The Monktoberfest conference today and in history

This week is the Monktoberfest, the most interesting conference I’ve ever attended, and one of my must-attend events each year in October.  Not only are the talks thought-provoking and the attendees are awesome, but the location in Portland, ME and the food and events are top-notch. The ideas I get each year are a big inspiration, and it’s a long wait until next year each time.

Monktoberfest is a different kind of event: a two-day single-track conference.  Everyone is in the same room, watching the same great talks. Topics are on how technology shapes humanity, and bring some data. That means the speakers come from an incredible array of different backgrounds, industries, and perspectives.

Watching the first talk by a regular speaker here, I wondered how the history of Monktoberfest got to where we are.  Run by RedMonk – a technology analyst firm – the talks historically focused on the effects technology have on the business world, since that’s where their interests lie.  But in the past two years, the focus on social effects and change from the pervasiveness of all sorts of technology is clear – and makes the thought-provoking even more important for us.

Sessions are never announced ahead of time; the next speaker and their topic is always a surprise we learn as soon as they walk on stage; no sooner.  But Stephen O’Grady and the RedMonk team writeup their annual post-conference report, and a number of past videos are online, so you can follow along with the history.

Anyone else have great Monktoberfest history out there?

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Briefly, Shane is: a father and husband, a friend, a geek, a Member and director of the ASF, a baker, an ex-Loti, a BMW driver, a punny guy, a gamer, and lifelong resident within the 495 belt. Oh, and we have cats.

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