Getting Involved with Sydney CocoaHeads

There are a whole bunch of ways you can get involved at CocoaHeads. Firstly of course come along and get to know the community :) If and when you feel you would like to get involved and help out, here are some things we’re looking for help with. We’re also always open to hear other ideas.


Turning up at a CocoaHeads with around 100 people, many of whom already know each other, is daunting for anybody, and a completely impossible challenge for many. One way we can improve that, an approach that is proven in other commercial and non-commercial environments, is to have official greeters. Two people at the bottom of the lifts and two people just inside the doors to notice and connect with new people would be amazing.

If we had a roster of people doing this we can reduce the load on each person to being a greeter once every few months. As a plus, as a greeter you have a great opportunity to get to know more people too :)


Atlassian gracefully supply us with a place to meet as well as food and drink each month. There are still some things we need to do however. Each month ahead of time we contact Atlassian, confirm the meetup date and give them a forecast of our RSVP numbers. On the night we usually need to configure the room (setting out chairs, drink tubs, ice, drinks etc.) which for 100 chairs takes a little while. Then we need to make sure things are packed down and cleaned up before the last person leaves.


I’d love it if somebody would be willing to own this responsibility. Every month there are always people willing to lend a hand with chairs etc. but it would be great if someone could take care of communicating with Atlassian and then making sure there are a few people coming to help with the setup. If you love lists you might even like to make a roster ;)

Video Editing

We actually have a pretty good group of people doing video stuff now. If video or camera type stuff is really down your alley feel free to get in touch, otherwise please consider one of the other volunteering options on this page? Being a greeter would be particularly awesome IMO :)


I’d like to improve the way the entry is embedded in the web page, if someone who loves JavaScript wants to make our own widget using the meetup api’s that would be awesome! (I may have developed a dynamic html/javascript web store in 1997, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it :) It may turn out it can’t be done because the APIs always require a key or something, in which case we can always spin up a simple heroku end point or something. The Jekyll/github/vimeo publishing can probably use some tweaks along the way.


Somebody to look into the above meetup api idea and also do any other odd web/jekyll/etc coding things that come up.


Each month a bunch of communications go out. I’ve streamlined things somewhat, but there are still announcements to send via email and meetup, speakers to re-confirm, videos (hopefully :) to publish.


Somebody to be the “communication czar” and ensure that announcements, speaker emails etc. are done on a timely basis (ie. better than me). We did have somebody do exactly this role a year or so ago and it was very effective.

Diversity Committee

I’m leaving the best for last. I’m really excited about what we can accomplish with CocoaHeads in the future, and that’s going to need all kinds of people involved. I discussed this at some length in the February meetup (if you missed that you should read up on our new policies where you’ll find more about this).

We’re putting together a small group of people to do two things. One is to help design and put together events that help promote diversity in CocoaHeads, the first being the speaker training I alluded to in February. We will have sponsorship of real dollars to help do something really great. The other is to be point-people for anyone who has a concern related to Code of Conduct, Values or Diversity.


I am placing constraints on who we will consider for this group.

Of course we will be looking for diversity of all kinds—to use the words of our Diversity policy,

In alphabetical order, some of these attributes include (but are not limited to): age, culture, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental difference, politics, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and subculture. We welcome people regardless of the values of these or other attributes.

The other constraint is that we won’t be considering anyone who is “CocoaHeads establishment”. That might seem a bit odd, but the whole point here is to get new and fresh ideas, otherwise I’d just ask myself :)

With a few people involved this shouldn’t actually be too much work. In addition, you’ll have Fiona Chan, Manuel Chakravarty and myself for advice.

I am, of course, a programmer so please forgive my use of the word constraint ;) If you feel any kind of urge to be involved in this, or have any questions, please email me. No idea or question is silly.