring adults.

Building something simple is an order magnitude harder, Majors said. But it’s far easier to do when the emphasis is on sustaining craft more than using up resources and people.

There are services and systems that are magical and can be almost unbelievable, Governor said. It literally seems magical due to the artistry — it is put into the actual work.

The Monkigras conference starts Thursday at The Yard in the Shoreditch area of London. Tickets are still available. Here’s the agenda.

In This Edition:

0:28: Monki Gras themes for 2018
6:35: Sustaining craft in the culture of Silicon Valley
13:59: Comparing the culture of breweries and technology startups
15:03: Majors’ examples of beautiful technology and software
24:14: The concept of beauty and scale and how it relates to software organizations and open source
26:14: What Monki Gras is aspiring to in 2018.


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