Join us in Old City Philadelphia July 24 & 25 for the first annual SRCCON. Two days of making, thinking, and talking together. We can’t wait for you to join us.
Visit our schedule at schedule.srccon.org.
Venue & Lodging
SRCCON will take place at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, a museum and event space in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. The hotel where our conference block was reserved is sold out, but Old City is filled with other hotels, and Airbnb is also a good option for those who want more space or to share an apartment. If you’re looking for a room at the last minute, check out the SRCCON info-share etherpad and add your specifications.
Getting Ready for SRCCON
SRCCON is a conference built around participation, and you'll get the most out of it if you think of sessions as collective skillshares and group problem-solving huddles rather than talks or presentations. In general, a great SRCCON session is:
- participatory and hands-on
- flexible and responsive to the needs and questions of attendees
- generous with expertise and with time
- oriented toward next steps and building, not just discussing
It’s rare for coders and designers in and near news organizations to get a chance to spend much hands-on time together getting better at what they do—come ready to make the most of that time and you’ll do fine.
And before you board your plane/train/automobile to head to the venue, please take a quick look at the code of conduct, which encourages active displays of respect and empathy to make this event welcoming and safe for all.
Thursday Night Fun
During the day, SRCCON is focused on the work we do. At night, we want to concentrate on the things we’re passionate about outside the day-to-day. On Thursday, July 24, we’ll host an evening of non-work skillshares, games, and informal talks on extracurricular interests and obsessions, from travel hacking to gardening to pie.
For Thursday, we’d love it if you brought something you love, to share: a bottle or two of a local brew you especially like, games to play in our evening game room (don’t worry: we’ll supply the Magic cards for a draft tournament), and no doubt more things we’re not even thinking of.
(If you’re leading a session, check out our Session Leaders info below.)
On practical matters, you can share housing/rides/other info with other attendees in the SRCCON info-share etherpad.
Session Leaders Info
We’ve had contact with all of you at some point, and a few common questions and tips have emerged from those conversations:
- Think conversation rather than presentation. You’ll be in a room full of fellow experts, so look for the juicy problems you can solve together, or just hash through in a useful way.
- Don’t bring slides, do be prepared to break your session into smaller groups if it’s extra-popular. Sessions should scale whether there are 5, 15, or 50 people in the room and a great way to make that happen is to plan to spend the bulk of your session in small groups.
- Plan to use your expertise and your organization’s experiences and methods as a way to frame a broader conversation, rather than the primary focus of your session.
If you want to demo or do live code as part of the frame of your session, do some advance prep to make sure you have the best shot at a smooth session. We advise you to:
- edit your session description to include a list of dependencies so (at least some) people can install in advance;
- get there early and write those instructions up on a board in your room, then exhort people to install while they wait for the session to begin;
- if possible, have things on a thumb drive to share around;
- and have a fallback plan in mind for handling sad-trombone events (e.g., let’s learn about pair programming, and everyone buddy up with someone who’s got things installed!)
On a purely practical note, the rooms the Chemical Heritage Museum vary in size from 10 to 80 people, and they will all be configured "banquet" style, which means tables in clumps, with chairs around them all. Everything is on wheels though and the whole room is reconfigurable, and all rooms have a basic AV setup (projector/screen). But don’t bring slides!
Getting to the Venue
There is a public transit train (called regional rail) from the airport to Center City (downtown area). Tickets are $6.50 if you buy from a kiosk on the platform or $8 if purchased on the train. Get off at the “Market East” stop and you’ll be a short walk from the venue.
While in Philly
We didn’t want you stuck in a conference hotel that could have been anywhere, so we picked a centrally located venue for SRCCON. We encourage you to explore Philadelphia while you’re in town. Within five blocks of the Chemical Heritage Foundation are numerous historical sites, museums, bars, restaurants, and entertaining people watching (think: Colonial LARPing). If you’d like to venture beyond the Old City neighborhood, check out the transit information below, rent a bike, or keep walking till you hit one of the rivers that bookends downtown Philly.
Old City is accessible via bus and subway on public transit. The local transit organization is SEPTA. The closest subway station is the 2nd Street Market-Frankford Line (also known as “the El” or “blue line”) stop, and numerous bus lines run on Market Street, which is one block north of the venue. Philly still uses tokens to pay for transit rides. Tokens are $1.80 and are available for purchase at many, but not all, subway and train stations. Cash fare for bus and subway rides is $2.25 with a transfer costing $1. Regional rail trains, which serve the airport and farther out stations, are charged by a zone system. SEPTA open data led the civic hackathon movement in Philadelphia so there are a plethora of apps to access transit schedules and information.
In addition to public transit, the Old City area is exceptionally walkable, biking is quite common, and cabs are plentiful.
The Chemical Heritage Foundation is a block away from a restaurant from Jose Garces, one of the current Iron Chefs, that has a pretty delectable lunch menu. Within five blocks is another Garces restaurant as well as a restaurant by another Iron Chef and countless BYOBs, farm to table loving restaurants, a Chinese restaurant originated in Philly that got NYMag plaudits, pizza joints, old-timey ice cream parlors, and cheesesteak shops. On the BYOB point, there is a state store to buy wine and liquor (Pennsylvania restricts the sale of alcohol) two blocks from the venue at 32 S. 2nd Street where you can pick up wine on the way to dinner.
Philly is a big beer city, with several breweries and numerous bars and restaurants with extensive beer selections. Within 5 blocks of the venue are Eulogy Belgian Tavern with an enourmous beer listing and Victory Brewing Company with a brewery in the bar. Old City has a bustling nightlife, especially on weekends, and bars that cater to all types of groups (including “It’s Always Sunny” fans).
Philly is well-known for La Colombe coffee, which is available in many coffee shops and restaurants. We will have a range of coffee rigs Thursday and Friday morning for you to brew your favorite style of coffee as well.
We’re researching options on how to support attendees who need childcare. By July 21, we will email everyone who noted an interest in child care during registration with information about child care resources in Philly.
Philly has several hacker and maker spaces, which are all a relatively quick transit ride from the venue.
SRCCON is a conversational, small-group-centric event rather than a series of presentations, which means it doesn’t lend itself well to livestreaming. We are working out a few ways for people who aren’t at the event to gain access to some of the ideas and conversations that emerge, and will publish details here when we have them.
Want more info?
We’re still building out this page so if you have any questions, just email Erika Owens and we’ll research your question and update the site.