GopherCon 2019 - What got us here, won't get us there

Andrea Santillana for the GopherCon 2019 Liveblog

Presenter: Johnny Boursiquot

Liveblogger: Andrea Santillana


There's never been a better time to adopt Go. The language is attracting more newcomers every day and by all accounts, its community has a lot to do with it. If, however, we want to retain what makes Go special beyond the language itself, we, as a community, must recognize and amplify what makes us great and address what threatens our unity.

The Go Community is growing, we're doing quite well.


The GopherCon has grown, my first GopherCon was in 2014.

Now it's 1800 people, it's amazing and it's just a small fraction from all the people that use Go from around the world.

It's said that there's 1 million around the world.


Google GoBridge

The Go developer network is a collaboration with group worldwide meetup.


Since we know not everyone uses meetup, this is not a representation of all the world.


Month after month we continue to see an increase in memberships, so this is a thriving community.

Top Wanted

Top Paying

And Go also gets you paid, we are on fire! So give yourselves a round of applause for that.


I consider myself lucky to have a front-row seat since the beginning. We have something here, not just Go itself. This room, all over the world. We've got something here, it's about the people, not just the technology.

When people say community some folks say it's technology, some say it's open source contributions. But at the end it's human interaction, exchanging ideas, talk about cool stuff you're working on, talk about cool stuff that you would like to work on, that's what ties this bond that we have, that's what brings it into focus, almost.


Community gives safety.

Some of you don't know it, but I'm from Haiti, I love my culture, but for me America was the place where I could go make this things happen.

I remember quite vividly some of my early experiences. I was in a plane, mid december, it's snowing, I hadn't seen snow before, I was excited and cold. I walk out on to the entry process and I'm looking for a familiar face but there aren't there, after a while I start to get confused, lost, I sit down my head in my hands, tears starting to puor out of the corners of my eyes, and as my head is facing down, feet gather around me. I look up and friends, cousins are there with a jacket in tow.

Community makes you feel safe, wanted, welcome, not forgotten, not left behind. It gives you the freedom to be your authentic self, to be seen, to see others, help others, not just the technology stuff. Others want to be seen, helped, welcomed.

Do you think you'd be here if you werent wanted, belonged, welcome? That safety we have to return and give it to others.

Community gives opportunity.

I'm involved in GoBridge and teaching and workshops. One time I met a young lady who didn-t know any programming. She was enthusiastic, asking what should she study, look at. After she goes to the workshop I start seeing her everywhere, in the community, meetups. One day she applied for a Jr position for a company I'm working, and she gets hired and ends up working in my team. She went from zero to hero. It really did changed her life, and not only her life, the generational impact that it has around her, around her family. It's not one person's life youre changing.

It's a different lens to look through when you think wwhat a comunity can do for people, you have incredible amount of power over the lives of others who can only wish to be here.

This requires work, it doesn't happen on its own.

Community gives back.

A few months ago I met a developer they come to me, they tell me "I follow you on twitter", "I want to be like you". We keep chatting, they say "how did you manage to have people let you do all that you're doing?" Nobody lets you do anything, you don't need permission, you have to be the change you seek. If you want people around you to change you have to give of yourself.

It's a paradox, the more you give the more you get. Community doesn't give, it gives back. The more I've given to this comunity, it has given me back. So wax on, wax of, start giving of yourself before you start expecting from others.


My experiences has been nothing short of amazing, we've grown together. I hope you care as much as i do care about you. Take a look at your neighbors, do you see what's missing? Or what we could use more of?


Yesterday I gave myself a little challenge, I decided to go meet every person who looks like me, so I went through the entire GopherCon, taking pictures with complete strangers thinking "this has potential, I want to meet every single person that looks like me at the conference".

Out of 1800 people I couldn't fill this slide.

Community is accountable.

We can say that we are a welcoming, diverse, inclusive community, or we can be one. And that doesn't happen by itself. You cant just sit back and think it will take care of itself. Regardless of you background, if you're in this room today, you have some level of privilege.

To whom much is given, much is expected


How you can step up. A very specific way you can help is organize a GoBridge workshop. You can have an impact in underrepresentend folks' lives in this community.

This work not only exposes Go and programming, it also sends a strong message that we're working in this community to make it safe for everybody, and this is full of opportunities if you're willing to put in the work.

Nothing would make me happier than if at the end of this talk all the people that look like me go to the terrace and take a group picture together. We could make this a tradition and hopefully grow every year.

So, one last thing


This community holds a special place in my heart. There's nowhere else I'd rather be. Even if I've never met you, I care about you. Help me make a difference.

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