Saturday, October 28, 2006

BarCampZurich - Thanks for Coming!

Thanks everyone for coming to BarCampZurich and helping out! I think the unconference was a success: 99 people came in total. At our first planning session in August, I made a bet with Paul H. that more than 50 people would show up. Looks like I won that one.

Our goal was to provide a balance between a highly structured shrink-wrapped conference, and total chaos. Sign-ups were free, people were casually dressed, and everyone could talk. Still, we did try to keep the conference on schedule, to allow people to switch between parallel tracks (up to 4 at a time). The speakers didn't seem to mind me jumping in at the end of each time slot, telling them to finish up quickly.

The majority of people at BarCamp were native German speakers, but we had lots of attendees who did not speak German. As often in Switzerland, speakers resorted to English. As one of my professors at ETH Zurich likes to say: "We need to schpeak English in clässes because we don't want to be se best technical university in just Eastern Switzerland, but in se world."

The BarCampZurich concept seems to have worked quite well here. The one-day format was the right choice: Lots of people couldn't have showed up for the entire weekend. On the other hand, since we had such a huge number of speakers, many interesting sessions were scheduled in parallel.

Some interesting talks I attended: Sascha Corti talked about Ajax based on Microsoft technologies, the Coding Monkeys explained SubEthaEdit, and Douwe Osinga showed off his Artificial Life projects. I also joined discussion about how we could encourage entrepreurship in Switzerland, with some great insights from experienced founders. We need to have more of these discussion slots next time around!


In my presentation, dubbed "Organizing Email", I gave a short overview of existing research work and showed off a demo of a tool I wrote. From a quick initial discussion of problems people have with email, it seems like this will remain an interesting problem for years to come.

There are already plenty of photos on Flickr (tags: barcampzurich and barcampzurich2006). Almost all of the sessions were recorded and Corsin has already started harassing me with clips from my talk: I really needs to get rid of my "errms". You'll find these and other videos online soon. Go here to get the slides.

Thanks everyone for coming! We hope you liked it!

7 comments:

Timo said...

Considering this was a self-organizing (un)conference, you looked kinda tired in the evening. And those flashing Google-logos didn't seem to cheer you up, either.

But you did a great job, and I look forward to the next BarCampZurich.

F said...

Nice work! Fun conference! I promise, I'll hold my talk next year. :-)

I'm so tired right now, I can barely write anything consistent, so I'll just fall into my bed right now. But you didn't seem to be in a much better shape.

Take some rest, you've earned it.

leo said...

Great (un)conference! And by the way your talk was the best I have choosen. You have a lot more interaction with the audience then the other ones.

Thank you for make this possible!

Harry Fuecks said...

Thanks for [un]organising it - worked out really well.

Jens Gruschel said...

Thanks for organizing this great event! What I really liked is that there were many very different subjects, all of them very interesting, but only a short time for each, enough to get interested, but too less to get bored. I'm really looking forward to the next BarCamp!

habi said...

also thanks for making it possible!
it was great.

Christophe Ducamp said...

Merci beaucoup ! Très bon moment ;-)