TechnologyYour summer guide to tech events that won't put you to sleep
There's no better way to spend warm Summer days than indoors, geeking out over isomorphic code and robotics. Here's a roundup of the tech events we're looking forward to the most.
Summer is usually for being a sweaty, sloshy hot mess, but it can also be a great time to try new things and better yourself. If you're a tech-head this might mean learning about new technologies—or new applications for old ones. It might mean challenging yourself at a hackathon, expanding your network at a conference, or just being inspired at a makers' event. If that's your idea of a good time, we've got you covered.
June 4 – 5
The Greene Space at WNYC and WXQR (New York, NY)
The podcasting sphere, like most sectors in media, is dominated by men. Just 15 of the top 100 podcasts on iTunes are hosted by women. But the female podcasters on the scene are pretty fabulous. To celebrate this and help foster the next gen, WNYC is hosting the first-ever festival for women who podcast. Participants in this two-day, invite-only event will workshop their ideas and learn from bonafide stars like Anna Sale, host of WNYC's podcast Death, Sex & Money. Some events will also be open to the public, such as a live taping of Buzzfeed's "Another Round" with Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist.
Various cities (United States)
Civic pride and hardcore geekery meet on the National Day of Civic Hacking, organized by Code for America, an organization dedicated to pushing state and local governments into the future. Cities from Chicago to Honolulu will host events where coders take on urban-centric challenges, such as adding landmarks and infrastructures to the open-source map OpenStreetMap. Last year, the day resulted in apps like HappyGov, created by Hack4Colorado, which gives citizens the chance to map 311 calls and identify the local issues that are most important to them. Visit the National Day of Civic Hacking site to find an event near you or register an event of your own.
On a related note, the NYC BigApps competition will return sometime this Summer. The event challenges programmers and other technologists to solve problems in New York City using their skills. Sign up on the website for updates and submit your idea for making the city better.
New Museum (New York, NY)
This science fair is a showcase for NEW INC, the New Museum's incubator for art, science and technology. It might not seem all that intuitive to bring little ones to a tech event, but that's exactly what the New Museum proposes and, well, look at this picture of a weiner dog wearing a smart phone controlled LED vest. Seriously though, it's a very kid friendly scene with lots of chances for real discovery and play. For example, you and your budding interactive art lovers can join the PopStars orchestra and make music by licking popsicles. Admission is free but granted on a first come first serve basis.
JUNE 8 – 9
Various locations (Los Angeles, CA; Mexico City, Mexico; Rome, Italy)
Social media platforms dominate online life, their users drive national political conversations, and the medium is an increasingly vital component in marketing, ooooh, anything. Social Media Week is the hyper-connected conference focused on the latest developments and insights into the social web. Appropriately, it's held synchronously in three different major global cities. This year Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Rome will simultaneously play host to practical things like workshops on copyright and ROI, heady things like a panel on “cannabis tech,” splashy things like a talk from Buzzfeed EVP of video Ze Frank, and brands, brands, brands. #SMW15
JUNE 8 – 9
West Bund Art Center (Shanghai, China)
Sponsored by the international media network TechCrunch and their Chinese publisher TechNode, this conference is strictly for startups and the people who love them—and might want to throw them some money. Exhibitors at Startup Alley must be under two years old and have less than a million dollars in funding. The “Meet with Investors” event sets entrepreneurs up with VC mentors for 10 minute chats about their business plans. The ticket will cost you but, if you happen to be in Shanghai, taking a ramble through Startup Alley is free.
JUNE 8 – 12
Moscone West (San Francisco, CA)
Each year, WWDC brings together Apple developers from all over the world to learn about the latest advancements to iOS and OS X. If you were among the lucky few to score one of the $1,599 passes, congrats? If not, a some more tickets may be released and scholarships are still available for student coders. The main attraction is always the keynote on the first day. That's because this is when developers, press, and the world at large finds out about wonders like the Apple Watch. Macrumors.com hints that this year is going to be all about Apple TV. Mark your calendars even if you can't attend as sessions are streamed live. Want to watch on your iPhone? Yeah, there's an app for that.
