Have you ever been to one of those conferences that have you sitting in uncomfortable plastic chairs, all lined neatly, in a huge, dim, wide-open room? Then, when the first speaker arrives, they start by saying, "Good morning," but your coffee hasn't quite kicked in, so there is only a murmur of return salutations. Then the speaker says, "Aww, c'mon. You can do better than that! GOOD MORNING!" and you have to heft your vocal chords off their butts and heave your words out of your mouth like a bag of damp diapers, "GOOD MORNING."
BarCampMilwaukee7 is not one of those conferences. It involves starship bridge simulators instead.
BarCampMilwaukee7: Seven Minutes of Terror (named for the Mars rover Curiosity landing earlier this year) is different from a typical corporate conference. BarCamps are a participatory "unconference" event, where there is no "one" speaker and attendees are in charge of what happens. It is an open environment where people interested in teaching and learning come together to share their knowledge and experiences.
BarCamps are an international phenomenon, with some being planned as far away as Zimbabwe.
BarCampMilwaukee veteran James Carlson describes it this way: "At an unconference like BarCamp, attendees aren’t coming to see one person speak, or a 'panel of experts' on stage. Attendees meet and connect with people who, like them, are interested in technology. We are all experts at our own experiences, and BarCamp is about sharing those experiences with others."
In other words, if you know something about a subject, you will have many opportunities to contribute. If you are simply interested in learning more on a subject, you will have many opportunities to learn from many different perspectives.
And be sure to bring your gadgets, because unlike a corporate gig, BarCamps are a participatory experience. BarCampMilwaukee focuses on technology and much like light passing through a prism, the topics within that focus have a varied complexity, providing something of interest for everybody. For instance, while photography is about technology it is something to which we can all relate.
In past years BarCampers have discussed robots, Drupal, dating, elevator hacking, Ruby on Rails, video editing, technology solutions for non-profits, gone on PhotoWalks, covered Microformats, talked about gadgets, played Nintendo Wii, Guitar Hero, werewolf, seen immersive 3D environments, talked about software development, open source, closed source, web development, and plenty of other things for makers, DIYers, artists and other creatives.
This year some of the proposed sessions include general interest topics like Nerdy Derby Race, What's the Buzz About Bees, Mind-myths, cognitive biases, and cutting through the Neurobollocks up to the the high technology of Raspberry Pi, Idiomatic Node.js Patterns and SQL Injection Attacks for Fun and Profit. Plus, what is sure to give anyone a geek high, Artemis, the Starship Bridge Simulator. Here is a video of Artemis in action.
And of course, due to the nature of BarCamps, these topics are subject to change, improve, include, and diverge down any number of interesting pathways.
BarCampMilwaukee7 kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and runs non-stop until Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. It is free to attend, but you are requested to register at barcampmilwaukee.org. BarCampMilwaukee is hosted by Bucketworks in Walker's Point.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jason McDowell
Published Jan. 23, 2014
Former Milwaukeeans Brian Dillman and Eric Kremin were featured in GQ this month for their tenacity in the sport of bike polo. In 2010, with the help of their original teammate Joe Burge, the team took the World Championships. In 2012 they took the North American Championship, and in 2013, after a move to San Francisco and the acquisition of new teammate Joey Halverson, they took both.
Published Jan. 8, 2014
There is a belief that making small, incremental changes is the best way to go about changing your life. This is why big goals like exercising and eating right fail so often. While always a good idea they're just too disruptive to handle with ease. But what about learning a new language? That may also sound like "too disruptive" of an idea. Learning a language is complex, time-consuming, and getting the right software is expensive, but in the past few years a solid group of apps have risen to the challenge of making language learning easy, fun and for the most part, free.
Published Nov. 25, 2013
The Santa Rampage is an annual event in Milwaukee that has reached cult-status, featuring hundreds of people in Santa suits - as well as a wide swath of various holiday-themed costumes - riding their bicycles through the city. The occasion is so beloved that even the dodgy weather of the season typically does not detract from the merriment or the number of riders who participate in these festivities.
Published Oct. 23, 2013
"Frankenstein" features three performers who are charged with a task: "make monster." Bound in elaborate Edwardian costumes, the trio embarks on a journey to construct Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory while they struggle and battle through acrobatic feats." What better way to enjoy the Halloween spirit?
Published Sept. 4, 2013
A former phone sex operator in Milwaukee recalls her time in the business in this eye-opening interview.
Published Aug. 11, 2013
New Belgium is back with the Clips Beer and Film Tour, a "beer-toting, film-traveling, nonprofit-benefiting show." Since its inception Clips has raised more than $200,000 for nonprofit organizations. This year it is supporting the Wisconsin Bike Fed with 100 percent of the profits from beer sales.
Published Aug. 11, 2013
Frank Ortlieb at Big Dogg Bakery has been baking homemade, natural, healthy dog treats on-site in Bay View for about nine months. "Dogs seem to have more dietary restrictions than people, as well as the normal people-type allergies," he told OnMilwaukee.com.
Published July 18, 2013
There is always an internal debate about how early one needs to arrive at a show, particularly when the opening act is a mystery. Choose incorrectly and you're stuck impulsively checking Twitter all night, sucking down cocktails too quickly, and waiting impatiently for the opening act to utter those magic words, "This is our last song." Luckily the opening band was well worth the gamble. It only took a few chords before the conversations quieted and many heads turned. This, everyone's eyes seemed to agree, was going to be a good night.
Published May 8, 2013
Don't feel like you need to ditch your car. The overall goal is participation. Don't feel bad if you can't ride all seven days, but don't give up after only one. Take small steps towards enjoying riding a bike. If you find a problem, ask around for a solution; odds are someone has already figured it out. Bike to Work Week may not convert you to a spandex-loving gear head, but it might provide you with a new, fun weekly goal.
Published May 3, 2013
The frame starts out as one would expect, with 4130 chromoly tubing in "a traditional double triangle design with a horizontal top tube, aero profile fork and horizontal dropouts to easily accommodate a singlespeed, fixed, or internal gear hub." But here is where it gets interesting. "The Quiver also ships with our proprietary derailleur hanger and removable cable stops so it can be built up as a geared road bike with front and rear derailleurs."