The Galaxy Community Conference (GCC2022) is an annual gathering of the Galaxy Project community with a primary focus on dissemination of data-intensive science. Internally, we refer to GCC as a family reunion because it’s a welcoming, fun event that leaves you inspired and refreshed. This family is growing and as a result, we wanted to summarize what to expect from this year’s GCC, or if you are uncertain about your attendance, give you some reasons why to join - it is not too late.
The Galaxy community is inclusive and diverse, with GCC reflecting this mindset through a variety of event types. Particularly if you are new to attending conferences (and honestly, most of us are a bit rusty after the past couple of years), here we summarize all the ways you can participate in GCC. At a high level, GCC offers presentation-style talks, interactive training, brainstorming sessions, a coding event, and opportunities for networking and socializing. The talks are centered around (‘omics) analysis methods and results, novel tools, enabling compute infrastructure, Galaxy software framework features, and outreach topics. Multi-day training events offer opportunities to go from asking “What is Galaxy and what do I use it for?” or “How do I scale my analysis to 1,000 samples?” to being able to do it with confidence only a week later. Brainstorming sessions, or Birds of a Feather (BoFs), are free-form events that gather people around a topic of interest to brainstorm ideas or work out details in depth. The coolest thing about BoFs is that anyone can organize a BoF on any topic they’d like - even if it has nothing to do with Galaxy or ‘omics! There is also a CoFest, or a coding event, where you have an opportunity to work on a project with others or get help from experts. Finally, GCC is all about building relationships. Throughout the week, there are countless opportunities to network and socialize, whether that’s during a coffee break, a walk around the city, or over a chilled beer. Relationships built over such settings often last a lifetime.
Now, if you are wondering about some specifics about what to expect while at GCC, here are some stats. There are a total of 3 keynote talks, 3 sponsor talks, 44 accepted talks, 28 posters, 20 live demos, 20 training sessions, and (to date) 9 BoFs. That’s nearly 100 hours of content! The topics covered will encompass discoveries in biology, development of analysis workflows, software automation and scaling, application development, outreach lessons, and many others. All of GCC events are in some way related to Galaxy so if you have any questions or topics of interest, it is likely those will be answered during GCC. If you are interested in the Galaxy community as a whole, its structure, and lessons learned over the years, these will all be laid out during GCC. For full schedule and details, check out the schedule page.
As we pointed out, GCC is all about networking. Particularly, if you are a student, 7 sponsors will have their presence at GCC. You can learn about them, from them, and get introduced - this is an excellent opportunity to meet your potential future partner in work. Related, the Galaxy community is growing with many labs looking for people with prior knowledge of the Galaxy platform. The Galactic Career Center board currently lists 7 open positions around the world. Many of those potential employers will be at GCC, so take the time to meet them.
Lastly, GCC is a traveling conference. We believe in continuously expanding horizons and traveling is a big part of that. This year we are in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home of the University of Minnesota and the GalaxyP team. Minneapolis is a city that embraces nature with numerous parks, manicured banks of the Mississippi river, and provides access to numerous lakes nearby. The food scene is first class; there are opportunities to see a baseball game during GCC, hear the Minnesota Orchestra, or watch a water ski show. A unique event taking place during GCC is Aquatennial - an annual celebration of Minneapolis that will conclude with spectacular fireworks on the last day of GCC CoFest. But don’t take our word for it, check it all out during GCC. Our very own GalaxyP team is local and happy to share their city and experiences with all of us.