Tag Archives: barcamp

google glass on display


Google Glass on left, what Google Glass sees on right.

see you see me and then some

My introduction to Google Glass came at Tampa’s 2013 Barcamp at the University of South Florida last September. I sat in on a presentation by Glass Explorer Bruce Burke, one of those 8,000 or so chosen to live with the devices on a daily basis, and watched as he recovered from a failed classroom projector by tethering his Glass to his tablet so we could see what he saw.

“If you just want to make some phone calls, send and receive some text messages, take some pictures, take some videos and get directions, it’s great.”

In the months since Google first announced their revolutionary technology, I’ve been part of the crowd that thought it was cute but lacked real application. No more. The question isn’t what’s it good for, it’s what can’t it do. Can you call up the next Mickey D’s while you’re motoring along? Yep.

“It’s real light information,” Burke said. “If you just want to make some phone calls, send and receive some text messages, take some pictures, take some videos and get directions, it’s great. If you’re looking to create documents, create films and do heavier-weight stuff, it’s not for that.”

google launches massive product release

This past week, Google Glass has unleashed a well primed info pump touting style choices for Glass frames, a precursor to the retail launch that’s rumored to take place this Fall.

Not all the talk was effusive. FastCo Design called timeout on the use of “iconic” in the same breath as what seem to be otherwise ordinary frame choices. Still, the frames came across even if the writing lesson came up short.

Stand by. App development is well under way for the first purchasers wanting to adapt Glass to their particular niche. Surgeons? Sure. Fire and police? Of course. Also hobbyists, as in woodworkers. Service techs of all stripes. Brokers, reporters, and factory workers will also be seen sitting at their desks or at their stations, swiping at their temples and talking to themselves.

It’s not if any longer.

barcamp tampa bay 2013

Annual Gathering Introduced Major Digital Upgrades

Barcamp Tampa drew over 800 pocket protected members of the digital tribe to USF Business School

donuts — the key to endurance

Dawn had barely broken when the digital cognescetti began descinding on the registration desks outside the University of South Florida’s School of Business Administration for the daylong techno conference known as Barcamp. Dawn of the dead, more like it.

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Veterans of previous Barcamp events came prepared to deal with the Endless Donut Buffet lest the sugar blues overtake them halfway through a .js preso. Antidote: coffee pipeline direct injection.

First timers – including a non-profit wondering where he might find technology mentors for the inner city youth he counseled – tried to interpret the deliberate disorganization that is the hallmark of Barcamp, with varying degrees of success.

The 2013 edition, while perhaps not as feature rich as previous years, nonetheless offered nearly 800 attendees a broad and varied palette of back end, front end, and outside the lines content, much of it from an entrepreneurial perspective.

apps, plugins, hardware and plenty of code

Apps were big on the agenda this year, including the primo EXMO iOS/Android event scheduler. EXMO is one of those things that having used it once now seems like an essential for any multisession event, conference or seminar.

Still in beta, the little app that could kept up with an on-the-fly schedule update that’s the hallmark of Barcamp, letting attendees focus on what was happening instead of where. It’s the digital solution to the sometimes frustrating analog scheduler Barcamp uses, a bulletin board and post-it notes for attendees to schedule and presenters to signup for sessions.

This year there were some 15 tracks in hour-long chunks that began at 9 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m., in a nearly constant state of flux. That’s a lot of speakers to try and keep track of, and EXMO did a great job without the slightest hiccup, subject only to the 10-minute window needed for updating.

Blogging seemed a popular topic this year. My first session was an introduction to SEOslides, a dandy WordPress plugin that, as the name implies, allows bloggers to create a presentation within WordPress that is SEO friendly for every page and which – bonus round – links directly to your blog.

So take that Slideshare. Frame driven, this plugin is easily shareable and that’s a big plus when it comes to stats. A/B testing? Yep, and that’s just the beginning. It easily imports your PDF presentation, so authoring can be done with a variety of applications.

Still in beta, and as might be imagined the free version comes with a few key features disabled. If presentations are a big part of your workflow, the annual buy in is $200 and comes with a ton of extras.

quadcopters ready for takeoff

I’m still not sure what quadcopters had to do with web tech, but if I didn’t know anything about them before I sure do now thanks to Greg Wilson, Adobe’s head of CC outreach.

Greg rounded up a fleet – well, two – of these four-bladed oddities from DJI for a show and tell that included in the classroom hovering and an outdoor flight well above 800 feet.

Fundamentals of flight, advantages for aerial photographers, and a look at the possibilities made for a fun session that makes owning one of these devices tempting indeed.

By the time the last speaker in the last classroom turned out the lights, you could measure the knowledge dished out in tonnage. Barcamp is a rare altruistic opportunity to sample trends and techniques in the most informal of environments while allowing developers, site opperators, and anyone with a passion for digital and a viewpoint a forum to pitch their opinion.

barcamp tampa 2012 – new directions

BarCamp — A Premium Social Digital Experience

barcamp fills the hunger gap with traditional food

This year barcamp returned to the University of South Florida’s School of Business Administration for a combined event with codecamp. More than 300 creatives, engineers, and coders from a broad range of backgrounds began lining up before 7:30 a.m. for name tags, coffee, donuts, and a presenting slot. view barcamp Tampa 2012 on flickr

To the average person who might find themselves marooned in this gathering by either a fussy Garmin GPS or a galactic wormhole, barcamp tampa surely comes across like Santa’s Little Helper on the Simpsons – blah blah blah blah blah. I’m no coder, so much of what enters my ears during each of the day’s 50-minute sessions finds me in full agreement with that cartoon greyhound. What does get through, though, is often priceless in terms of application and value.

from statistics to startups to plugins – what you can learn

Barcamp Tampa 2011 was my introduction to the network’s universe of mostly backend web and app design. This year, a shorter list of speakers meant a leaner menu of topics, spread across nine venues in six time slots that started at 8 a.m. and ended at five.

I finished the day with three solid seminars under my belt, leaving a couple of half-baked selections behind on the table. Even though overall the offerings were pared down, Beyond Netflix – New Frontiers in Algorithms, Harvesting Social Data, and WordPress Optimization added up to several hours of insight, information, and takeaways that would have proven elusive, if not impossible, to discover if not for barcamp.

quantity and quality – tough to choose from a broad list of topics

  1. Beyond Netflix – New Frontiers in Algorithms This presentation by USF faculty member Balaji Padmanabhan explored the future of preference aware software, using Amazon and Netflix models to demonstrate the value of sentiment analysis engines. In other words, knowing what you want before you do.
  2. Harvesting Social Data TAWLK engineer Lance Vick described the advantages of live tracking search and sentiment analysis simultaneously without having to open a separate window for each stream. The software, still in beta, uses keyword entry to filter results from whatever channel platforms are selected, including social, blogs, and other accessible content.
  3. WordPress Optimization Website host IT manager David Parsons laid out options and best practices for WordPress blogs, ranging from plugin strategy to security to graphic overhead that can slow down load times significantly.

barcamp tours tampa

Barcamp — A One-Day Digital Media Geekfest

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, and Ethan Marcotte made sure my first Barcamp wouldn’t be my last.