Lightning Talks at OTA16

It’s time once again to submit your idea for a 5 minute lightning talk for Over The Air. On Friday evening everyone will be gathering back together in the great hall for a series of Lightning Talks, put on by members of the community. Each speaker will have exactly 5 minutes in which to inform, inspire, enlighten and entertain us.

Why not give it a go? Your talk can be about ANY topic you want – are you passionate about a particular geeky subject or just know a lot about something very niche? Built a cool hack previously you’d like to show off? The tell us about it!

You can also check out what previous talks have been about for a bit of inspiration.

Thibaut LTAnd we’re not super strict about that 5 minute limit – although you should prepare and practice for a 5 minute talk, we know that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and over-run a bit, so we’ll give you up to 8 minutes for a bit of breathing space (after which a timer will go off and you will have to leave the stage). 

For those of you interested, we’re also providing space/time to practice your talk before the event, with a handful of experienced speakers to help give you feedback. Find out more on our Lightning Talks page.

 

In memory of Luke Razzell

OverTheAirLogo(blackbackground)We are very sad to have learned today of the passing away of our friend Luke Razzell, known to many of you as @weaverluke – a kind and creative man, always full of ideas, who designed the Over the Air logo for us.

Words fail us, so we’ll use his, that he used to describe his inspirations for the design, but fit him rather well: “Over the rainbow… a mandala… an angel… a radio mast…”

If you knew him too, and would like to make a donation in his memory, you can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/luke-razzell

Our flag is flying black and at half mast.

A big thank-you to Nexmo & Mozilla

As many of you know, we had originally scheduled OTA16 for this coming Friday and Saturday. These past few days the weather has been stunning, which would have made for a fabulous OTA16, in the spirit of our first year at Bletchley Park – which was gorgeous weather. But with thunder-showers forecast for all day tomorrow, I think we might have gotten lucky on this one!

As it turned out, events transpired against us, and we had to move the dates back to later in the year – namely, the 25th & 26th of November (space heater order for the Marquees- check!).

Upon biting the bullet to make this move, we promptly (finally!!) opened up registration, which is ticking along very nicely, and it’s already shaping up to be a great turnout.

But it’s not just you, our community of participants, who are moving with us to this new date. We also owe a HUGE thank-you to our first sponsors of OTA16 – Nexmo and Mozilla – for moving with us, and continuing to support us as we gear up for the event in November.

Phil Leggetter of Nexmo tells us:

We’re really looking forward to being involved in Over the Air 2016. OTA aligns with our ethos to work with existing communities, and our drive to innovate.

We believe that the strong mutual relationships we build by working with others enables us to help developer communities, and capture highly valuable feedback from innovators and builders. This gives the Developer Relations team at Nexmo the opportunity to ensure that our products – such as the recently released Voice API – offer a great developer experience and solve real problems.

We can’t wait for the 25th of November; the talks, the hacks and most importantly, the people. See you there.

GitHub is sponsoring Free Tickets to OTA16

OctocatWe’re thrilled to announce that GitHub is supporting the provision of Free Tickets to Over the Air 2016.

The lovely people at GitHub are keen to help us lower the barriers to attendance by ensuring that we can continue to offer free tickets to students, freelancers, job-seekers, and anyone else whose budget is tight. GitHub is all about supporting diversity in tech, and want to be part of encouraging people from historically underrepresented communities to attend!

GitHub is how people build software. Millions of individuals and organizations around the world use GitHub to discover, share, and contribute to software—from games and experiments to popular frameworks and leading applications. Together, we’re defining how software is built today.”

During the event, GitHub will be offering ALL PARTICIPANTS  a 1-month personal subscription to provide you with private repositories for the duration of the event. Keep an eye out for some great prizes as well – namely, a 1-year personal subscription with unlimited private repositories!

Find out more here: https://github.com/about

Follow the team at: @GitHub

NEW DATES!!! November 25th & 26th, 2016

Many of you who have been following us on @overtheair and #ota16 have been asking us about when registration would open this year, and indeed we’ve been hesitating to go live because we saw that this moment was coming… we need to move the dates for this year’s Over the Air to November.

It’s been a mighty ‘newsworthy’ few months with lots of changes going on in the industry, and we simply haven’t had enough sponsorship commitment at this point to put on a good event in 6 weeks time. But now that we’ve bitten the bullet, we’re raring to go again.

For starters: Registration is now Open!

Although tickets are free as always, for the first time we are inviting those who are able to make a donation towards the costs of the event. If you can make a contribution of any value, it will be greatly appreciated.

And while you’re at it, why don’t you also submit a proposal for a workshop? As sessions become finalised we’ll be posting them along with speaker details on Lanyrd.

We hope to see you in November.

 

 

 

On Diversity at OTA

As more and more companies become aware of the issues of diversity of representation within the technology industry, we occasionally get asked where we stand on this issue as Event organisers.

Well, we care about it very much, and make a concerted effort each year to reach out to communities of people who are typically under-represented at technology events, especially Hack Days. It’s one of the reasons that we have always worked hard to keep the event free to attend – we know that financial barriers also play a role in this.

We are quite proud of our consistent gender balance at our events, which has ranged from 30% to 50% female amongst both participants and speakers (check out the 2015 speakers list on Lanyrd). Exactly half of our Keynote speakers over the years have been female as well.

To ensure that our event remains a welcoming and positive place for all, we explicitly support the Hack Code of Conduct and the Diversity Charter.

