Raspberry Fields

Raspberry Fields
A Festival of Digital Making - Cambridge
30th June - 1st July 2018


It is about 24 hours since I got home from Raspberry Fields and I thought I would put down a few thoughts about the weekend and particularly what I got out from volunteering at the event.

Raspberry Fields was a ticketed two day festival of digital making held at the Junction theatre in Cambridge. In their own words it was a

"chance for people of all ages and skill levels to have a go at getting creative with tech, as well as a celebration of all that our digital makers have already learnt and achieved, whether through taking part in Code Clubs, CoderDojos, or Raspberry Jams, or through trying our resources at home."


My weekend in numbers:

  • 206 miles driven
  • 24 hours spent in the theatre
  • approx 18 hours spent on stage or in the wings
  • 20 talks supported with 22 people miked up
  • 2 hot dogs eaten
  • More bottles of water drunk than I can count

The weekend started at 4.30am on Saturday morning with the drive down to Cambridge from Birmingham. After a safety briefing I was able to rig up the main stage for the presenters. At one point we had three laptops, one raspberry Pi, a monitor, TV and projector running from my table!


Most of the two days was spent introducing the next speaker and ensuring that they could present as smoothly as possibly. My perfectionism definitely helped with this!


Every singe talk was really great and having listened to every one I felt really privileged to be part of such a great community.

  • David Furguson -if you have not yet started using PiBakery for imaging and configuring your SD cards you really need to do it now!
  • Lorraine Underwood - such a talented maker but also so willing to share the FAILs along the way.
  • Martin O'Hanlon - great things you can do with a Blue Dot
  • Andy Melder - wow, such amazing collaboration across so many sectors!
  • PJ Evans - how not to boil your fish and great way to get started with home automation
  • Koichi Nakamura - if I had not seen this for myself I would have never believed you could do deep learning inference on a Raspberry Pi
  • Richard Hayler - always a pleasure to hear about CoderDojo
  • Karen Mouws - coding can and should be inclusive
  • Naturebytes - great seeing the animals 'captured' with a Pi
  • Penny Cater - drones, say no more!
  • Alan McCullagh - the real story of Babbage the bear (and Babbage!)
  • Masafumi Ohta - it was great hearing about Pi community and projects in Japan
  • Femi Owolade-Coombes - I love hearing what you have been up to and the journey you are on
  • Paul Fretwell - how to get started with robots, very useful and informative
  • Mike and Tim - the making of Pi Wars and an important announcement about Pi Wars 2019
  • Jonathan Pallant - I had not heard of Rust - now I want to try it
  • Nicola Curnow - I was fascinated to hear about the work of digital inclusion in Austraila

All the talks were recorded and I will post the link here when they are up on YouTube.

Both days were wrapped up with entertainment with Saturday finishing with Neil Monteiro helping a Pi get into Space followed by Ada.Ada.Ada which really was a spellbinding interactive show about Ada Lovelace. Sunday ended with the Brainiac Live show, this was an explosive finale to the weekend.



What did I get out from it?

It was great hanging out with old friends from the Pi community and also making new friends too. I genuinely feel that the Pi and community has given me so much over the last six years that giving back some time was just something I was proud to do.


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