Last weekend, BarCampVancouver 2009 was held at Discovery Parks Vancouver. And more than anything, I think the location was an ideal spot to have this year’s gathering of like minded folks to get together and discuss a good variety of topics, ranging from day trading, mass transit, photography, and even a session inspired by an old post of mine regarding freelancing (certainly read Raul’s post on this issue which further explains this session which I also attended).
I have always been a fan of BarCampVancouver since the first one I attended in 2006. In fact, that was the first big event in the Vancouver tech community where I was really introduced to the vast array of people who make up this city’s thinkers, movers, and shakers, only to have that be the tip of the iceberg of what it is today.
My favorite sessions this year were, of course, the photography focused ones led by John Biehler and Scott Prince. The morning photowalk around the building was followed by a great afternoon session regarding editing processes. Moving into the DSLR world myself, this is obviously of interest to me. I’ll post more photos from that photowalk later, but big thanks also goes out to Peter Andersen and Tyler Ingram as well. Learned a lot from these folks as of late, and you’ll see more proof of this later.
The other session of interest was a discussion I attended where the focus was the gap that exists between designers and coders. As with our projects with sixty4media, I found this interesting because it’s something that I personally struggle with on a constant basis. By that I mean the internal struggle I have between my creative sense and how difficult it can be to incorporate that with the infrastructure of web design.
As I get deeper into the realm of web development and push the boundaries of my skills, I find that working with a designer allows me to work better as a coder. Hearing the struggles, frustrations, insights, and ideas of how to deal with this gap (which varies from person to person), I came away from this session with a renowned sense of inspiration that have already found their ways into the how I work on a day to day basis.
I think the key thing to consider when it comes to events like this is that some of the best things you discover come from conversations you have outside of the sessions going on throughout the day. Sure, there are things like business contacts and the exchange of cards, but I’m talking about those elements where you really learn a tiny nugget of information that alters the way you think about or do things. Those moments are what really keep you coming back because who doesn’t like to be better at what they do or are passionate about?
Congrats to the organizers of this year’s BarCampVancouver. They did really well, and I’m looking forward to another one next year already.