In 2012, I wrote this email to Dave Lester and Jeremy Boggs:
Yesterday, I was telling someone that I’d had three big breaks to be able to do DHish work as a career. Enumerating them I realized that two of them were or involved THATCamps!
Thanks, guys! I’m following my dreams thanks to y’all.
THATCamp was the first encounter I’d had with academia since graduation. The original call for participants was so open that I expected the gathering to be like a tech conference or user group, so I was astonished to discover that most of the other campers had (or were working on) PhDs. However, their welcome and enthusiasm soon set me at ease. By the end, I’d made some good friends and gotten over most of my technical challenges.
I missed THATCamp in 2009, but Dave and Jeremy were enthusiastic about non-CHNM folks like me holding another THATCamp here in Austin while Jeanne Kramer-Smythe would be in town, so–with Lisa Grimm and Peter Keane–the first regional THATCamp was born. Conversations at the 2012 THATCamp AHA gave me an opportunity to quit my industry job and work on DH full time, and–with encouragement from yet more THATCampers–I started a more meaningful career. Over the past dozen years, the generosity of the people we’ve met to share their wisdom and perspectives has been a model that my partner Sara and I have tried to emulate.
So thanks again to Jeremy and Dave, to RRCHNM, and to all the colleagues–too numerous to list–who have been part of the conversation at THATCamp.