Strange Loop 2023

Well this is a really delayed post. On September 20th to 23rd of 2023 I was in St. Louis, MO for the final edition of the Strange Loop #conference. This was my fourth time attending, and the first real social conference I had attended since the beginning of the pandemic. It was a bit more anxiety inducing then I would have wished, but I still had a lot of fun. I saw a lot of friends from the Recurse Center, plus just a lot of random NYC tech friends.

This Strange Loop as always had some of the best talks of any tech conference. Below are my favorites. I'm sad this was the last one, I really hope a conference like this pops up again.

Making hard things easy

Blog Post: https://jvns.ca/blog/2023/10/06/new-talk--making-hard-things-easy/

This talk was on the last day and went in depth about how to teach yourself things you don't know. It was a great talk for thinking about how you learn things.

Building a career

Video: https://youtu.be/_egQrM13qyM?si=-iJfy3kM26xJ7zTt

This talk had solid advice on navigating a career. My favorite piece of advice was "It’s the L’s that make us". That being said, if you don't want to watch the talk, their advice summed up was:

How to build a meaningful career:

  • Avoid comparison
  • Give yourself grace
  • Live intentionally
  • Your motivation is yours and yours alone
  • Do hard work
  • Embrace the unknown

A long strange loop

Video: https://youtu.be/suv76aL0NrA?si=3cvkyABW5VXxXquM

This was a sad but fantastic talk that was a postmortem of Strange Loop. It goes through the financials, the history and the theory behind building a conference. If you want to do a tech conference, watch this.

Playable Quotes for Game Boy Games

Video: https://youtu.be/z9JYOZWLMlo?si=bmfE76jZ1n2kQf5T

A really cool idea and fascinating deep dive on how you might quote video games. The have a bunch of working demos and it's a super cool idea which I hope becomes mainstream.

Video: https://youtu.be/CqZA_KmygKw?si=Xd_UusFMfJCJoXK4

As a programmer, code search is an important part of my day to day life. This talk goes through the architectural history of code search and how they made the new one which is so good.

An approach to computing and sustainability inspired from permaculture

Video: https://youtu.be/T3u7bGgVspM?si=oQ3gP4QSEIx_dmQa

This talk is by one of my favorite people on the internet, Devine Lu Linvega. I was really excited to meet him in person, and while his talk went a little long in the end, I loved the style and content of the talk.

Software and the game of Go

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2yJ3FBtU4Y

I've always enjoyed the game of Go, and this gave a cool history of the game and how it relates to software development.

The End

I'm really sad to see this conference end, but it did inspire me to go to more conferences in 2024. Social interaction and networking is important, and is a muscle I definitely let atrophy over the pandemic.

Here's to more in person conferences.