Lately, I travelled to Düsseldorf and attended the IndieWebCamp and also beyond tellerrand, a conference about design, development, and all things web. I’ll say it plain: If you never have been at a conference, you should go. If you never have been at beyond tellerrand, you should definitely go as soon as possible. Because it's an event that is special in many ways.
Here's to the curious
First of all, there is the great variety of topics. Conference organizer Marc Thiele repeatedly manages to get speakers from the most diverse fields of work to his events, so the name (“beyond tellerrand” loosely translates to “beyond one's own nose”) really says it all. Beyond tellerrand allows you to hear talks about user experience design, image performance optimization, time and creativity, game design, typography, the reinvention of normal, the security issues of AngularJS, CSS animation, great advice to young (and not so young) designers, the internet of things, type design of a coding font, progressive enhancement, and the work of Mr. Bingo – all on the same track. The diversity of the topics of the talks at beyond tellerrand is maybe unparalleled and each one of the talks was interesting and entertaining but most importantly: highly relevant in covering current topics. The only topic that I missed a little this time was accessibility, but Heydon Pickering will surely tackle that at the next beyond tellerrand in Berlin (07–09 Nov 2016).
What happens if you have such a diverse mixture of speakers and topics is this: You are continuously confronted with new things, with new thoughts, new concepts, and new ways of approaching problems. And not only do you learn something new by that, you also challenge your assumptions, you start thinking in new ways, you sometimes even rewire your brain.
But hey: You could just as well stay at home and watch most of the talks on Vimeo. So why go there after all?
Here's to the people
The answer is: people. The web community is a vibrant community that to a great extent exists in the digital space. However, the real-world experience of a conference is something that is hardly reproduced in a purely virtual space. The atmosphere at beyond tellerrand is really relaxed, open, and welcoming, so you will surely have a lot of nice and inspiring conversations between the talks – and in the evenings too, of course. ;)
During the four days at the IndieWebCamp and beyond tellerand, I got to know so many nice and interesting people, and enjoyed the most diverse and inspiring talks, so that I left Düsseldorf deeply satisfied and full of new ideas (although they are only new combinations of old ones…). Thanks to everyone I had the chance to meet!
See you in Berlin!