On 22nd August 2014, Base ran the inaugural re:develop conference, a few hundred metres from the beach at Pavilion Dance. As one of the UK’s fastest growing digital economies, we figured that Bournemouth had been without a developer focused conference for long enough.
We wanted to bring developers together to learn and broaden horizons by inviting speakers to share experiences of successful methodologies and ways of working that make them happy in our work.
We brought 9 speakers from across the UK (and one from Amsterdam) to talk about their experiences. These included top developers from The Guardian, an AI expert who crafted The Sims, an award-winning BDD expert, Government Digital Service leads, and so many more.
How it came about
Our device lab experiment showed us that there was a software and development community on the coast well beyond what we'd realised. We'd been lucky enough to meet and talk to many devs as they visited the lab to make use of the kit and we found ourselves having a similar conversation with many of them. With a thriving community of agencies and software companies to support it, no-one could work out why a conference didn’t already exist.
Investing in the knowledge of our people is fundamental to the culture at Base, so it made sense to put a case to the board to make it happen.
The decision to do it rapidly turned into a whirlwind of emails, planning and speaker proposals. We opened a call for papers, and put 'leap of faith' tickets on sale at a bargain price. We hoped people would know we were putting something special on, and it was great to see tickets fly off the virtual shelves.
We reached out to the community itself and specifically those that run local developer meetups to help guide us, inviting them in and working out what would most benefit the rapidly growing community of developers in Bournemouth. They helped us vote on what speakers they wanted from our call for papers, creating a killer lineup. They formed the backbone of creating a great community event with their support.
We priced tickets to be affordable by businesses and individuals alike, packed with goodies, including one of the best lanyard layouts people have seen. Our venue was Pavilion Dance South West, in tripping distance of Bournemouth’s award winning beach on a perfect summer day.
Supported by our sponsors, we put on a memorable day. We filled in breaks with awesome treats, bringing in tasty local food and drink and some of the best food we could get. After every talk the conversation was electric, full of inspiration.
From our feedback, every attendee had a great time. The question on everyone’s lips was "When’s the next one?".