Home > Point2 - Process and People > Let’s Learn from Each Other: BarCamp Saskatoon 2009

Let’s Learn from Each Other: BarCamp Saskatoon 2009

December 4, 2009

Last weekend members of Saskatoon’s technical industry congregated at Louis’ Pub on the University of Saskatchewan campus for the annual BarCamp, a technical conference “for the rest of us.” For those of you who are not familiar with BarCamp, here is a little history as explained on the website.

The idea of BarCamp came from Foo Camp where a bunch of the best techie minds in the world got together to talk about new technologies, and to create opportunities for cross-fertilization between people and technologies.

Since only the top minds from O’Reilly, Google, Yahoo, Intel, Apple, etc. were invited to attend, two people in California decided to make a Camp for the rest of us. Now, there are BarCamps somewhere in the world almost every day.

This was the first year that I attended BarCamp so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I did understand that it had a laid back atmosphere which is quite apparent since it is held in a bar, but I also knew that the caliber of the talks would be high. The idea behind BarCamp is that everyone who attends has to participate in some way ranging anywhere from helping set up to leading a presentation.

As to be expected there was a high number of Point2ers in attendance, and impressively four of the nine presenters were from the office. Dave Kellow gave a spirited talk on Agile Modeling explaining why it is important, and discussed ideal ways of approaching the subject. Nate Heagy gave a brief, but extremely informative and entertaining presentation on Why You Should Get Good at Javascript. He used this as an opportunity to showcase an iPhone app he wrote using this technology as leverage. Chris Powell teamed up with his buddy Mark Poppen to give an information session on Starting a Web-based Business. Sean Reilly then wowed the crowd with his extensive knowledge of effective Functional Testing techniques, and why they are so important.

The time between all of the great presentations provided an opportunity for the attendees to mingle and find out what each other was up to. Being in a relatively small market, Saskatoon has a limited number of events like this so it is rare for members of the industry to get together and just hang out. Even though many different companies were being represented the atmosphere was of collaboration,  not competition. Everyone was there to learn from each other in hopes of bettering themselves professionally.  It’s events like these that will have a positive effect on Saskatoon’s technical community moving forward.  On behalf of Point2 I would like to thank everyone who made this event possible.

So you may be asking how I contributed at this year’s BarCamp. Well I didn’t help set up or lead any presentations, but I did shoot a lot of photographs to document the event. You can view the shots from the day here. The local media was also there to cover the conference and you can read the resulting article here.

By Hemant J. Naidu

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