- Web Engineer
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Hacker News is bringing Fukuoka’s Startup style to a new audience.
Nulab has been pushing forward globally with full force since I joined the company almost 2 years ago. As a foreigner in Japan, this of course caters to me well. As well, nulab has always had a great reputation as a company that is very active in the community here in Fukuoka, where our HQ is. We can thank Masa (our CEO) for that. Personally, I love the community events and getting to know all the wonderful engineers and entrepreneurs in this great city, I can honestly say it is the best part of my job. However, as my Japanese speaking level can leave something to be desired, sometimes it is hard for me to get the most out of the events and presentations I see. For this reason, I am thankful for, and would like to introduce, Hacker News Fukuoka!
(Tom [Front, left] looking on during the presentations)
Recently Tom (CEO, Qurate) contacted me about this event that he was organizing. It had been previously held in Tokyo, generating considerable buzz. He wanted to bring it to Fukuoka and in many ways make it his own. He asked if we could speak at the event alongside some notable people from our community. Masa was out of town, so it fell on me to tell everyone about our User Community for Backlog, JBUG (Japan Backlog User Group). I have always enjoyed public speaking so it was a great opportunity for me.
(If I see you with a camera, I *will* make a face at you. Just FYI)
Hacker news is an English event, and it seems the ratio of Japanese people to foreigners is about 50/50, a remarkable stat for events in Fukuoka! Though my time was short, being able to speak and present in English was very refreshing for me. I was able to look around the room and see faces understanding me, on a level that I do not normally enjoy.
Great to see so many different people there!
As Fukuoka City has also been working with a global mindset, and introducing things like the Startup Visa for foreigners, the community has changed, becoming more diverse. What a great thing to be able to have events for the IT community purely in English! A new group of people could suddenly benefit from the community vibe that Japanese speakers are enjoying here daily.
The presentations have been very interesting as well. Companies have demoed new features of popular software, but the keynotes have been the best part. Joshua Tessier from Ramen Ventures spoke about where technology is going. Laurie Grifiths from Corect spoke about the history of AI. And of course there have been a myriad of lightning talks.
Joshua Tessier from Ramen Ventures
Beers were plentiful, networking connections were made, and a very “Fukuoka-ian” event was held. But for me, it was more than that. I left there clearer in mind than usual, the result of not working that extra bit hard at communication that I normally have to do while speaking Japanese. I’m sure that I’m not alone in this, and I think the service to non-Japanese community members should not be understated!
The first event was held at a dance club in Daimyo (much like the original event in Tokyo), but after the success of Vol. 2 that was held in Nulab’s cafe, we will be hosting it going forward. It also allowed us to make the event free right now. Near the end of the month, you can find us sharing cool IT stuff, drinking beers, and making friends. I hope to see you there. (The next one is July 26th).