New Beginnings

It’s officially Spring, which is not just a time for us to clean (ugh) but also to savor new beginnings: like this special sale marking the opening of Handmade Cities.

Tickets for Handmade Boston and Handmade Seattle are now available, and the early-bird price is limited to the first hundred buyers.

Wait wha- Handmade Boston?

Yes! This summer! I’m excited to say Seattle has been widely supported enough that we can expand to the east coast. We are in many ways proof indie growth is still possible against a punishing corporate climate, though not without the pain.

Handmade Boston takes place August 3-4, 2023 and we’re calling it the mentorship conference. Unlike Seattle, which welcomes everybody, Boston targets those who are already capable programmers: you should be extremely comfortable with the first 25 episodes of Handmade Hero, at the very least.

You’ll be part of brand new masterclasses designed by names like:

Kaze Emanuar

    The man, myth, and legend behind the greatest mods for Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time. And that’s not an exaggeration.

Freya Holmér

    The math influencer and shader sorceress who’s authored the award-winning Shapes library and really insightful video essays on YouTube. It’s hard to summarize every thing she contributes to online.


    If you want someone to masterfully break down the origins of a strange bug, this is who you ping. From recreating entire levels to telling us why Mario Galaxy’s physics engine broke the rules, Jasper has an incredible knack for exploring foreign codebases.

Ryan Fleury

    A systems programmer at RAD (now part of Epic), Ryan has a superpower many will want to acquire: writing programs in C while eliminating all common memory bugs. It’s not a hack: whichever language you program in, these memory strategies will be worth a look.

This is the beginning: we have more speakers of similar caliber coming down that green pipe. Stay tuned in the coming weeks 🙂

Handmade Seattle still in the Fall?

Yep! Handmade Seattle once again takes place Nov 15-16, 2023 with an optional series of hangouts on Friday the 17th.

Seattle continues to be THE celebration of systems programming and all things low-level: with inspiring talks, a huge trade show, and a job fair. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn we’re expanding the size of these things further. We’re running strong since 2019 and hope to see you again.

Call for Speakers and Demoers

The hunt for presenters for Handmade Seattle has already started. I’m keen to open HMS 2023 by documenting major instances where Windows violates user trust: starting underground with registry policies and climbing our way up to dark patterns in UX. If you believe yourself qualified please send an email: Boy I’m excited for all the spice we have in store this year.

P.S. I might actually partner up with ChocoVine this time.


Indie vs Corporate

I wanted to wrap up this sale with thoughts on my doubling-down on sponsor-free events.

The ambition behind Handmade Cities is to grow and expand the conferences, but they also need to be free of any sponsors. Almost every organizer I know relies on sponsorships because operating a tech conference seemingly isn’t profitable otherwise.

If you ever remember me for one thing it should be this: sponsorship deals are the devil’s spawn. If you care about fixing the software industry this trade is never worth it; you’re not getting financial support in exchange for “simply” posting Microsoft’s logo on your website. The hidden social ramifications of touching ANY company’s bag of money are vast and—given the state of our industry—quite harmful.

I hope you buy a ticket not just because these indie conferences will be helpful to you personally, but because you’re on board with our peculiar pursuit for change.

Yours truly,