The third Barcamp Blackpool took place on the 15th October, and I can honestly say that this event gets better every year. A fun, casual and informative event, with a mixed audience from the diverse IT community. As you may know, a barcamp allows anyone to host a talk, on any subject.
There were talks covering Arduino / kinect hacking (including controlling a RC helicopter using hand movements), computing in schools, and the most popular talk, error messages. The error messages talk was a comedy routine that covered error messages from Spectrum to Windows 8. (I didn’t see any Linux errors in there )
A theme present on the day was the state of IT education in the UK, with it being made clear that children are no longer being taught the theory of computing, rather they are taught to use proprietary applications. It is important that children are taught Computer Science, but at the same time we must also show that you can use a computer for more than just programming and spreadsheets.
What was refreshing, was the strong Linux presence, with Blackpool LUG hosting a live demo of Ubuntu 11.10, Linux podcasters Dan Lynch and Pete Cannon (aka Dick Turpin), and a few Ubuntu users hosting presentations. Barcamps are normally populated by Macs, so it’s great to see people using Linux in their workflows.
What I enjoyed most about this event was the diversity, in talks, attendees, and even sponsors. There was a considerable number of people who had never attended a barcamp before, and looking at the hashtag on twitter #bcblackpool they will be going to a lot more in the future.
Barcamp Blackpool is a rare treat, a barcamp that provides interesting talks, and is relaxed and informal to attend. Roll on 2012.
All of my pictures are available from my flickr account