GoCon Canada, but why?! And who?

Since the inception of GoCon Canada many folks reached out with questions about the event and organizers. So we thought why not answer these and a few others.

To be elaborated below, but the short answer to the “why?!” can be answered with a tweet:

Much like Johnny, we’re a small group of enthusiastic developers and a designer who like a particular technology. The Go programming language promised to “make us love programming again” and we could not agree more!

Not only is Go a solid piece of tech to have in your toolbox, but there is a wonderful community and ecosystem surrounding it. Folks who Go are typically referred to as “Gophers” and are found all over the world.

There have been dozens of Go Conferences including, but not limited to, Denver, New York, Seattle, Tokyo, Israel, Russia, Iceland, UK, Brazil, China, India, Belgium, France, Italy .. and the list goes on. Likewise, there are more than 300 Go-related meetups all over the world. See the 2018 Nine years of Go blog for a summary of the past year.

So, given we like Go and the community, a lot, it felt natural to put together a Go-specific conference in Toronto, Canada 🇨🇦.

Q: Do you have experience running conferences? Is there a third party managing the event?

Combined, we helped organize community events such as PyCon Canada, Dutch Clojure days, Polyhack and Go meetups in Toronto and Ottawa. We do this for fun, not profit or fame.

No, we did not hire a third party to manage this event.

Q: Who is behind GoCon Canada?

Dylan, Zach, Lubov, Max and Mike. We registered a non-profit organization called GoCon Community Group with the intention of:

a. holding conferences, workshops and community events;

b. providing a forum for the discussion of technology including but not limited to the Go programming language

We truly hope our efforts will bring together current members of the community and attract newcomers alike. This will be a welcoming, open and inclusive environment for all. Please see our code of conduct and that of the broader Go Community.

Q: Is it normal to accept sponsorship money as a non-profit?

Yes. So long as that money is used to achieve the objectives of the non-profit organization without the purpose of gain for its members.

Being a small group comprised of individuals, we simply do not have funds to host an event solely funded by ticket sales, especially in Toronto.

Furthermore, we believe it is mutually beneficial to partner with companies who adopted or are considering adopting Go.

Companies provide an opportunity for Gophers to do what they love and pay them for it, and we get funds to put together an awesome event in exchange for:

  1. promoting those companies that are hiring (which is really a win win for potential employees and employers)
  2. brand awareness through marketing and announcements

Communities are built alongside companies and it is an opportunity for both sides to discover each other within the ecosystem.

At the time of this post the following companies have sponsored us, and we are really grateful for their contributions.

sponsor crowdriff
sponsor kirasystems
sponsor manifold
Q: Why was the CFP open for sooooooo long?

Occasionally potential speakers do not know their schedule or availability many months out. We kept the CFP open for ~4 months to enable speakers with varying obligations to submit a talk.

The CFP closes March 18 and we’d like to have most talks selected and published within 1-2 weeks (early April latest). This should provide ~2 month buffer for speakers.

Q: Why just a single day event?
  1. We did not have the funds to secure a multi-day venue.
  2. We’d like to gauge the overall interest and understand how best this event can add value to the community.

Future plans (please, let us know what you think):

2-day event: full day workshop + one day (single track or two tracks in parallel, to be determined)

Q: Do you accept money in exchange for sponsored talks?

No. We will not be accepting $$ in exchange for speaker slots.

This is a community event. We hope all talks will be pure and in the spirit of benefiting the community.

Q: Why so few email updates? Will you share/sell mailing list?

Our intention is to provide relevant updates pertaining to GoCon, that’s it. We apologize if some would like more frequent updates, but at this time we’d like to respect The Inbox of the majority and focus on updates we think matter. twitter/goconcanada gets more updates.

We will not share or sell our mailing list. Trust is worth more to us than $$.

Q: What can I do to get involved with GoCon?

There is probably more, but here are a few ideas

  • Diversity and fairness is important. Do you come from an underrepresented group? If so, help us review CFPs and provide feedback or let us know how this process can be improved.

  • Submit a CFP. Check out Go speak - resources for potential speakers.

  • If your company adopted or is thinking of adopting Go within their stack consider asking if they’d be willing to be a sponsor.

  • Help spread the word about the event.

  • Give us feedback at organizers@gocon.ca. How are we doing, what can we improve, what would you like to see more/less of?

  • Purchase a ticket, see you there :)