After last week's London JS I got talking to one of the attendees, Kat Thompson (she's also written about HTeaML), about how tea and cake are painfully missing from these kind of events, particularly in the UK. Beer and pizza is the norm it seems, but where's the love for the traditional English beverage and spongey food-stuff?
We won't rest until that question is well and truly answered. And how do you do that? By giving them the love they deserve, dagnabbit!
So our goal is to set out and provide a light-hearted event that juxtaposes the geeky world of Web development with the beautifully traditional and quirky world of tea and cake. We call it HTeaML, and it will be awesome.
What's not to love about great company, developer talks, tea, and cake?
Bringing in the experts
We plan for each event to have an expert baker and bringer-of-tea (10 points if you come up with the official title for a tea maker). With this in mind, each event will have a delightful selection of cakes and tea, some of which you may have never seen before, and some of which may be old favourites. They will be tasty nonetheless.
Bonus points are awarded for geeky tea and cakes, within reason (they need to be edible). I've already seen a cake that has an Arduino board built in, so you have your work cut out for you!
The whole point of these events will be to learn while enjoying the yummy surroundings. With this in mind we plan to bring you great talks from some of the nicest and most experienced people within the industry. Our only requirement? Each talk must have a connection to tea or cake at some point. Why? Because it's fun.
We aren't quite sure on the format yet, but we envisage either one or two exciting talks about Web development. As well as that we plan to have one or two short tea and cake related talks, put on by each event's baker and bringer-of-tea. Part of the experience will be learning a little bit about the weird and wonderful offline world that we spend o'so much time in.
I'm looking forward to it!
Accommodating as many people as possible
One of the reasons why we like this idea is that is allows developers to come along who wouldn't normally be able to. Whether that was because they're too young to be in a pub, or simply because they don't agree with the drinking culture, it doesn't really matter. The main thing is that these events will be open to one and all. You can always just have the water if you're not into tea!
But why stop there? We know full well that not everyone likes a good tea (they're crazy, but those people exist), so we also plan to bring in some amazing coffee as well.
And for those other crazies (yes, they're everywhere!), we plan to accommodate gluten-free diets as much as we possibly can. My lady-friend is gluten intolerant, so I care about this on a personal level. After all, who are we to decide who can and can't enjoy cake?
Time and location
We know that the events will be in London somewhere, but we don't know exactly where yet. It will be somewhere near to a main public transport hub, and within easy reach for those who live outside London (like me).
As for a time, we are pretty set on it being on a weekday. We haven't gotten as far as choosing a specific time or day yet.
So this is where you come in. We've outlined our concept and we'd love to hear your feedback. In the comments below works best for us.
- Will you be coming along?
- What area of London would you prefer the event to be put on?
- Just a rough area, not a specific street.
- What day and time works best for you?
- Just a day and rough time is good enough, eg. Monday evening.
- Do you know of any cake bakers or bringers-of-tea that would like to help?
- They don't have to be companies. We'd like to work with individuals as well.
Any other feedback or ideas? We'd love to hear about it.
I hope you enjoy our idea as much as we do. We can't wait to make this a reality.
Rob & Kat.