Several people asked me to share the resignation speech I gave at the end of the #babbq16
so here it is.
7 years ago when I started the Big Android BBQ it was with a clear vision. I believed there needed to be an easily accessible low barrier of entry tech event for everyone unable or unwilling to travel to San Francisco or New York and pay the high prices of the events at the time. I saw a need for a new type of tech event for anyone and everyone. Over 7 years we’ve seen this vision embraced by every major tech company out there. Now they all have events around the country that are easier to attend and much more affordable. At the end of the day my original mission has been accomplished and I believe it was the hard work of my all volunteer teams that influenced an entire industry in this way. Now 7 years later our mission has evolved to focus more heavily on lowering the barrier of entry into software development and improve diversity in this industry. We took on this mission 3 years ago and have several amazing and heartwarming success stories. We once again lead the way for major companies with millions or billions in resources and massive teams of paid employees. There are now hundreds of events around the country that follow the blueprint we laid out with the Big Android BBQ and our Code Kitchens.
This amazing organization of dedicated, humble people that have volunteered thousands of hours is at a crossroads. With sponsorships now spread across so many events finding support has become increasingly difficult and time consuming. With more events in more places, fewer people are traveling to attend events like the Big Android BBQ. Fewer attendees and sponsors means we’ve had to increase prices. This tiny nonprofit never stood a chance once there was competition for sponsors and attendees, especially when former sponsors are the ones producing these new events. This organization saw problems and we set out to fix them. We successfully changed the way the tech industry handles events, we changed a few young people's lives for the better, and we spurred great conversations about diversity and opportunity in tech for everyone. Endings are always a little sad but we should be proud of what we have accomplished and the impact we had. Unfortunately we simply do not have the resources to continue. The 2016 Big Android BBQ will be the final event hosted by IDEAA. I will resign following the Big Android BBQ but have recommended to the board of directors to find a new direction, likely as a community resource or a partner of other events that helps bring in a diverse crowd looking for opportunity. This may be the end of the Big Android BBQ and possibly IDEAA but the impact we’ve had will last for a long, long, time.
Before we head out for our final celebration, I want to recognize all of you. Some of you have been here since the very beginning but even those attending for the first time, represent the very best in Tech and in my opinion humanity. The passion, respect and camaraderie you show for each other is an example of what Tech can and should be. Thank you for your support it’s been an amazing run but sometimes great things must come to an end.
I hope you’ve all had as amazing a time as I have on this journey and made some life long friends. We’re doing things a bit different for the party this year. It’s on the top floor of the parking garage, so please be patient heading up there since we only have 1 elevator and I know I’m not walking up 7 flights of stairs.
Thank you again for attending, I’ll see you all upstairs.