Bar Camp Chicago
I just got home from Bar Camp Chicago and it was awesome. Two days of geeky topics.
On Saturday I:
- Met two dozen geeks, so less than half the people there.
- Attended a presentation on mobile devices, specifically the GP2X. I like mobile devices, but find web coding way more interesting than the nebulous topic of pervasive computing.
- Insulted the unendingly rude Ron May.
- Attended “How to Burn Your Business to the Ground” by a guy from Intentionally. Very slick presentation on failure and how entrepreners can minimize the likelihood.
- Shook the hand of surprise guest Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia founder. When he walked in there was a lot of “Is that who I think it is?” and he later gave an impromptu talk on translating Wikipedia’s success to politics with the Campaigns Wikia. I may go to the local meetup in two weeks.
- Started a hypercard-like educational programming system for the web with Michael, Ian, Andy, Rachel, and bystanders. I’ll give it a post of its own tomorrow morning when the sf project is up.
- Heard about a plan to build a hacker lab/living space to connect like-minded folks.
...and then I came home and crashed. It was an incredible day, constantly busy and engaging. There were at least 60 people there and between all the folks and the July heat, the air conditioning couldn’t even keep up.
On Sunday I:
- Met another dozen geeks.
- Attended Jason Rexilius’s talk on globally distributed web clusters but wandered away because I saw most of the content when he gave the talk to ChiPHPug (great talk, though).
- Attended Jason Jacobsohn’s introduction to the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, which helps startups and seems cool but has a Flash applet instead of a website.
- Attended Jonathan Wolter’s discussion on using blogs in non-bloggy ways, sort of as a web development springboard. He gave a nice little example-heavy introduction and then threw the door open to a great discussion.
- talked more with Andy and Ian about the Hypercard-like app.
I may only have had two meals in two days, but it was a great time. Where TechCocktail was a noisy sardine can with lots of business guys, Bar Camp was almost all geeks and never too busy or empty. I only saw one tie, but that guy was also wearing a RailsConf badge so maybe he just had a paraphelia for neckwear.
To express the right note of enthusiasm, let me just say: A+++++ EXCELLENT, BIG THANKS - WILL ATTEND AGAIN.