Camaraderie, Offline First & Tarantulas

Offline Camp is a gathering of folks from the Offline First community, who come together to share projects, best practices, and hack on offline-first problems over a long weekend away from it all. The Offline First movement involves people who build Progressive Web Apps, native apps, desktop apps, IoT, and even data scientists! After co-organizing the first Offline Camp in New York this past June, I was excited to attend the California event as a simple camper.

Two of Offline Camp’s co-organizers, Bradley Holt and Gregor Martynus, held a session on the future of the Offline First community where they took a first crack at a community logo, which was met with more ¯\_(ツ)_/¯s. You can see a full list of topics that arose at camp on the Offline Camp medium account.

The Campers

The campers are what truly sets Offline Camp apart from your run-of-the-mill tech conference. All the sessions are proposed, voted upon, and decided by the people in attendance. The organizing team continuously works hard to connect with a diverse audience of people who are doing amazing things in the Offline First space. The organizers promote an inclusive environment at camp via the camp Code of Conduct. These rules are important because the campers are the ones who decide what happens at camp. The people who attend truly set the tone for what kind of projects the Offline First community will tackle afterward!

Offline Campers in Santa Margarita, California
This installment of Offline Camp occurred in Santa Margarita, California

There were 21 amazing people at camp, but I thought I’d highlight a few so that you could get a feel for the type of people who attend an event like this.


I met cat cafe connoisseur Max Ogden, former Fellow at Code for America and author of JS for Cats, who also maintains Dat Data Project, which shares datasets over peer to peer networks.


At camp, you could have gone on an Offline First mapping hike with Machiko Yasuda, who runs multiple tech meetups in Los Angeles including Fullstack and MaptimeLA. She also told me about an open source tool she contributes to called With this tool she finds it easy to mentor new developers and level up existing ones.


Around the campfire, we played the role-playing game Werewolf. There I sat across from Nolan Lawson, who maintains PouchDB and works at Microsoft Edge. In the game he poisoned me because he thought I was the werewolf — alas, I was but an innocent villager! — but in real life I learned a bunch about the development environment for Microsoft users and made plans for our Offline First panel at SXSW. By the way, we both hope that if you’re planning to attend SXSW next year, that you’ll come see our panel! Learn more about it here.

Trail’s End

It was hard to leave all the friends we made at camp. Campers have a lot of amazing things to say about their experience:

Follow the Offline Camp Medium account now, as the majority of the campers have signed up to contribute recap posts from the sessions they participated in. Those articles will be published continuously in the coming weeks. Sign up for the Offline First Reader to stay on top of news and events happening within the community. If you’re interested in contributing now, join the Offline First Slack team and add to the discussion.

Stay tuned for more Offline Camp events in 2017 — perhaps we’ll even go to Europe? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Better question: Are there tarantulas in Europe?

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