I love tech conferences. The knowledge to be gained from attending talks, the schwag you receive from technology vendors trying to push their latest and greatest product, the incredible networking with other professionals in the tech space, and, most importantly, the exposure to the newest and latest trends in tech makes attending technology conferences well worth my while. I’ve attended conferences about Linux, FOSS, Nagios, Information Security, virtualization and quite a few others during my career in the technology field.
What I don’t love about most tech conferences is the lack of minority representation on both the attendee and speaker side. It still alarms me that I have “virtually” met tons of people of color that work in the tech field but still fail to see these numbers translate into tech conference attendance/speakers.
I think this post deserves a bit more of a set up so maybe you’ll begin to understand it more. I began attending technology conferences early in my career. Ohio Linux Fest was my first one. I went because that’s where the “geeks” were going to be and I wanted to soak up as much knowledge as possible. The experience of being around other Linux geeks was amazing. The camaraderie, the networking, the knowledge-sharing was something that really stuck with me. The absence of people of color at these conferences all stuck with me and was my main reason for starting BIT.
Read more from Greg Greenlee at blacksintechnology.net