Keeping up with Bendyworks

In our neighborhood spring has arrived. For us here in Wisconsin, that means we crawl out of our frost caves and igloos and offer sacrifices of cheese to the Sky-serpent so that he regurgitates Sky-orb for the summer. Also there’s lots of road construction. But enough with what you all know about us Wisconsinites. The real scoop is that spring and summer are conference season! Here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to and where we’re going:

Last Fall

In September, Chris headed out to Boston to attend the International Conference on Functional Programming. This conference was fun in that he got to meet all the authors of CS textbooks that he’s read. Talks were generally on three topics: a) types, b) types, and c) types. Things that stick out in his mind were designing violins using functional geometry, and getting to see Oleg in his natural habitat.

In November, Josh and Devin went to ClojureConj held in Alexandria, VA. But it was also held in The George Washington Masonic National Memorial, which was an appropriate venue in order to be inducted into the parenthetical secrets of Clojure. Devin was physically transported to the moon upon hearing To The Moon. Moon scientists are still at a loss to explain how great this talk was.

Also in November, Stephen and Rachel ascended a wizard’s tower for the SCNA conference in Chicago. Featured were Gary Bernhardt’s Birth and Death of JavaScript, and Carina Zona’s talk on Schemas for the Real World.


Glynnis kicked off [SnowMobile]81 this year with what was not only the first talk of the conference, but *her first conference talk! The topic? What it’s like to start out as a programmer. Be sure to check out the video below for her talk, Drinking From the Fire Hose, you’ll be enchanté:

Rachel reports that “Glynnis killed it.”

Other high points of Snow*Mobile were the audience, which was awesome, and the great mix of other talks ranging from mobile design to demos to tech talks. Glynnis and Brad were also delighted to meet the designer of cocoa pods,Orta.


Rachel went to the Sales 2.0 which shed light on how entirely different selling custom software is from selling software that comes on a dozen floppy disks in a shrink-wrapped box the color of a laundry detergent (it’s totallyentirely different). She also learned much about how purpose and motivation determine the success of individuals and companies.

A veritable mob of Bendyworkers: Josh, Devin, Rachel, and Matt, made the trip out to ClojureWest. An interesting talkwas given in poem form all about a poetry website (loudspeaker: paging Marshall McLuhan). Devin enjoyed hearing recent Cognitect David Nolen’s talk The Functional Final Frontier. As a fan and contributor to Hoplon, Devin also dug seeing Alan Dipert and Micha Niskin talk about Hoplon, Web Programming with Hoplon, a last-ditch effort to win the war of web development and the best thing to happen to spreadsheets since VisiCalc.


Glynnis and Kelly winged it to SFO for TYPO, a conference on typography, natch. Speakers included the visual designer for the Black Panther Party, the art director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, and the design director for the Walker Art Center. Kelly reports that she has suffered a severe and persistent case of must-paint-creatively-itis following the event. This is not a treatable condition.

Glynnis was enthused (to say the least) about getting to meet and hear from Lisa Congdon, an illustrator & personal hero of hers. Other highlights were a Tattly vending machine, full of design-y temporary tattoos, and a bevy of Adobe-supplied typography books for perusal. Asked to comment on the topic of typography in general, Glynnis replied, “ERMRGRD TRPRGRPHR!”

Ian journeyed to the foreign country of Canada (Montréal, to be specific) for the un-snakelike PyCon. All told there were 2,300 developers there. And they all want Ian to fix an issue for them.


Matt spent the waning hours of Monitorama sleuthing out the hallway track while on an otherwise bike-centric trip to Portland.

Soon, Glynnis and Brad will be going to La Conf Paris, which by Glynnis’s own account, is “in a palace or some crap.” In between “eating rare french delicacies,” they will hear talks by “the coders, entrepreneurs and visionaries who build the things you love.”

Chris is leaving later this week for BayHac2014, the Bay Area Haskell hackathon. He’s hoping to marinate in lots of great talks and finally get down to business with the Lens library. Oh and San Francisco is pretty cool, too.


A wild Madison+UX1 appears! Mic will be there to inform us that it is pronounced “you-ex” and not “ucks” like certain unnamed authors have thought up until just now.

Also in July, is the MAKE! conference. Our own Mic is one of the organizers (and attendees!)


Bendyworkers Glynnis and Kelly will reprise their visit to Made By Few in lovely Little Rock, Arkansas. Last year’s envoy arrived in style by making the long drive from Wisconsin in an RV. This year will, no doubt be a great trip as well.

Also in August, and in our backyard, is the lovely Madison+Ruby1 (or the conference-formerly-known-as-Madison-Ruby). Attendees will include most of Bendyworks!


At the end of September, Kelly, Mic, and Glynnis are going to Artifact in Providence, RI. They’re going to “face design challenges for a multi-device world.” Kelly also added that artifacts are something that Indiana Jones looks for. Interesting, indeed!

1. Bendyworks is a proud sponsor of this event.

Category: Community