In one of those strange examples of synchronicity, I managed to attend two different geek meetups in London on the same night; one was planned (XTC), and the other was a pleasant surprise (London 2.0).
The initial meet-up I went to was the Extreme Tuesday Club (XTC), which is held in the Old Bank of England pub every Tuesday night. I had promised Jeffrey Fredrick that I would plug the Continuous Integration and Testing Conference at XTC.
After chatting to a number of people, I met Patrick Kua (a ThoughtWorker and fellow Australian), who just happened to mention that he was only dropping into XTC for a short time, as he was heading over the London 2.0 meet-up for a demonstration of Selenium. My ears pricked up at this one, and I followed Patrick all the way to the other side of the pub to check out the demo. Hmmmm… in hindsight, it might not have been synchronicity, but rather clever planning by Sam Newman, who organises the London 2.0 meetups. I even managed to plug CITCON again there.
Some other random things that happened during the night…
- I met a Python developer (Christian, I think) in rather awkward circumstances: he had interviewed me for a contract a few days earlier. We got on well at the time, and I must have made the right impression, because they ended up offering me the contract. The awkward part came because I was stalling on giving them an answer, while I’m still waiting on a response for an interview from another company. We had a good laugh.
- I learned a lot about a really clever technique for testing web applications across multiple browsers and platforms using Selenium and Parallels on a Macintosh. Jason Huggins had come over to London for the Google Conference on Test Automation. In preparation for the talk, he was showing all and sundry the nifty wizardry that he would be demonstrating at the conference.
- I found out that APL is still in use (which I was vaguely aware of), and making an impact within agile circles (which was a surprise!) I spoke to Stephen Taylor, who presented a talk at the subject during XP2006.
- I learned that if you meet a woman who calls herself “Dot”, you definitely should not ask her “dot as in dot com?”. Getting that same comment eight times in one night was starting to grate on her a bit.
- I found that there is a disturbing number of Australians loitering around London
- I had fun, and met a heap of interesting people (using the geek definition of “interesting”, that is).