An ad-hoc group of volunteer technology professionals are hard at work making sure Birmingham is participating in an exciting internationally recognized “un-conference” known as BarCamp. An invitation is extended to anyone interested in learning and sharing about some very technical and some not-so-technical topics brought forth by the attendees themselves. The gathering was born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, networking, and collaborative thinking. The idea of BarCamp is to cut through barriers to participation of a traditional conference format and actively involve all attendees of the event. If you are attending, you should participate: give a talk, publicize, sponsor, document, help cleaning up, etc.
Friday mixer, August 25, 2006 @ 8p-11p
at the Jim N’ Nicks, Southside
Saturday event, August 26, 2006 @ 9a-3p
at the Mountaintop Church, Vestavia Hills
The first BarCamp was held in Palo Alto on August 19, 2005. Since then, there have been dozens of BarCamps across the world, from Austin to Paris, Brussels to San Francisco. Many more are being planned, including BarCampEarth and now in Birmingham.
Interestingly, our neighbors to the east in Atlanta have just caught on to this group’s effort. Such comments as “I am shocked, shocked that Birmingham has beaten us to the punch. I plan to attend their camp, and if I like it perhaps I shall try to crank this one up.” and “Why is it that with the size of our technology and business communities, we can’t manage to have events like this happen? We seem to be lacking a nucleus of engaged, socially active technology people.” give a far different picture of technology opportunity and growth in Atlanta than that of Birmingham. They are just NOW thinking of participating in the BarCamp effort and are following OUR lead. Our tech community is vibrant and exciting while theirs seems to be searching for itself.
If you want to know what to expect at a BarCamp, we suggest reading “Understanding The Unconference”, which talks about the BarCamp held in Boston.
What topics are being presented? That is up to you. You can visit the BarCampBirmingham website (which is a wiki) and add any idea you have to the list of topics. If you have one in mind that you would like to speak on, put your name by it.
How Can I Help? Participate. Publicize. Present. This is an event by the people, for the people; an un-conference that takes direction from those who participate, not the other way around.
Is WiFi available? Yes, Mountaintop Church is providing free WiFi for our use during the conference. You might want to bring a power strip so that everyone can share the outlets.