Last weekend Sara and I made our way to Birmingham Alabama (photos on Flickr)to partake in in my first BarCamp. Sara’s an old hat at BarCamp’s having previously organized the last one in Mobile but this was a chance for me to pop my BarCamp cherry.
I’m not sure what I was expecting having never attended an “unconference” before but the atmosphere and mix of great people were a very pleasant change from the more “normal” conferences.
I must admit to being slightly in awe of amount of experience and knowledge that was being shared without a single thought for remuneration. There was no shilling of products, no attempts to get me to sign up for anything… just people coming together to make new friends, share their experience and knowledge and have a great time.
Some of the sessions were amazing filled with (highly) charged discussion and it was unfortunate when the 30 minute time limit was reached.
Some sessions, such as the one on Critical Thinking by Mykel Alvis, were completely unexpected at a “tech” conference yet I wished that it could have gone on for hours. I was seriously impressed and enthralled.
Of course I also got my own opportunity to get in front of everyone and gave a talk on “Optimizing WordPress for Shared Host Environments”. I gather that it went over well but, like so many other sessions that day, I ran up against the 30 minute time limit just as things were starting to get juicy so didn’t manage to get to some of the cooler stuff.
Still, Sara and I will be at TechMixer University on the 27th of September where I will be speaking again and this time I believe I’ll have an entire hour to really dig my teeth into the matter.
TechMixer is free to attend, has some really big name sponsors behind it and last year boasted over 500 attendee’s. I’m really excited about speaking there and meeting new, and perhaps old faces again!
Wrapping up this post I want to extend a massive “thank you” to everyone who made BarCamp Birmingham, where I lost my BarCamp virginity, such a success and such a great time.
Sara and I can’t wait to see all of you folks again soon and if we don’t see you in Birmingham, maybe you’ll make it down for BarCamp Mobile… (hint hint) 😉