Last night, we held the first Shopify Pub Night in Byward Market, the first of a number of social get-togethers that we're planning to have this summer here in Ottawa. Due to some last-minute changes in room reservations, we were moved from the main room of the Heart and Crown to the front room of Peter Devine's, one of the other pubs in the mega-pub-plex collectively known as the Irish Village. Luckily, between my regular missions scouting the pubs for lost souls as well as people figuring what was up and finding us, everyone managed to find a party and what a party it was!
All told, we had about 30 people attend throughout the night, with a good 25 people at peak. We were an interesting bunch: a good number of Shopifolks plus a couple who were Shopifolks' significant others and family members, plus local developers from the indie/startup, government and Microsoft MVP worlds. I spent a fair bit of time making sure that I was "working the room" properly, bouncing from table to table, talking to as many people as I could. I was pleased to see some familiar faces from my life as a Microsoftie, hang out with my coworkers and make new friends with some local developers and designers. I was also more than happy to introduce these people from these different spheres to each other.
We even had some out-of-town guests join us. My friends Cory Fowler and Colin Bowern, whom I met during my stint as a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft, came here from Toronto to do consulting work for the next couple of weeks. They win the "Phileas Fogg" award for greatest distance travelled to attend Shopify Pub Night.
We talked about all sorts of things, some of which were:
- Bacon and its near-magical properties
- Shoe shopping opportunities in Vegas
- Life in the corporate world versus life in the startup world
- ByWard Market, the-town-formerly-known-as-Hull and how both have changed over the years
- Conferences we're thinking of attending
- The accordion and what it's like to bring it through airport security and onto a plane
- Sausages and how they can revolutionize your career
I'm pretty pleased with the way the evening turned out. We ended up pretty much owning the front room of the pub, people mixed, mingled and seemed to be having a good time, and hopefully some of you go to know us a little better and we got to know you a little better. I'd like to extend my most sincere thanks to everyone who joined us -- these events are nothing without you.
I believe that software should be a social thing; after all, while software runs on machines, it runs for people. You can't create stuff for people in isolation. That's why we held Shopify Pub Night and why we're going to be holding more of these events throughout the summer and beyond: because great things happen when you bring people together. Watch this space for announcements of upcoming Shopify events -- we'd love to have you there!