BarCampMelbourne2008 was, simply put, AWESOME!
BarCampMelbourne2008 was held at Thoughtworks [wikipedia] at 155 Queen Street, Melbourne on 23 Feb 08, and had approximately 60 in attendance. The whole purpose of BarCamp is to provide an spontaneous, informal atmosphere for IT professionals to exchange ideas, present projects, and generally foster a sense of technical community. It succeeded on all fronts.
The day started off at 0900 with registrations, and some time to get to know each other. This was particularly valuable, as many of the attendees I had corresponded with via IRC, email or blog only, and had not yet met face to face.
The presentations were divided into streams due to the large number of people who volunteered to present – again a positive indicator. Key observations from the day included:
- Thoughtworks was well set up for the event, and offering three separate seminar spaces with projector / screen etc. The chairs were very comfortable, something that is often overlooked at these events.
- The vast majority of attendees were male, with myself and only one other female attendee
- It was surprising to note the large number of presenters with Apple laptops. The attendees were largely from the FOSS community, and the popularity of the MacBook was interesting. This will be a trend to keep an eye on as the iPhone is released (and is likely to integrate well with other Apple offerings)
- The average age of the attendees was higher than I expected, with the majority in the 25-35 age range (I was expecting a a younger crowd). However, this meant that we had a number of seasoned professionals presenting.
Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the post-BarCamp refreshments 🙂 but by all accounts a good time was had by all.
My talk was on Deakin Uni’s use of PHP over the last 8 years and showed how our practices and use of PHP had matured over that time, and what challenges still lie ahead for us.