This Geek had gone camping !
In the last 7 days I attended 2 “camps” – I would love to tease you and make you think that i was back to some mountain top with my camping gears but the truth is that both camps where geeky ones (which knowing me, it is an equally awesome thing to do ).
The first one was a 2 full days Windows Mobile DevCamp organized by Microsoft at Berytech
The second was an open Barcamp for civil society organized by SMEX.org in AUB .
Thinking back to those last 10 days, here is a quick wrap up of those events, some pictures and personal thoughts.
Windows Mobile DevCamp
The idea was to get around 250 geeks, give them all the tools they need to start developping windows mobile apps, motivate them by hosting a competition and of course provide all the help they need like a good internet and experts from Microsoft to help them in coding.
Ghassan Chahine and Nicolas Rouhana kicked off the session, introduced us to Dave , the lead geek – and then to Microsoft MEA VP who gave a really inspiring speech about the exciting times we are living in (the correct part of the keynote) and how microsoft is leading the way in mobile (the cheesy part)
More blabla, intro presentations and off to coding.
For a pro and nice into and recap about the event, you can read about what happened on Berytech blog, Microsoft Feed or read Arabnet http://goo.gl/we9t2 and Wamda http://goo.gl/lSChR – but here is my less formal take from a dev. and attendee point of view :
Things I noticed/liked
- Very few devs listen to music while coding – this is coming from someone who switches between classics and EBM Music (rock+techno in one song). It was a shock to realize that humans can survive 2 days and some didn’t listen to any music :s
- a nice thing was the tech gossip between geeks about who is developing where and what
- co-cursing at tech and comparing notes/ideas about tech concepts, tools and hardware
- Meeting the geeks from different types of companies in one place (head-hunting anyone?)
- I have been freelancing for almost 1.5 or 2 years now, i haven’t been in such a geek-community for long time – so seeing others sit for a long time staring a screen is kinda comforting in a weird kinda way
- good internet – GOOD INTERNET even tho we were like 150 devs checking tools/watching video tuts,etc..we had GOOOOOD internet (thanks berytech)
- Lot of space – 3 levels – well equipped with plugs and everything a geek would need – some are sunny, some are less cool, a nice view… the cool thing is that this space was invaded by tech equipment – imagine 3 floors of laptops, mobiles, tablets and tech gears
- Some geeks were too serious ;p – There was only one sponsor : arabnet – as the lady rep was going around only one time to explain about arabnet dev program and entrepreneurship – she would get answers : sorry i am coding – i mean it is only a minute or two and eventually you are gonna have to look into selling your apps ;p
- Mini-phone flame war between andro/iPhone users at a windows phone event – which is kinda sarcastic – creates competitive and productive atmosphere – it is not very often that i can dedicate 2 days to experiment with something away from work,friends plan, etc
- Last and most important, the organizers put a lot of effort and time into the DevCamp – CEO of berytech didn’t really have to stay both days till late – same for Omar from Arabnet, Dave, Ghassan and the team had too many devs to help and many things going at the same time… so hats off for the effort, hope next an android DevCamp ;p
- Not enough coffee for a DevCamp – i mean, we need to inhale, drink, inject coffeine – one cup of coffe in the early morning is not enough – even if you get your “stash” – there is no hot water available (or i couldn’t find)
- Only one MS Phone dev dude who was doing a great job, but it would have been totally kick ass to have many who can help in debugging/optimizing/demostrating best practices
- No one had windows phones, only a few devices – using the emulator is fine – but sometimes you need to real test n stuff.
- Staying sunday at 9, after 2 days coding and 7 days at work in previous week to hear the result competitions was not nice
- The “publish your app” no matter what and “create a demo app just to increase ur chances” also was not nice and was just a silly marketing tactic
Finally here are some pics :
SMEX Open BarCamp
After the Devcamp and after not having a nice rest in 21 days, all i wanted was to take a nap – I already heard about the BarCamp on twitter and from SMEX Mailing list but i was not really planning to go.
Yet abzzyy told me it is gonna be so interesting, that too many people are participating and she promised me loads of fun and told me she is going all day and that she will pick me up… Memories of my first Barcamp also organized by SMEX a few years also came back to mind. It was a really really good Barcamp(read for yourself), so those happy memories heped and I caved in and decided to go to a barcamp at 8:30 on a saturday morning. (what was i thinking)
However, I ended going to a client to finish up a diffusion matrix and could not join the BarCamp till noon.
Of course i kept an eye on the timeline – the interesting thing was that there were many people from outside the typical beiruti activists bubble.
People from different areas like North, akkar, south and such – different people from different NGOs and companies… it was pretty diverse as the organizers planned it.
I attended a few awesome sessions, met many new people and hugged some friends – and then I got introduced to someone who’s been trying to bump into me for a few years now because he thought that i am a bold blogger ;p
Manners and having a tech-overdose after at least 2 weekends with no break made me end up with a group of friends at le Gustav <<< and this was the happy ending!
oh wait – there is a happier ending to this , here is a video of a Hassan who did a stand up comedy at the barcamp
Enjoy the laugh