Sunday, August 19, 2007

SkillsCamp post

SkillsCamp came together this weekend.
I'm guessing 60 - 70 people showed up
with maybe 50 people there for most of
the event.

Despite a variety of glitches, I consider
it an unqualified success.

The unconference structure lends itself very well
to experimenting with new ways of gathering. We weren't
sure how many people would come to skills camp this weekend.
There was some thought that it might get covered in the press
which would have a slashdot effect as large numbers of people
found out about the opportunity for free food and IT training
from some of the smartest people in industry.

As it was the message went out primarily thru the traditional
geek channels (plug, barcamp-pune, itvidya) and the barcamp, plug,
itvidya crowd came - which was great !!

Simbiosis generously gave us use of 4 rooms for the conference.
With the people we had tho I decided it would be better to just
have two parallel tracks and end earlier. As a result the sessions
were well attended and there was generally always something going on
even if one session was stuck for sometime messing with the projector
or screencasting software.

Sessions were generally very similar to most barcamp sessions. Which
is to say good for a high level introduction to interesting concepts.
I talked on google gears walking people through the gears tutorials on
the google site. Other sessions covered the Facebook API, screen reading
software for the blind, 3d game development, security, setting up drupal,
open source circuit design and a variety of others.

This week I'll try to get videos out.

I was most impressed with the session Amitabh Jain gave on AJAX. His session had a very clear structure taking people from a starting point of a functional webapp without AJAX, to implementing the same app using AJAX. He had prepared one file with code snippets for the core functions we were to use. During the session he slowly integrated these snippets into the web app to add AJAX features one by one. It was systematic and reflected genuine software development in a very practical way. Again the video will be up soon so you can see what I'm talking about.

I don't know if I'll try to organize another skillscamp in the near future. Rather I'd like to push for a skillscamp tag for training sessions people give at the regular barcamps.

1 comment:

Ranvir said...

Sounds like a great event. Wish I could have been there. Great job, Freeman.