Monthly Archives: April 2012

barcamp tours tampa

barcamp brings top talent to tampa

Perfect Fall weather meant standing room only when Kforce’s Tampa headquarters opened their doors for a dynamic day-long code fest of presenters gathered from across the country. view barcamp Tampa 2011 on flickr

It was my first Barcamp, so it wasn’t until I parked and checked-in for the Saturday series of 30-minute presentations that I fully realized it was a coders’ boot camp with plenty of designers and social media marketers along for the ride.

Unlike the formal speaking schedule found in typical conferences, presenters show up with thumbdrives full of SlideShare, Prezi and PowerPoint content, much of it in beta form, then scribble their themes and topics on Post-Its that serve as both log-in and journal for speaker and subject.

speakers sorted and assigned to rooms

After that it’s up to organizers to arrange the order based on content and context, which is where the Post-Its come in as they’re sorted, organized, and debated before making it on to the quasi-spreadsheet wall listing. The audience gathers around, making notes of which sessions they’re interested in attending.

The unique approach means there’s no way to know ahead of time who you’ll see or when you’ll see them – an experiment in back end democracy, as it were. Barcamp rolls with a dynamic lineup ranging from top tier industry talent to first time content breakouts. Graphic, social media, and styling presentations from notables like Chris Coyier, Dave Cross, Ethan Marcotte, and Antony Francis made sure my first Barcamp wouldn’t be my last.

what’s it like? don’t ask – just watch

 if you have to ask…

Next to “What came first?” the most difficult question asked by non-riders is what’s it like to ride a motorcycle. It’s a question that’s given rise to countless variations of the same t-shirt, all to the point that if you have to ask you’ll never understand.

Which brings me to this wonderfully expressive short by motojournalism. Two guys, reflecting on a lifetime of deep friendship and mutual respect, made possible by a jointly shared love of offroad riding.

I’m still not sure if it explains what riding’s like to someone who doesn’t. But it sure worked to raise my pulse a couple of notches.