Norfolk Developers Workshop Sells Out in 48 Hours

Following the success of the Neo4j half day workshop last December, the sell out Node.js half day workshop last week and some significant local interest, Norfolk Developers quickly put together a full day workshop on the JavaScript MVC web framework from Google, Angular JS. It’s scheduled for Thursday 10th April.

All thirty places sold out in less than forty eight hours.

The Norfolk Developers half day workshops were born following a regular Norfolk Developers evening event last September. Ian Robinson from Neo4j made his second appearance speaking in Norwich (his first being last year’s SyncConf. Ian has also spoken since, at this years NorDevCon in February) and engaged with the audience so fully that he was not able to present all of his material. Of course there were discussions about bringing Ian back for another evening session, but even a full 90 minutes probably wouldn’t have been sufficient. So it was decided to run a half day workshop, sponsored by Naked Element in December instead. Although not sold out, the workshop was extremely well received and Norfolk Developers took a poll to see how often people would like a workshop. The consensus was once a quarter.

By the time the sold out Node.js workshop, given by Richard Astbury, had come and gone, people were asking for more. So Norfolk Developers decided to take a risk and quickly organised an Angular JS workshop off the back of some local interest in the framework. They persuaded Tim Ruffles, an Angular JS expert from London, to come and give a full day workshop on Thursday 10th April.

To cover the full day, the workshop would incur a little more cost than usual, which resulted in a doubling of the price of the workshop (from £15 to £30), which was finalised less than a month before it was taking place. This resulted in more than a little apprehension from the Norfolk Developers team as it would need to sell out or someone else would have to pick up the bill and people usually need quite a bit of time to arrange holiday or persuade managers that a workshop is a good use of their time. The team also suspected that the popularity and success of the Node.js workshop was down to Richard Astbury’s well received performance at NorDevCon a couple of weeks before. There was no such opportunity to promote the Angular JS workshop.

Fortunately the apprehension was misplaced as every place on the workshop was sold out within forty eight hours of the event being announced. This time the workshop didn’t just generate interest from existing Norfolk Developers members. Many more people joined the group for the first time to attend the workshop.

So where next? Obviously Norfolk Developers are looking forward to the workshop going well in a couple of weeks time and Norfolk Tech Journal will be publishing a full review. The next half day workshop, on JavaScript and given by Anders Fisher, is in the regular quarterly slot in June. The real question is can Norwich support more than the odd extra workshop in the usual quarterly cycle? Some people have asked for a half day workshop every month. A few weeks ago I would have said no. It’s too risky and that would make it too expensive. However, I believe the key is in the people who attend the workshops. It’s not always the same people. So something more regular should be maintainable. Most people cannot afford to take twelve half days off a year. But a larger pool of people, on average, probably can.

Norfolk Developers will get the Angular JS workshop under their belt before thinking about how to expand, but look out for AWS and Windows Azure workshops coming in the regular quarterly slots.

Words: Paul Grenyer

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