I’ve been organizing conferences (with other awesome organizers of course, it’s never a singular person getting that work done!) for a long while now and they’re what they are. Then along came the pandemic and splat, in person conferences became extinct. I’m sure they’ll be back, but I’m not entirely sure they ought to come back. At least, they ought not come back in the same way they existed pre-pandemic time.
There’s another type of get together that I’ve been thinking of that I’m really excited about. This experience, I was fortunate enough to experience a bunch of years ago in New Orleans with an awesome group of folks. To add a little context to this, I lived in New Orleans for a good while and grew up about 45 minutes from the city across the state line in Mississippi. With that, I feel like I’ve got a little bit of context for living the New Orleans lifestyle. I must add, it is distinctively and specifically a very unique lifestyle among these United States. Living a New Orleans life is like nothing else in these United States, not even remotely!
When I lived in the area I loved many aspects of this city and there were aspects that I was not happy with. The city has a few parts that make the famous south side of Chicago seem like a peaceful hippy village, but on the other side of the spectrum New Orleans has an intense passion and love among its people. The city is amazing, beautiful, and honestly a marvel of engineering (it’s below sea level). This city, always standing as a monument to passion, music, love, and more is prominent throughout the city. This passion and love of life itself is a positive among positives that in the end, vastly outweigh any of the negatives.
A Dose of That NOLA Life
This adventure I experienced a number of years ago went something like this. In 2010 I had a conference to attend where I was going to speak about various data analysis techniques, coding project ideas, and related technologies around web and data analytics. At the time I worked for a company called WebTrends with a solid bunch. The conference was all set and would be a great time, but it wasn’t the key experience of this trip.
Some friends with a business startup that also were attending the conference decided to rent a house down near Decatur Street. They rented this house and turned it into a coder’s house for a full week! It was a wildly entertaining, enjoyable, unique, and worthwhile experience to undertake. In addition we were wildly productive! Implementing a number of features, swarming on some ideas, and writing up a number of ideas for future implementation while thinking out the design in a great thorough way. It was spectacular!
But there was more, much more to this truly excellent trip. We had access to New Orleans after all which is well known for truly epic food – arguably some of the best options – to explore flavors, tastes, and truly expansive ideas in foodie explorations! The local creole food, the surrounding local southern food, and the combinations therein are unto themselves not comparable in any other part of the United States. Also no, New York, San Francisco, Portland, or anywhere doesn’t even come close in food comparisons and I’m not even going to engage in that silliness. New Orleans food is a culinary delight in it’s own world ranking! As can be see below…
In addition since I knew the city well there were streets to walk, places to explore such as Jax Brewery, the markets, the levies along the riverfront, a riverwalk that’s great, steamship paddle wheelers that traverse the Mississippi river for some amazing explorations, views, and food too!
Ok, ok, ok so that’s a lot of me telling you about the awesomeness of New Orleans. If you’re not into the idea of exploring or visiting the city I can’t really do much more to sell you on the trip. But the next aspect of this post I’ll detail an idea of forming a krewe to head south to the city of New Orleans, build awesome software, eat wonderful food, and generally live the relaxed life for a solid week or so. The idea is this krewe will be a parade of its own that’ll setup shop and live this for the escape, the celebration, and the experience of it all! If this sounds interesting to you, read on, here’s the details.
How This Would Work
For some, we’d join onboard the City of New Orleans, the Crescent, or the Sunset Limited into New Orleans. For others the option of choice may be to fly into the Louis Armstrong Airport or even take the train in from Chicago, Memphis, or other place onboard the City of New Orleans or out of Washington DC, Charlotte, Atlanta, Montgomery or elsewhere onboard the Crescent. Upon arriving we’d converge at the house or houses we’d choose for this adventure where we’d live for the week and get setup for the projects we’d do during the week. That night we’d gather for a grand dinner at our first excellent destination.
Day one dinner at Lil Dizzy’s Cafe & Coding Plans
The first day we’d all get breakfast at Lil Dizzy’s Cafe or somewhere thereabouts. There we’ll get fueled up with a most epic food win and then depart to gather to plot what we’ll create for the week. This is when we’d get a full plan and some goals together as a group. Decide if we want to break out further into groups (depending on our overall group size) and such. We’d find a good place (likely organized well before the trip) and gather there, post-wicked-awesome-amazing good breakfast, and get into all this. This one goal, would be the goal for day one!
Day two rolling in… later rise, more good food, and coding time
Day two rolling in. We’d rise a bit later, get some piping hot coffee and maybe a kicker at Cafe Du Monde for the start of day two. Once collected we’d gather for some day hacking or maybe checking out the brewery blocks (it’s more than just breweries, just sayin’). Then we’d get in some evening coding, building, and creating then back into some food and entertainment of whatever sort for the evening. Possibly some jazz at Julius Kimbrough’s Prime Example, Little Gem Saloon, or the Spotted Cat. Either way, a good time and good evening however we want to slice and dice it up.
Day three, onward and forward and advance!
Day three and onward would continue along this theme. Dynamic organization with a loosely coupled and loosely designed scheduled workflow. Mostly to keep it flexible to live NOLA while we’re there. All the while we get to build something as a krewe (team, crew, cohort, however you’d call the group)!
This would continue for the rest of the week. I’ll have more ideas, more to this proposal, more to this trip coming in subsequent blog posts. This post has one purpose, to get the idea introduced to you dear reader and to start the conversation about getting this event put together. If you’d be interested in this idea, please reach out to me via Twitter @Adron, or you can message me via my Contact Form, or if you have some other means – txt me, sms me, slack me, or whatever – that’ll work too. Whatever the medium, let’s get a conversation started about traveling down to the Crescent City for an EPIC week of food, life, music, and hacking together a solution for whatever it is we create!
For more on this, follow me on Twitter, stay tuned here on the blog, and eventually we’ll get an organizing krewe together and start getting together more specifics, like dates and travel times, core ideas, and more.
- New Orleans skyline as featured image above is from Wikipedia Commons.
- I did try to make sure there wasn’t rights issues with all those glorious food pictures, but will fix if anything is contested.