Hey Mom, I lectured at MIT!

As I write this, there's a deafeningly massive propeller spinning at an ungodly rate not five feet from my head, literally. I'm sitting in the front row of a prop plane on the hour-long flight back to Montreal from BarCamp Boston 5. Nausea-inducing Bombardier Dash 8 notwithstanding, the trip was totally worth it.

BarCamp Boston schedule board

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the university whose name is synonymous with legend, the place where the Apollo guidance computer was hand-built, the academic institution that instantly says "this guy is brilliant" of all its alumni, lent its brick and mortar to a couple hundred enthusiastic geeks for two days of hardcore unconferencing--thank you, MIT! BarCamps, as you may well know, require that all attendees also participate by presenting at the conference. I therefore gave a couple presentations on a subject of particular interest to me, YUI 3. On the first day, I spoke on the new YUI 3 Gallery, a community-contributed collection of YUI 3 modules.

The following day I spoke on the YUI 3 library itself, since attendees of the first talk expressed interest in it. I still can't get over the fact that I gave two talks at MIT. In fact, a few hours after I presented on the first day, Stephen Wolfram, the creator of Mathematica and WolframAlpha was speaking at the same podium! Alright, I'm geeking out, I know, but... Stephen Wolfram!

If I were asked to point out one thing though that shone brighter than anything else that weekend, I'd have to say that it was the people attending the event. Such interesting people from such interesting technical, professional, and social backgrounds with such interesting things to share. It was like cramming a year's worth of awesome into two days.

I found myself loving every session I attended. From Jeff Potter's "Cooking for Geeks" based on his soon-to-be released book of the same title (pre-order now on Amazon!) to Doug Sweetser (aka The Stand-up Physicist)'s "Unified Field Theory on a Shirt" to Mo Kakwan's "HTML5 vs. Flash" I was in geek heaven.

In fact, I didn't realize that I'd previously seen Mo in a Yahoo! Open Hack Day '06 video (he went on to found a company based on his hack) until we were sharing laughs over dinner at The Asgard up the street, and I put two and two together. (His presentation of the hack itself was so memorable that I'd remembered it clearly 4 years hence!) I also got to meet up with a Ian Muir (@woogychuck) with whom I session-hopped for most of the second day.

The whole experience was phenomenal, from the tight organization to the outstanding content, to the fantastic people attending. I took some pictures and video at the event you can check out.

So in summary, if you get the chance, try and make it out to Boston BarCamp 6. Trust me you'll get more out of it than you put in. And really, how many things in life can you truly say that about?