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 Sept. 3, 2015
As OnMilwaukee enters its 18th year, we are once again looking at how we do things, what we stand for, and how we can improve. And so we have unveiled a new logo to help steer us on a productive path.
Published July 25, 2015
The Riverwest 24, a 24-hour bike races through the Riverwest neighborhood, enters its 8th year and welcomes 1,200 riders and several hundred volunteers. It's popularity has remained at something of a fever pitch despite the only prizes being ice sculptures with hot dogs inside.
Published July 18, 2015
The 53212 Unity Ride hopes to help bridge that demographic gap with an slow-rolling, exploratory bike ride that will bring together numerous community organizations from several diverse neighborhoods to look at gardens, murals and other historic points of interest.
Published July 15, 2015
It's a combination between the regalness of the old, 1997 skin-clad Admiral and the more recent 2006 bare-boned version. This new logo seems to be designed to split the difference between the desires of the fans of the either, but as a result it loses some of the dynamism of both.
Published June 24, 2015
Timothy J. Reynolds, who goes by the online handle turnislefthome, is a digital artist who specializes in adorable lowpoly 3D renderings of cartoon cars, imaginative, pastel and otherworldly landscapes, and video game inspired nostalgia.
Published May 8, 2015
No matter how far away you go for vacation, it's hard not to keep track of the similarities and differences of the cultures that you encounter along the way. Here are a few notes Jason McDowell kept during his visit to the motherland.
Published April 2, 2015
Basketball is a game that involves quick moves, clever tactics, and constant energy, but there is nothing dynamic about this logo. The whole thing is mirrored from right to left. There is nothing interesting about that. I want this deer to be doing something. Not running or fighting or playing basketball, but something as simple as turning its head would tell me it's a three-dimensional living, breathing, exciting team.
Published March 13, 2015
Bublr, the city's first bike share system, rolled out last year and was subsequently rolled back in before winter. But while the wheels were only on the ground for a limited time, the company still deemed it a success, coasting through the finish line with an impressive 5,500 trips. What was not so successful, however, was the confusing pricing. So as Bublr gears up to return, the company announced a new, simpler pricing structure.
Published March 4, 2015
Ramen for a dinner party is an exciting and relatively inexpensive theme to craft a dinner party around. At its very basic it only requires a few veggies and a handful of noodles, but it has the ability to unfold possibilities like a flower. During a ramen party, there is something of a slow, orchestral build until suddenly the cymbals are crashing, the violin bows are fraying and the tubas are blasting fortissimo.
Published Nov. 5, 2014
The Delphines' club shows were frequent and album releases were fast and furious. Eventually a full length album called "Hush" was released, but shortly afterward the band quietly broke up. Disappointment followed. How could we allow this to happen? This band felt like it was composed of sun-bleached driftwood, waiting for a match to drop and set fire to the music scene. It was a band that made Milwaukee's music scene vibrate. So I was surprised this morning when my phone lit up with a message...