But we are not resting on our laurels, and care about other areas of diversity as well. Technology events are rightly challenged on their record in welcoming and giving the stage to people of colour, people of different faiths, people with physical mobility challenges, and people in the LGBT community.

Help us spread the word!

When community groups form along these lines it is quite simple to reach out with an invitation – but we know that we could be doing better at spreading the message more widely. As we prepare to open up this year’s registration, please share your suggestions with us about how we can reach new people who might not otherwise know about Over the Air.

Recommend a Speaker

Know somebody who is involved in an innovative / inspiring line of work and a great speaker, who isn’t getting the stage time they deserve? Then encourage them to submit a workshop proposal or Lightning Talk proposal (while getting them on our radar as well) – or better yet, recommend them to us as a potential Keynote speaker.

Younger participants also welcome

It’s worth mentioning that we make the event accessible to younger people as well, not only inviting students and recent graduates to join us as participants, but also offering ‘Coding for Kids’ workshops on the Saturday morning. Last year for example, Coder Dojo London ran a highly successful BBC Micro:bit workshop for kids on Saturday, which was the first public event of it’s kind, and Microsoft ran a BBC Micro:bit training session for parents, ‘Coding for Kids’ volunteers, and enthusiasts the day before. (N.B. that children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult at the event)

Sponsoring Diversity

We are still looking for Sponsors for this year’s event – if your company is passionate about supporting diversity in tech, then OTA16 is a great opportunity to keep those financial barriers down and add your voice to the welcome call. Specific opportunities include sponsoring this year’s Coder Dojo workshop, sponsoring the Lightning Talks that feature a diverse range of speakers, and sponsoring the venue, which is fully wheelchair accessible. Get in touch with margaret at overtheair dot org to find out more.

Nexmo is Gold Sponsor of OTA16

We’re thrilled to announce that Nexmo is a Gold Sponsor of Over the Air 2016.

nexmo_colorNexmo, a Vonage Company, is a global cloud communications platform, providing innovative communication APIs and SDKs for messaging, voice, chat app and phone verification services.

The Nexmo APIs enable developers (you) to easily and security integrate communication features into applications, no matter where in the world the users of these apps are located. Companies including Snapchat, Uber, Telegram, KLM and Airbnb send millions of messages per month using Nexmo APIs.

Nexmo products include SMS API, mobile messaging, Voice API, short codes, Verify API & SDK, Number Insights API, mobile security, two-factor authentication, and Chat App API. Find out more at https://www.nexmo.com/

We’ve super-excited to be part of Over the Air 2016. The Developer Relations team is particularly looking forward to seeing what everybody will build on some new (yet to be announced) communications products we’ll have available for OTA16 hackers to try out. Since our London office is a short walk away from St. John’s in Hoxton, expect to see lots of people in Nexmo hoodies and t-shirts hacking and getting involved. Please say “hi”, we’re a friendly bunch! – Phil Leggetter, Head of Developer Relations at Nexmo.  Follow @Nexmo

The Nexmo APIs Challenge

This category celebrates the best use of Nexmo APIs. You can choose from Voice, SMS, Number Insight & Verify, or even use a combination! The entries will be judged on creativity, presentation, technical achievement and application of Nexmo.

Nexmo APIs

 

Nexmo Workshops

To find out more about the Nexmo tools, be sure to come to Sam Machin’s workshop on Friday at 12:30pm on “I never knew SMS could do that“, where he’ll give a short talk on some of the more ‘interesting’ features of SMS and how you can use them with the Nexmo API on modern smartphones. This will be an interactive session where users will send/receive messages on their phones so bring them along.
Sam will also be giving a workshop on “Building a Voice Application for Amazons Alexa using the Nexmo Voice API” on Friday at 3:30, where he’ll walk though building a simple voice application with the Nexmo API and then an Amazon Alexa Skill to link to the same application. We will be working in Python and using AWS Lambda.

Mozilla is Friday Night Dinner Sponsor

mozilla-wordmarkWe are pleased to announce that Mozilla is the sponsor of Friday Night Dinner at OTA16

Mozilla is a global, cialis nonprofit organization dedicated to making the Web better. We emphasize principle over profit and believe that the Web is a shared public resource to be cared for, advice not a commodity to be sold. We work with a worldwide community to create open source products like Mozilla Firefox, no rx Firefox Developer Edition, and to innovate for the benefit of the individual and the betterment of the Web. The result is great products built by passionate people and better choices for everyone.

Built for those who build the Web. The Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) is an evolving learning platform for Web technologies and the software that powers the Web, including:

 

We’re doing it again! And we need your help.

We’re busy planning another Over the Air event, to take place at St John’s Hoxton on the 16th and 17th of September. As some of you noticed, we recently celebrated our 8th anniversary so at this point Over the Air has firmly become a tradition and a fixture in the UK (and European) tech calendar. As always, though, we need your help to make this event happen. Our event is and always has been free to attend, and we think this is an important part of the event’s ethos. In order to keep it this way, we need sponsors – sponsors who are visionary enough to share our event’s goals: celebrating programming and hackery as a creative discipline, giving back to the tech community and providing a space where people can learn from their peers and build great stuff together. We’ve been lucky enough to have sponsorship over the years from companies you may have heard of such as BBC, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo. If you would like to join these visionary companies in supporting this unique developer event, please get in touch.