About Handmade Cities
Sponsor-free tech events
We reject sponsorship deals because we must be allowed to criticize anyone’s software. Accepting “free” bags of money destroys our ability to change the industry.
An obligation to software quality
The industry’s incentives are about imposing control and fleecing customers. We’ve all but abandoned the user’s quality of experience, agency over their software, and privacy.
Self-host wherever possible
Anything essential to our conferences is processed in-house. E.g. When you register for an event we personally consume the payment notification to generate your ticket—removing spying middlemen like Ticketmaster.
As a polyglot our host intends to expand even outside the United States. Since we wish to retain independence, however, we’re only growing through increased audience support.
Abner is the founder of Handmade Cities and sole organizer for our conferences.
His professional story began when he left Puerto Rico for a yearlong internship at NASA. Abner was mentored on how they make software and after receiving Kennedy Intern of the Year, published an essay on NASA’s coding philosophy (featured in the news.)
He started the Handmade Network, a large community learning to build quality software. He then went on to work for Jonathan Blow for several years and later Cyan Worlds to help ship the Myst remake.
Abner’s growing concern of declining standards—both ethical and technical—pushed him to run tech events full-time, with ironclad conviction that tech needs independent organizing more than ever.
Founder, Handmade Cities
Phil Homan, who goes by PH Test, is a Seattle-based developer with a knack for multi-disciplinary work: projects include live-performance visuals, experimental programs, games, and video production—often with tooling he’s designed himself!
Phil joined Handmade Cities to help Abner with matters related to streaming, recording, and A/V support at the conferences.
Devon, who goes by Tek256, is a talented freelance game developer. A Washington native, his interests go beyond video games which include editing video and audio as well as playing professional DJ at local events and parties.
Devon has joined the team to assist with matters related to editing content: trailers, podcasts, talks, and more.