Well, it’s sad but I have to announce it: I won’t be running Clojure SYNC in 2019.
Clojure SYNC in 2018 was the first one. It was a success. I got lots of good reviews about it. And it was mildly profitable, which I hear is difficult in a conference’s first year. We had an epic-level speaker, Gerald Sussman, and an important new feature announcement from David Nolen, cljs.main.
I was excited to make next year’s even better. However, I don’t think I can. I’ve got too many other responsibilities and projects going on. I had to cut something, and Clojure SYNC makes the most sense to cut.
It’s not easy to cut it. It takes years to get a conference off the ground. You’re trying to ramp up awareness and interest, while also stabilizing the format and processes to make it easier each time. Cutting Clojure SYNC feels like throwing away the momentum I’ve built up after a first successful show. I also realize that the spot on the calendar that I claimed could easily be taken by some other conference. If it is, I hope it is in service of the community. If you want to run a conference, please be my guest!
But it does make sense to cut it. Although it was profitable, it was not as lucrative as I had hoped, and there are more lucrative things I should be spending my time on considering how much work it was. I also don’t think it will be possible to commit the time it will take to make it a super valuable conference to spend time and money to attend, and I wouldn’t want any less for my attendees.
So what’s the future?
After the first Clojure SYNC, I wanted to turn it into something that could get the community more organized. I wanted it to be a place you had to go because that’s where things got started. Instead of just talks, it would include a day of workshopping and discussion, where people with common interests could meet and organize around projects. The workshop would let them do the important hashing out of ideas that’s best done in person. They could then continue the projects back home. I still think it’s a valuable vision.
Will there be a Clojure SYNC 2020?
Well, it’s hard to look so far in the future, and I’m hesitant to commit now after promising and now reneging on 2019. But some advisors have told me that many events do better when they occur every two years. There’s a lot more anticipating and less competition for limited travel budgets. That gives me some hope that skipping a year is not a waste.
So, I can’t promise anything about 2020. But I do promise to let you know far in advance if Clojure SYNC 2020 will (or will not) happen.