The first question I’m usually asked when I tell people that I’m going to a Barcamp is “what the heck’s that?”. For those of you who are uninitiated a Barcamp is a basically an event where anyone with an interest in technology, media, computing or just about anything that gets them engaged can come along to meet like-minded individuals, listen to talks that take their fancy and even better give a talk,presentation or facilitate a discussion themselves.
This year’s Barcamp was hosted at the sumptuous Manchester offices of AutoTrader and was attended by almost 200 people over the weekend. Main organiser Claire Dodds summed up the whole ethos of the weekend in the conclusion to her opening plenary with the instruction to “Have Fun!”, and indeed we did.
Personal highlights were “Skinflint cybernetics” which included tales of exploding Arduino boards, Hack your sleep, dinner queue chat on guerrilla liberation tactics for lobster pots, Presentation Karaoke in which nominated victims (sorry participants) gave some hilarious presentations on subjects they know nothing about using slides they’ve never seen before and my introduction to the game of Werewolf (with one very angry God). Being a lightweight I made my leave before things got too messy but there were several very hung over players the next day debating whether playing till 5:00am had been a good idea (of course it was).
On top of all the lovely free swag, kindly provided by the sponsors and the great venue we also got fed and watered courtesy of Catering with Pride. Sadly though attending @cubicgarden ‘s talk on “How to be lucky” didn’t help me win anything in the raffle but that’s always the case for me.
The whole event was an interesting, informative and most importantly fun weekend. For me the best part is always getting to meet and chat with like-minded folk. Events like this are always full of really friendly and interesting people from all walks of life and hopefully I made some friendships there that will be renewed at Barcamps to come.