ODI-Cardiff Jelly #1: how did it go?

jelly line-up by Paul Partington used under CC BY-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/6H5uLp

At ODI-Cardiff one of the things we have focused on for the past year or so is trying to understand and nurture the open data ecosystem in Wales.

Which sounds a bit… well… you know…

What we really mean is: there are loads of clever, talented folk working in and with data across Wales. But they often don’t know each other. There is no simple reason why they aren’t more joined up (discussing the various reasons is a favoured topic when datageeks get a couple of beers inside them).

There are plenty of meetups happening, often in very niche areas (no criticism there: we all love our niches. We’re interested in encouraging links between the niches. So far our approach has been largely:

  • try and talk to people a lot and find out who’s interested in what, where
  • encourage data folk to have a place they can talk to each other: currently that’s a Slack team (other places are available)

In August we started an experiment with a new thing: Jelly.

Jelly is the, odd, name for casual co-working (people all go and work in the same place for the day). It’s not networking. It’s more organic and less pressured. It’s usually fun. I used to run Jelly events aimed at freelancers in Shrewsbury. They have the advantage (for the organiser) of being pretty simple to organise.

Thanks to the excellent folk at IndyCube we were able to offer a Jelly event for free. Around 15 people attended (it’s a bit fluid). Most people said it was worth it.

We’re holding another one in September: book now!

We’ll be doing a few things differently

  • we’re going to have timetabled coffee breaks and lunchtime (11:00, 12:30 and 14:30 since you ask) this is because people are doing actual work so may not want to chat all the time. But if we never chat then what was the point of all getting together
  • we’ll try to be much clearer about the location (It’s IndyCube Trade Street, which is strictly in Trade Street Lane). One very dedicated datageek spent, well, quite a long time wandering the streets of Cardiff
  • we’ll organise a big sign-in sheet so people can introduce themselves a bit

All other suggestions would be most gratefully recieved.