Discover more from Reflections from Pause
Let's talk about PauseOnError FileMaker Summer Camp
What's it like? Who should go? What will you learn? What will you contribute?
Registration for PauseOnError FileMaker Summer Camp 2023 (October 3-6, 2023) is now open! If you’d like to learn more about PauseOnError – you’ve come to the right place.
PauseOnError is a Pause conference for the Claris FileMaker developer community. PauseOnError is different from most other conferences and certainly from other software conferences. Really, you shouldn’t take our word for it; if you have time, listen to some of these interviews with attendees of the last two PauseOnError events:
Those reflections are worth far more than an organizer’s perspective… but if you still want to hear from me, this is my take.
How does it work?
PauseOnError revolves around three key principles:
Most attendees work directly with FileMaker in some capacity. That doesn’t mean that everyone at PauseOnError is a developer – there are also folks who do marketing, finance, operations, HR, and other jobs at companies that work with FileMaker. There are usually a handful of folks in attendance who are the spouses or partners of people who work directly with FileMaker. And you’ll probably find a few folks for whom FileMaker isn’t at the center of their professional lives – or isn’t any more – but for whom this community is important. Everyone is welcome and while the content of sessions should have something to do with FileMaker, “something to do with” is loosely held. Registration for FileMaker Summer Camp 2023 is currently open at the time of this writing, and will remain open until August 21.
The time at PauseOnError is structured and intentionally open-ended. Each morning, we gather as a large group for a plenary-type opening session. This gives you an outline for the day and for the conference as a whole. Sometimes we do seemingly random things, like musical performances. (Spoiler alert: they’re not random.)
There are several spots in the schedule for small-group sessions. Sign-ups for these sessions will open in late summer and remain open through the start of the conference. We encourage anyone and everyone to lead a session. At PauseOnError, leading a session is more about facilitation and less about presentation. In fact, if there’s a topic you don’t know much about but would like to learn about, this would be an excellent session for you to lead! Most of these sessions take place outdoors, and we strongly encourage everyone to plan for conversation, discussion, and interaction.
Finally, there’s plenty of unstructured time in the schedule as well. This can be used to continue conversations that started in other sessions, get together for 1:1 collaboration, spend time alone, go for walks with friends, etc. The idea is that once we’ve activated our minds in the formal sessions, we want to create space and time to really get the most out of our energized and engaged brain-states. We have found that this unstructured time is where some of the most important realizations in development, business, and personal connection have originated. This is the state that I sometimes refer to as Middle-Distance Thinking.
The space our bodies physically occupy profoundly influences our thinking, whether or not we’re conscious of it. PauseOnError takes place at a gorgeous summer camp in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Is it a pain to drive several hours from Atlanta to get there? Yes. Is it worth it? Totally. We have the campus to ourselves – there’s a lake, trails through the forest, and a waterfall. Most activities take place in covered outdoor spaces, so you can hear the stream and the birds in the background. This does mean that, unlike many conferences, instead of dressing for the ice-cold air conditioning of a hotel ballroom, you should plan to dress for the weather. Raincoats are highly recommended, and the first year at this location we even lost power for half a day. A tech conference with no power and no internet! If you listen to the 2021 interviews, you’ll hear just how surprised everyone was that this could be the start of a magical experience.
PauseOnError is both technical and simply human
On the other hand, PauseOnError is about being human. It’s a place where you can attend a session on storytelling in the treehouse – listening to and telling stories against the backdrop of forest sounds and autumn leaves. You can get up too early and practice meditation with a group in the library, or stay up too late singing songs around the campfire.
PauseOnError is participatory
Everyone has something to contribute to PauseOnError, whether you’re new to the community or you’ve been coming to these since we started in 2009.
Here’s a small sampling of ways you can participate:
Lead a session
Lead a song at the campfire
Ask a question at a session
Ask someone to go for a walk
Ask for help with something you’re stuck on
Help someone with something they’re stuck on
Start a water balloon fight
Start a conversation about a feature you’d love to see in FileMaker
Post pictures in Slack
Bring a game to play after dinner
And who knows what else! PauseOnError is created by our community, for our community. If there’s something you want that you don’t see – you can make it happen. We’re guided by our Code of Conduct; anything that contributes to creating an open, welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and healthy community is enthusiastically encouraged.
Thanks for reading Reflections from Pause! Subscribe for free to receive new posts.