Over the last weekend (10-11 April 2010), I attended Barcamp Bournemouth 2. Barcamp describes itself as a "free self-organising un-conference for anyone interested in the digital and online world" and having attended my first, I thought I'd share some thoughts and highlights of the event.
The event spanned both Saturday and Sunday and was free to anyone who wanted to attend (up to the number of tickets available). Thankfully, both me and Charlotte were able to get tickets. Barcamp Bournemouth is an "un-conference" where anyone was able to give a talk if they wished and the schedule was organised on an ad-hoc basis on the day. Basically, if you wanted to give a talk, you could pick any free spot and enter your talk onto the board. There were a combination of rooms with projectors and those with only whiteboards/flipcharts to suit the different types of sessions.
Sessions I Attended
I attended the following talks (and have linked to the presenter and/or their slides where possible). In some of the slots it was very difficult to choose between which talk to go to, but I ended up seeing these.
- Usability vs Accessibility
- IT Professionalism (BCS)
- Old Skool Microcomputers by Edd Barrett
- 10 Ways to Design Awesomeness by Damian Proctor
- HTML 5 Canvas by Rob Hawkes
- How to Build a HTPC
- Open Source Geocoding (Fetegeo & OpenStreetMap) by Dan Wentworth
- Digital Economy Act Debate/Discussion
- Coding for a Happier Life (HTML/CSS) by Paul Albinson
- Lightning Talks
Feel free to let me know where to link if I've missed your slides/blog out.
It was very difficult to pick a favourite as all the sessions were informative and well worth seeing. However I was particularly impressed by Rob's HTML 5 canvas session (despite the horrible flickering projector) and Dan's Geocoding session. Edd's session was also interesting as I got to learn a little more about some of those earlier machines which I never experienced (having entered computing a fair few years later than many people in the mid nineties).
I very much enjoyed the event and will definitely be attending next year. It would have been nice to give a talk myself however having very little time to prepare anything, I thought I'd be better off not trying to wing it without slides or prepared demos. Next year, I hope to prepare something in advance and give my own talk. In addition, next time I must remember to take a proper camera with me.
Like all good community events, I have come away from Barcamp Bournemouth 2 with some new ideas and things I'd like to look into. In particular, I intend to focus in a little more on HTML 5 and what it can do for me (including the new canvas stuff), and take a closer look at geocoding as its always been something I've found interesting but never had any practical application for. I'm hoping this will change, or at the least I'll find some time to play with it anyway.
I'd like to once again thank everyone involved with the event including the organisers for setting it all up for us, the sponsors for helping make it happen, the speakers for their talks and willingness to answer questions, and everyone else who attended who gave it the great atmosphere it had.
Here are a few links to check out for more Barcamp Bournemouth information and views.