Oliver Lindberg, founder of Pixel Pioneers, tells us about what sets this brand of tech conferences different from the rest and why you should attend.

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

Pixel Pioneers, coming to Belfast on 15-17 November, is a new series of affordable conferences bringing world-class advice from the brightest minds in web design and front-end development to the UK. The Belfast event (building on the success of June’s inaugural event in Bristol) is a one-day/one-track conference, featuring eight practical and inspiring presentations, sandwiched by a free Shopify side event on the Wednesday, and a choice of two full-day workshops on the Friday.  

How are you different?

Pixel Pioneers is aimed at digital, web and UX designers as well as front-end developers but also project and product managers, creative directors and anyone else who works with the web. It’s especially aimed at small studios and agencies, freelancers and students — anyone who can’t afford the higher tier conferences. There are a lot of very costly conferences out there, in big expensive cities. In the UK that usually means London. For designers and developers with a small budget, or people starting out in the industry, these aren’t very accessible. Pixel Pioneers will bring outstanding speakers from around the world to the doorstep of vibrant communities like Belfast’s. 

Unlike many other events in the tech sector, Pixel Pioneers Belfast features a diverse line-up of speakers from different backgrounds that has attracted the attention of community groups like Women Who Code and Ladies That UX. Thanks to the kind support of Dublin-based ticketing startup Tito, members of underrepresented groups in tech can also apply for some free diversity tickets by 26 October.

What have you got planned for the Belfast conference?

The conference will feature feature eight international speakers, including Una KravetsSharon Steed, and Laura Elizabeth, and will cover topics such as the power of CSS, launching your first product, how the BBC approaches scalable front-end architecture, and much more. There will also be a couple of local speakers: designer, writer and educator Christopher Murphy, a senior lecturer leading interaction design at the Belfast School of Art; and Chris Armstrong, designer and founder of Niice, a creative collaboration platform that’s used by teams like Nike, Sony and TIME.

On Friday, 17 November, Harry Roberts will lead a full-day workshop on front-end performance (building faster websites), while UX designer Eva-Lotta Lamm will dive into using sketching techniques to rapidly develop website and app interfaces.

Are there any other networking opportunities?

On Wednesday, 15 November, Pixel Pioneers will kick off with an informal get-together in The Black Box. An Evening with Shopify is free to attend and features Nicola Carruthers, CFO and co-founder of digital design agency Underwaterpistol; David Bailey, creative director, UX&D, at the BBC; and one more speaker that hasn’t been announced yet (keep an eye out on Twitter!).

There will also be a party right after the conference at 21 Social, on Thursday, 16 November, with some free drinks on me!

Why will you do well?

Belfast used to have a great conference in Build that was held between 2009 and 2013 and organised by Andy McMillan. Then Christopher Murphy put on an excellent one-off conference called Break in 2014. 

Since then there’s been a gap, especially during that week in November that Build used to occupy, Pixel Pioneers is aiming to fill it. Belfast is a thriving city, and people simply love going there. What’s more, Belfast and Northern Ireland have a fantastic community — they need and deserve an event that rallies this community together.

Tell us about your team?

At the moment I am a team of one, Oliver Lindberg. I’m the former editor of net magazine, the world’s leading print mag for web designers and developers, and also the co-founder of Generate, its conference for the same audience.  

I have been involved with the web design and development industry for more than a decade and now, as an independent editor and content consultant, help businesses across the world create content that connects with their customers. 

Where are you based?

I live in Bath, England. Originally I’m from Germany and have lived in the UK for about 16 years now.  

When was the company launched?

Pixel Pioneers went live on 1 February 2017. 

What have been your biggest wins to date?

The inaugural Pixel Pioneers conference took place on 22 June, and the feedback from attendees, speakers, and sponsors alike has been amazing (check out the photos)! There were around 150 people (which is fantastic for the first one), and it gave me an incredible boost for the Belfast event. 

What are your long term plans?

I’m planning to turn Pixel Pioneers Belfast into a regular event and roll it out to more cities.

How do people get in touch with you?

You can reach me @oliverlindberg or @pixelpioneers on Twitter or email me at [email protected].

Whether you’d like to talk to me about group discounts, sponsorship opportunities, submit a speaking proposal or simply want to have a chat about the event, just drop me a line.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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