The last time the event had been held in Melbourne was in 2009. Three years latter, it is great to come back to this great place, and many of the people from the last event as well. Being able to “get my geek on” is beneficial for my creative coding motivation, on top of meeting people of a wide variety of fields and interests.
Barcamp Melbourne’s own website has a much better description of what it is which I recommend you read here. To summarize, it is an “Unconference”. It is intentionally unorganized, with people attending encouraged to talk about their hobby or project. You could liken it to a grown up’s version of show and tell, however it goes deeper than that. Being aware of others during the event is important, which avoids the stale feeling you have going to sponsored or “sit and listen” events and seminars. The collective consciousness of learning off each other among with being active participants in any way possible makes you much more receptive in my opinion to retain that actual data.
In spirit of the event and knowing how it runs in the past, I had plenty of time to organize a talk. While I won’t go much into my talk as I feel it deserves it’s own post, it was titled “I came here for an Argument”, and the slides are available in ODP format here (it was made in Libreoffice Impress). Reception of the talk appeared to be great, with a compliments and appreciative comments from people during Barcamp’s two days. It was an exciting (and exhaustive) process, but I felt awesome after doing it.
Read on for my photos of the event as well as more photos taken.
A wave of nostalgia hit me walking back into the venue, but I didn’t have time to think too much about that – I was busy saying hello to new and previous fellow programmers and Barcampians. The previous sentence gave me grief, as I am not sure what title suits everyone who went to barcamp? Geeks although good and without the negative stigma of a Nerd does not give me a good description of how they are as well. Friendly, helpful and with great stories and hobbies to learn about. Hence, I’m coining Barcampian’s for this short writeup.
Surprisingly there was no recording of this event for both audio and visuals. In the past, these events have been recorded for latter viewing and sometimes streamed live. At first I thought that this is a mistake – How am I supposed to watch the video latter on? What if I want to brag about what I’ve seen to friends latter on?
After thinking about it, I feel this was a smart move. The time spent was spent instead on running the event with what appears to be less headaches for the organizers. This made for a happy team and it shown with us in the crowd too! It also may help first time talkers to have a bit more confidence and less fear if they know about this in advance.
Times have also changes since the last Barcamp as well. Twitter is very much at the forefront of most users present there, with heavy users of the medium tweeting photos and key points from talks. Also funny quotes. It’s also exciting to see your own talk be tweeted and retweeted by others!
The other minor note is that this time there were not many lightning talks. A lightning talk is Like a baby version of a longer talk. However the content can be just as insightful as a full length one. Topics this year included Lan party games, My own one titled “the future of titles in video”, and a very funny one on the effectiveness of Tinfoil hats. I love being able to sit back and enjoy this part of the event and felt the slight shortage of them left me wanting more. A suggestion could be to detail more about what a lightning talk is, as well as encourage people prior to the event to give one to let their creative juices flow through to the event. For some first timers to the event, It may be daunting to try and think of a small talk on the spot, and any way we can help that should be encouraged to help foster the variety and fun talks we enjoy now.
I was reminded of the old it’s a a small world quote early on the way to the event. On attempting to catch an early train and miss it, I traveled up instead another way into Melbourne. I had originally planned to meet a few other people also going to Barcamp (the community and atmosphere at this event is encouraged to help each other, from helping setting talks to lifting things), Although I would not have made it into the station to see them now. In the end, traveling nearly directly saved me time, with me being in a tram carriage next to them, hopping on it one stop after they both had boarded! During the event, many faces who I have seen from LCA, Barcamp or other meetups were also present and as friendly as ever. I do wish I had a stronger name retention memory, as all of them more than deserve having a name attached to their faces.
An idea of the space. We had three possible rooms for talks. This is the largest one and was taken as people were arriving and registring. A twitter wall on the middle left is visible showing tweets using the assigned social media hashtag of #BCM2012.
Not pictured is the two other smaller rooms, along with dormitories for accommodation.
Kathy’s talk on Lilypad and finding implementations of bringing arduinos to a worn state runs parallels with integrated computing, which is always fascinating to me to see how much progress is made in this area.
Melbourne hackerspace members were also in attendance, with their vast array of friendly knowledge and hardware gadgets and tools around.
For example this Array of LED’s looks fantastic in person as well as when photographed:
I have taken photos of both of the days I was there, and they are available under a Creative Commons licence on flickr.
Overall, I loved Barcamp Melbourne 2012, and feel that you will probably like it too – even if your interest in computers is of passing interest.]]>
(Photo with thanks from Polycarbonate1)
The volunteers (which helped man the A/V once setup for each room among many other tasks) themselves were fantastic, and it’s been said many times already but still is just as true – without them the conference just could not run and scale to this level. I’m proud of these photos of the volunteers.
My set of photos for Flickr are available on flickr as set LCA2012. I have licenced them as CC Attribution. This means you can use them anywhere (even in commercial publications!), as long as you give me credit for taking them.
There have been many fantastic people I had the opportunity to talk to, including Jonathon Oxer, Andy Gelme, Paul Fenwick and Senator Scott Ludlum. That may sound like name dropping, however in Linuxconf, everyone is approachable and have extremely interesting stories to listen and take in.
During the Penguin dinner, I was able to take a video of Scott Ludlum’s speech about the state of privacy in Australia, from his perspective. It may be a bit shaky, however it’s the first large sized clip with my newer DSLR rig setup, so will be looking forward to using it as a testbed. Photos did come out excellent.
While I am on the topic of photos, I might highlight my favorite ones in here.
I feel like this photo, along with this slide helps convey the contrast against what we view things as compared to how much can (and is) being monitored against us, with his current slide showing a informational/promotional video by a private company to promote its ability to tap into users data to keep an eye on them.
After the organisers have been given some hats (a long and funny story), Sometimes the best photos are candid ones. This one just seemed to be good timing – not to be underestimated!
Another case of great timing, this talk by Thomas Sprinkmeier, a teacher with the idea of teaching electronics and programming to younger kids, was a talk given a strong voice thanks to his strong presentation, which incorporated his own children to make it fun and enjoyable.
These were a very small selection of photos done, with the full list available at flickr lca2012 set.
Going into the conference with all the preparations done by the rest of the organizing team was a effective way to be able to handle contingencies during the conference, and helped avoid fatigue (besides the physical drain of wanting to put in more). I learned a lot from the event, with the next event being in Canberra I would like to consider being able to attend it as someone checking out the keynotes and worrying about different things – such as which excellent speakers keynote for me to sit and listen in.]]>
To the photo taking machine!
Currently ordering some fasters lenses as I would love to be able to do some night time photography with it. The stock lens I am still getting used to though, and can see the disadvantages to a zoom lens (aperture), however it’ll be good for video in a pinch – which is the main reason I bought it.
The complete set of photos are available on flickr]]>
I also have a clan named H*EA*T which has been around since 2006 – we play both for fun and competitive ladders. Check it out if you are interested in playing in a group.]]>
The actual interview is also available on gamestah, linked here on Gamestah.
Still, efficient workflow went well, time to get some content up in!
I’m available using my twitter @superroach or otherwise use the available links which are present in the footer below.]]>