JUNE 8 – 12
Various Locations (Brooklyn, NY)
Just as SXSW started as a music confab that sprouted film and tech appendages that are now equally important, Brooklyn's Northside Festival has a tech component that's not to be missed. In some ways, NYC is still coming into its own as a hub for startups, but that's exactly why it's so exciting. A Northside Innovation badge gets you into a battery of workshops, hackathons, panels, meetups and mixers involving some of the brightest stars in the business. Speakers include Knotable's Amol Sarva and Brian Janosch of Comedy Hack Day. Meanwhile, the Northside Innovation Expo tent will take over a corner of McCarren Park, housing exhibitors from across the tech and startup worlds and a job fair. Best of all, the expo is free—just RSVP.
JUNE 15 – 21
Various locations (London, England)
For one week each year the buzzing commercial hub of London becomes a hive of parties, afterparties, networking events and conferences about conferences. Though it's only in its second year, this isn't the bailiwick of scrappy startups and bitcoin enthusiasts. With events presented by Goldman Sachs and Accenture, London Tech Week is where masters of the universe converge to talk about big data analytics and compete to recruit the best programming talent. Expect lots of pomp, circumstance and plugging of England as a tech center. Law and finance are major areas of interest, but this year wearable tech is getting a lot of attention. Among hundreds of events there will, of course, be some fun stuff too, like the food hacking workshop held on Google's London campus.
Old Billingsgate (London, England)
Items on the agenda for this one-day conference-cum-award-ceremony dedicated to European startups include AI, drones, health, fintech and fashion. The day sessions morph into an evening gala that celebrates progressive and innovative companies in 20-plus categories. This year, the Europas has added a parallel event, Path Founders (July 15-17), which pairs a select group of 100 early-stage startup founders with potential VCs and angel investors. With TechCrunch as the exclusive media partner, the event is sure to be well-appointed and bountifully catered. Take a moment to stroll around the historic digs, check out some local tourist attractions or admire the rubbish floating down the Thames River.
JUNE 18 – 20
Fira Montjuïc (Barcelona, Spain)
With an identity somewhere between an arts festival and a tech conference, Sónar+D is the technically-inclined part of the Sónar music and multimedia arts festival. Events are dedicated to investigating and amplifying exciting intersections between tech and creative fields. There's also an emphasis on developing creative web and mobile apps into viable business models. Sample events include a 24-hour music hack day, a competition for creative startups and an audiovisual installation with an orignal score by Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds.
JULY 20 – 24
Tisch School of the Arts, NYU (New York, NY)
At the height of the Summer, visionary organizations TimeWave and LoNyLa will partner with NYU's ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program) for a virtual reality hackathon. They've called on designers, developers and new media artists to work together in rapidly prototyping new virtual reality and augmented reality experiences and applications. The organizers say they want to encourage big ideas and new ways to tell stories. The hackathon is part of the larger, ongoing TimeWave Festival, which kicked off with a “transmedia lab” and will include panels, performances, and other programming, culimating in a final “interactive playground” event that demos the program's interactive creations.
july 10 – 24
Orgeon Convention Center (Portland, OR)
Open-source fanboys, mark your calendars for Oscon, the yearly conference hosted by technology book publisher O'Reilly Media. The event offers two days of meaty, hands-on tech talks on open-source community related issues followed by three days of keynotes with titles like “Creating Bluetooth LE Devices with Arduino.” Tutorials this year will cover mobile apps, cryptography and the programming language Erlang. The talks are copious and intensive, so it's a good thing you can pencil in some R&R, like a morning yoga session or the 5k glow run (bring glow-in-the-dark stuff). Go hard or stay home and reinstall Windows.