On 11th November, I was delighted to return to ffconf after a few years of hiatus. After first heading down to the conference in 2019, I was excited to return to see some familiar faces. Remy and Julie always do a fantastic job, whether it’s the speaker selection, the hospitality, or the little details that show they pour their heart and soul into the event. After all, they’ve been doing it since 2009, so they have to be doing something right.
I cover the trip’s details in an episode of Off Script with James, so head over there to listen to how things went. This conference, along with Beyond Tellerrand, left me full of ideas. The programming for ffconf nicely ebbed and flowed between creative expression and our responsibility as creators to think about the bigger picture (Green Engineering and building for all abilities were big topics).
Once again, I was reminded why these events are my favourite. Run for the community by members of those communities. To see a packed-out cinema with like-minded people was great. The social events planned for before and after the conference were well organised and allowed me to meet people I’d known online for a while but never got the chance to meet in person. I also took part in the pre-conference run with Matt and Chetan, a personal highlight as it took us down onto the seafront for some fresh air before the talks kicked off. All the talks were excellent, but one that resonated with me the most was Sareh Heidari’s, titled “Digital exclusion in healthcare & how to change it”. I always try to be mindful of building products that are accessible and inclusive, but this opened my eyes to different dimensions of this. Issues like people not having a physical address to use when filling out forms to how you can simplify language to help people achieve what they came to do all made me think about these problems deeper.
The tickets for next year haven’t been announced yet, but keep your eyes peeled for when they do. This conference needs to be on your hit list if you haven’t been. I also think they’ll be publishing the videos from this year’s talks shortly, so do give them a watch.