Sunday, March 25, 2007

 

BarCamp notes

Somehow, I didn't learn that last Thursday meeting had been moved up to 5:30, and so I arrived towards the end, during Raven Zachary's video on the Austin BarCamp. Oops. I heard later that about 15 people from the local Ruby-on-Rails community had made it -- more than some folks even thought were in the Portland area. I did hear from Audrey Eshbright that she is compiling a list of Portland area user groups. Add yours if it's not there. And someone had brought one of those 100-dollar-laptops to show off; she left before I could do more than notice it from across the room and wonder what it was.

To attempt to make up for this, I attended the Friday planning meeting at CubeSpace the next day, and not only learned what the status of the BarCamp was, but got to tour the CubeSpace location.

Already there are seven proposed sessions on the Portland BarCamp page, one of which will be speed presentations. This is similar to the once ubiquitous "speed dating", only instead of a brief amount of time to present himself, each presenter will be talking about her or his project. I was exposed to much the same thing earlier this year at RecentCangesCamp, it worked quite well. Raven also mentioned that several start-ups will come out of stealth mode at this BarCamp and make their first public presentations. Jason Mauer of Microsoft also arrived, and from the discussion between him and Raven I expect that Microsoft will become another sponsor. (So now how can we use this to leverage money out of the other big computer companies like Google?)

One observation of CubeSpace Dawn Foster made (although I believe one or two others repeated) was that it included more area than anyone expected. At each end of the floor there are collections of cubicles identified with their own whimsical names. There are two conference rooms that can hold 30 or more people, as well as a dozen smaller rooms, each the size of an old-fashioned office, and ample space in the break room for informal gatherings. The decor is not overwhelming, but the carpet is new and in good condition, which is better than some employers I could mention. (Did I ever mention the employer who never provided me with a desk -- I was forced to use a folding table -- the entire time I worked there?) The chief drawback I could see during my visit is that they need more tenants, but I BarCamp doubtlessly will help them get out the word about this overlooked resource.

Another one would be O Guild.

Geoff

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