Yesterday was the first really beautiful day of the summer here in Edmonton, with temperatures near 30 degrees and sun all day long. It was also the day we held BarCampEdmonton2, at the World Trade Centre downtown. The weather probably had an impact on the attendance, because we had less people than anticipated (around 80). Despite that however, I’d say the event was still a big success! It was another demonstration of the fantastic tech community we have in Edmonton.
We had three tracks each with 20 minute timeslots for sessions followed by 10 minute breaks. In true unconference-style, we started by having everyone who wanted to lead a discussion or deliver a presentation put their topic and name on a sticky note. Reg then arranged them all on the schedule.
I ended up with two timeslots. First thing in the morning, where I talked for a bit about Foundations for an Open Edmonton and led an interesting discussion about open cities, and second at 2pm, where I talked about Edmonton Transit’s recent Data for Developers announcement. Some of the other sessions included: The Perfect User Experience by Peter, New Interfaces in Visual Search Refinement by Reg, How To Not Raise VC $ by Shaun, VOIP+SIP: A Primer by Slepp, Chocolate Monkey Heads by Chris, and Licensing Tech from Universities by Brant. Of course, lunch time and the many breaks throughout the day provided lots of opportunities for ad hoc discussion, and that’s really what BarCamp is all about!
Perhaps the session I was most looking forward to was the one by Rob Davy and his colleagues from ENTS, the Edmonton New Technology Society. They’re working to create a “collaborative and social technology workspace” here in the city, akin to hackerspaces and collaborative workspaces in other cities. I wrote about Workspace in Vancouver last fall, and wondered why Edmonton didn’t have something similar. Now we will! I’m really excited about it. You can visit ENTS tonight from 6-7pm at 10575 114th Street for an open house.
Maybe we’ll do the next BarCamp in the winter, when it’s cold outside and everyone will want to come inside! Before that however, is a new event called UX Camp, taking place on July 18th from 9am to 5pm at MacEwan.
Thanks again to sponsors TEC Edmonton, iNovia Capital, and Smibs, and to everyone who came out to BarCamp yesterday! You can see the rest of my photos here.