On September 5 and 6, Brighton (UK)s Old Music Library played host to BarCamp Brighton 4.
As a veteran BarCamper, I was expecting to be greeted by the typical BarCamp
fare: a collection of developers, designers, and other web-savvy types banding
together to share interests and generally learn from one another.
(Photo by Anthony Hicks)
From the moment I spotted the venue, I knew this BarCamp would be different: a
run-down former music library (as the name suggests) that now serves as a
gallery for contemporary art. Tiny driftwood robots littered the building, a
giant arm reaching down from the roof to rip up the banister at the top of
the stairs, and even a storage room that looked like someone had a nervous
breakdown inside: this was far from your average BarCamp venue.
It was nice to see, then, that the speakers were equally diverse: about a third of
the attendees were new to BarCamping (so spending time with friends old and
new abounded), and the sessions ranged from the highly technical through to
the sublimely silly. Deftly mixing the two, Hannah Donovans My
Texture Garden presented an introduction to design process through the medium
of a texture garden. The most stunning part of Hannahs talk: rather than
present slides, Hannah drew her "slides" live!
(Photo by Hannah Donovan)
At the more intense end of the spectrum, was Brian Sudas
introduction to prediction markets: a highly cerebral jaunt through
the world of prediction, trading markets, and the wisdom of crowds. The
highlight, though, had to be Saturday nights performance by two thirds of
geek rock band 100 Robots, whose blend of geekiness, electronica, and rock
riffs perfectly matched the venue and crowd.
Oh, and there was one important lesson learned by everyone: you can have too much pizza:
(Photo by Remy Sharp)
Web Developer, Yahoo! Europe