Oh it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! As we near the end of the year, we wanted to share a quick wrap up of what we got up to in 2021.
We’ve been in awe of our local community as people, organisations and companies have banded together to enhance the unique culture of our city. Join us as we reflect on some of this year’s highlights (admittedly taking some inspiration from Spotify).
A growing programme of events!
This year we welcomed five new meetups to the region!
🌟 In February our Founder, Steve Rackley hosted the first Brighton Gophers event. With this group, anyone interested in the Go programming language now has a Brighton-based community to share their skills, experiences and ideas.
🌟 Back in March, we collaborated with Michelle Flynn to bring Caring for Coders to life. A new group supporting the health and wellness of those working in tech. So far we’ve explored topics including how to prevent burnout, the science of healthy eating, mental wellness and the power of breathwork exercises.
🌟 In late July, we teamed up with Ally Jones to launch the People and Culture Club! This group has created a safe space for managers, founders and leaders to explore some of the hurdles that come with scaling a business.
🌟 In November we teamed up with Simon Downes to launch Brighton Cloud – a new group for anyone who’s interested in how cloud computing is changing the fabric of IT systems. They’ll be partnering with AWS for their next event happening 12th January.
🌟 We partnered with the team at Start-up Grind Brighton in November to help develop a community for our city’s entrepreneurs. Brighton’s chapter of Start-up Grind will be back on 12th January for another exciting fireside chat.
We reconnected with some old friends
We saw some long-standing groups return to meetups again.
A big shout out to Richard Hayes for all of his hard work to bring back events for Brighton Py. We’re so glad to see this local network for those interested in the Python Programming language return.
PHP Sussex also came back with an event hosted on a ‘90’s style’ video software called Gather.town – you can check out the recording here. We’ll be supporting Kevin Cunningham to bring even more PHP events in 2022!
We waved goodbye
After many years of being the primary JVM based meetup group on the South Coast, we said goodbye to Brighton Java. The meetup did a fantastic job of bringing together those working in Java and we’re really sad to say goodbye. If you’re a part of the Java ecosystem, you can still look forward to regular meetups in the new year as we’ve just launched a new Java group with Lee Turner called Brighton JUG.
We welcomed some brilliant people to our team
A big welcome to Grace Prior, who’s just joined us as our new Programme Manager! Grace will be working closely with our meetup organisers to develop our events and wider programme of activities. If you’re a technologist looking to become a community advocate, or a business looking to get behind our mission then get in touch with Grace.
At the end of November, we also welcomed two new Marketing & Events Assistants, Bibi Butcher-Langmead and Yousra Ennassih-Hassani who are supporting the smooth running and promotion of community events. Have you seen them at a meetup yet?
Support for independent businesses
Over lockdown, we reached out to local tech experts in our community to help support independent businesses impacted by coronavirus. We’d like to highlight how thankful we are to everyone who engaged with Our Brighton. With the generous support of 90+ tech volunteers and 20 local businesses, all volunteering their time to help over 30 independent businesses transform their services to work online. Thank you for helping the independents that support the culture of our city.
Helping to address diversity in tech
In September we unveiled our most ambitious project yet, Diverse Sussex, with the aim to better understand and address the issues around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in Sussex’s tech community. Together, we can move towards a sector that’s welcoming, fair and prosperous for everyone. We’ve been delighted to see over 20 local businesses sign up to support the campaign. If you’d like to start creating positive change in your business, you can join our mission here.
A space to connect and learn
This year, we launched our new Silicon Brighton Hub, a welcoming and inclusive space where you can learn about everything that’s happening in the local tech community. You can create a free profile to see and share tech news, events and projects with our community.
We won an award!
In May we were truly grateful to receive The County Business Club’s Technology award, recognising everything we’ve achieved together as a community. Thank you to everyone who made this achievement possible, we couldn’t do it with your support!
Sharing local insights with the world!
With so many events going online we’ve been able to share the fantastic insights even further via our Silicon Brighton YouTube channel. Over the last year we’ve shared 47 new videos from 15 different event groups – totalling over 43 hours of content! A special shout out to Sebastian Aigner for his Brighton Kotlin talk which now has over 9,000 views!
Making events more accessible
This year we’ve been busy training the Silicon Brighton team up on our new hybrid events kit, which we’re offering out free of charge to local community groups. If you’d like to explore how this could benefit an event you’re running, be sure to reach out to us via email@example.com.
Thank you, to everyone who’s been a part of our journey this year. It wouldn’t have been possible without your generosity, support and enthusiasm for all things tech.
We can’t wait to continue building on this in 2022!