Rochester Barcamp Fall 2013

by Lance Laughlin

This past Saturday was the the Rochester Barcamp unconference. It’s an event that takes place at RIT in which a number of people (we had about 135 people this year) come together and share ideas with each other through 20-minute talks and lightening talks. I was on the student team involved in the planning and running of Barcamp. I arrived bright and early at 8:30am and began setting up tables, putting out signs and creating the grid which help the schedule of talks. At 10:30am we had the opening talk by Chris Horn and then everyone started signing up for events.

My classmate Mike Nolan (Nolski) and I planned on giving a lightening talk on the HTML5 Canvas Javascript library we’ve been working on:

Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time doing working type stuff, primarily checking people in and selling t-shirts. So I only had a chance to catch a few talks: 10 steps in improving your UX, Homemade weapons (it was as awesome as it sounds), and one about setting up a motherboard or something that went completely over my head. I also saw all of the lightening talks as well as gave ours.

My favorite 20-minute talk I went to was the homemade weapons one. It was a couple of young kids, I’m guessing around 12 or 13 years old that showed us how to create a mini-crossbow with Popsicle sticks, clothes pins and rubber bands. They brought all the materials for people to use (their parents were very encouraging, great job on their part).

Nolski and I gave our lightening talk toward the end of the event. It went pretty smoothly, especially for not having much time to put a presentation together. A lot of people had cleared out before we gave our talk so we only presented to probably about 30 people…which made me a bit less nervous since I’m not a great public speaker for the most part.

I’m definitely looking forward to the next Barcamp and I’m hoping I can catch some more talks next time out.