From June 24–27, 2016, members of the Offline First community gathered for a 3-day retreat at a house nestled in the Catskill Mountains. Their goal was to discuss the issues around building Offline First applications. Offline Campers were made up of developers interested in making their apps work without constant internet connection, designers exploring UX patterns that maintain user understanding of system state, and community builders interested in sparking discussion around how to live in a disconnected and battery-powered world.
We called it Offline Camp, but arguably we glamped — in style — with pretty solid internet access. But our goal wasn’t entirely to unplug, even though nary a laptop was in sight all weekend (though @OfflineCamp tweets abounded). Our goal was to put our heads together and tackle big issues facing Offline First and to make friends IRL with Offline First lovers from around the world.
We took an “unconference” approach to content coordination for Offline Camp, so the campers in attendance shaped the direction of what topics were discussed. The sessions ranged from technical to non-technical, some groups brainstormed around how to build community with events while others tackled issues like notifications and alerts, tooling that helps with building offline apps, and much much more. Campers had the opportunity to give passion talks, which ranged in topic from Cloudant Envoy for Offline First given by @BradleyHolt to an app that constructs a poem through text messages built by @janecakemaster. You can learn more from camp on the Offline Camp medium account: https://medium.com/offline-camp.Co-organizing Offline Camp was an incredible experience for me as a newly minted Developer Advocate within IBM Cloud Data Services. Before joining IBM, I was a QA Engineer during the day doing double duty as a community organizer for my local tech community at night. Having the opportunity to represent my company while helping to foster the community behind Offline First was rewarding beyond measure. I was able to spread the love about what IBM has to offer to the Offline First community in a genuine way, organically through conversation and shared experience. While it’s hard to place a dollar amount on the value gained from our participation in such an event, our contribution to the health of the Offline First community was invaluable. I look forward to keeping in touch with the amazing folks I met at Offline Camp, and you can too! Join the conversation about Offline First by joining the community on Slack.