My dear (sweaty?) Handmade folks,

Hope your summer’s been great! There’s much excitement to unpack. Let’s just dive into it:

Explosive Meetup Growth

Last month, we hit a record number of in-person Handmade events: eight of them around the globe. Check them out on our meetups page.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been talking with Khrob, a rare CTO in Australia who truly gets our values. He’ll be hosting meetups there. We’re still deciding on the exact city, so sign up if you’re interested! If you’re in Australia or planning to visit, subscribe to those notifications to show your interest.

We’re also gauging interest for Tokyo. If you’re there or plan to visit, please wishlist Tokyo.

First Co-working Session

We’re launching public co-working sessions this month in Seattle, led by my technical producer Phil Homan. Subscribe to the Seattle meetup list for updates. We’ll create a dedicated co-working area on the website soon.

Handmade Cities is living up to its name: major conferences, monthly meetups, and now bi-weekly co-working sessions, starting in Seattle (expanding globally once we’ve nailed down a template.)

Note: If you’re an indie dev, small business owner, or earning without a traditional employer, I’ve been hosting indie co-working sessions for a while already. Reply to this email if you want to join the private channel.

Kagi Tech Lead at Handmade Boston

Meet Zac Nowicki, the tech lead behind Kagi Search, a paid alternative to Google that’s gaining a lot of notoriety. Unlike most, Kagi builds its own index; I’m also rapidly falling in love with their business ethics.

It seems their tech is becoming aligned with Handmade values, sparking many questions: how much of the web fits our ethos? In our community, web development gets relentlessly criticized for its overreliance on dependencies, microservices, containers, serverless computing, and the list is long. Is ALL the mockery justified? Is the web ecosystem beyond saving?

Let’s finally sort out what’s valuable from what’s not: can the web be Handmade?

P.S. This isn’t a paid promotion or sponsorship. I reached out to Kagi personally.

Terminal Click Under Scrutiny

If you missed the last newsletter, here’s some exciting news: Allen Webster (AKA Mr. 4th) is speaking at Handmade Boston! Allen runs Mr. 4th Lab full-time, a software research lab focused on the problems facing general practitioners.

He’ll be dissecting Terminal Click, my project that I hope to ship by the end of the year. Allen will dive into the codebase, explore how its features work together, and critique its architecture. He’ll look at things like my platform layer, arena usage, C strings, UI, and rendering strategy, and help solve long-standing issues.

This is a rare chance to see a handmade project’s guts under a magnifying glass.

Complete Boston Lineup by End of July

This year’s HMB lineup is taking a bit longer, partly due to the tough economic climate. Talented folks I’ve reached out to are either job hunting, overwhelmed with work, or feeling unmotivated. Things are looking up for the second half of the year, but it’s been rough for many.

However, expect the lineup to be complete by the end of July. I’m having good conversations with promising new candidates. Keep the HMB website bookmarked and check back for updates!

On a positive note, tickets for Boston are selling better than last year. Secure your seat now for peace of mind and support these masterclasses. Most of the ticket money goes towards venue rental, insurance, and helping cover travel costs for staff and speakers.

The Death of “Don’t Reinvent the Wheel”

Congrats to Ladybird!

I woke up to exciting news about the Ladybird browser, announced in this YouTube video.

Ladybird, which to me embodies the Handmade ethos, just launched a nonprofit with serious funding from a GitHub founder. Ladybird is an independent browser created from scratch as part of SerenityOS by Andreas Kling. He demoed it at Handmade Seattle ~2-3 years ago, and it went viral (example). Many see that conference demo as a crucial stepping stone for the project’s (continued) success.

This is the end of the “don’t reinvent the wheel” mindset and the community should celebrate.

Time for my Jimmy Wales Speech 👀

I like to give my Jimmy Wales speech now and then, hoping someone will support my efforts beyond just buying a ticket. Organizing two tech conferences in two major cities, with zero sponsors, is an insane thing to do. Profits are minimal and go back into the business, leaving nothing for myself.

That’s where conference members come in. It’s my “Patreon”:

A member is someone who not only enjoys the conference but also likes me personally. You want me to stay independent, so you throw five bucks a month my way.

It’s easy to pause or cancel, no account required. I understand the fatigue of monthly commitments though: for those who prefer a one-time donation, Donorbox allows for that too—every bit helps.

Your indie organizer,