Why Manchester Deserves This @ MCR DevCon 2023

Why Manchester Deserves This @ MCR DevCon 2023

Manchester's first developer conference...MCR DevCon 2023. I was instantly enveloped in a sense of community and excitement that is so unique to this city. It felt like walking into a room full of old friends, a sea of familiar faces, all brimming with anticipation. After checking in, I had my lanyard draped around my neck, making me an official attendee of one of the most important northern tech events of the year.

With my badge on display, I dove right into the buzzing hum of conversation that filled the registration area. Each conversation, a snapshot of the thrilling day that awaited us. These initial moments were more than just simple networking – they were a celebration of shared passion and interest and a testament to the spirit of the tech community.

Just as the air was reaching peak electric charge, we were ushered into the event hall. This was the moment we'd all been waiting for! 🤩

Leigh Rathbone, our Master of Ceremonies, stood at the podium with a wide smile and warm welcoming words. He was, as ever, in his element, tossing out a few jokes that instantly put the crowd at ease. He gave a nod to the founding partners and organizers who made the event possible, and their commitment to creating an event that was as inclusive as it was informative.

But Leigh wasn't just there to lighten the mood. He made it clear that MCR DevCon was meant to be more than just an event – it was a safe space for everyone. A place where everyone was respected and heard, a place where any issues could be directly addressed to the staff. He didn't just introduce the event, he set the tone for it, one of respect, safety, and inclusivity.

The fun and intriguing part of the introduction was when he brought up the '99 second lightning talks'. A challenge was thrown at us for the second day of the event. It was not only a call to participate but also a nod to the unique and exciting opportunities that MCR DevCon was about to unfold.

And with that, Leigh passed the baton to our first speaker, Amy Newton, marking the official start of an exciting day full of knowledge, discovery, and innovation.

Why Manchester Deserves This

Amy Newton, the first to grace the stage, captured the crowd with a talk titled "Why Manchester Deserves This". It was a tribute, a challenge, and a call to action all rolled into one powerful presentation.

Amy began by taking us back to the genesis of MCR DevCon, a mere idea scribbled on a notepad. She shared the challenges of transforming that simple note into the vibrant conference we were all now part of, all achieved in an impressively tight span of just three months. It was an awe-inspiring account of dreaming big and working hard and a testament to the passionate spirits behind MCR DevCon.

From there, she went on to discuss the burgeoning meetup scene in Manchester. The city has seen an upsurge in community gatherings, creating spaces for like-minded people to come together, learn, share, and innovate. She painted a picture of a city on the rise, a city coming together in exciting and meaningful ways.

Amy emphasised that MCR DevCon is a community effort, a place for unity and shared knowledge, a beacon calling to those in the tech world. But she also posed a challenge - Manchester needs to carve out its unique space in the tech scene. It needs to offer something different, something innovative, to truly compete with tech hubs like London. MCR DevCon was a step in that direction, but it was up to all of us to continue that journey.

To further humanise her narrative, Amy shared her personal "origin story". She recounted her humble beginnings as a young girl in a single-parent household, a story not uncommon for many of us. It was an inspirational narrative, highlighting the inherent strength and resilience that can come from challenging circumstances.

In a poignant moment, she challenged hiring managers to re-evaluate their criteria for good communication skills and diplomacy. She championed the untapped potential of individuals from challenging backgrounds, where deft negotiation and effective communication are often survival skills. Yet, she lamented, these individuals are often overlooked.

With her compelling talk, Amy managed to embody the spirit of MCR DevCon - it was about inclusion, about recognising potential in unexpected places, about challenging the norm and pushing for better.

After a round of applause for Amy, the baton was passed back to our affable Master of Ceremonies, Leigh Rathbone. He then set the stage for the introduction of our first keynote speaker, Anjuan Simmons, promising a continuation of the stimulating discourse we had just experienced.

Other talks will be available as separate posts (as and when I get to them 😅)