BarcampOxford – making our own conference

This year I’m tasked with being the lead for the BarcampOxford. Given the great success of the previous BarcampApacheOxford and my newbie status this is a little daunting. Fortunately Barcamps have the mentoring sorted and we have a team consisting of the someone local, someone experienced, someone new and everyone else who volunteers to do something. That way the experience gets passed on and we have more great BarCamp events.

Ross assures me that as Barcamps are self organising on the day the key is to make sure folks turn up and the resources are in place to make the day run smoothly. Mind you, there’s plenty to do, and leaving so much to be decided on the day is a little scary. However having been to a few BarCamps and similar events I know they provide attendees with  a much more valuable experience than a traditional ‘passive’ conference. However you do need attendees who want to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in. Well at least, attendees who want to discuss topics that matter to them. That’s not often a problem with those with open source or geek leanings, as are our target ‘barcampers’ .  The reward is a feeling of something achieved through new connections made, new ideas formed or new projects started.

If you’ve never experienced a BarCamp then I highly recommend you go to one the very first chance you get. Why not join us as a taster? To whet your appetite here’s an introductory email that was sent out recently.

Building on the great success of last year’s BarCampApacheOxford, OSS Watch and Torchbox are again running the popular BarCampOxford unconference at the Oxford University Club on the 26 June. Expect many great conversations, including topics such as open source, open development, open innovation and web 2.0 mashups. Full details are on the BarcampOxford wiki page [1]

If you’re not sure what a BarCamp is, fear not. It’s a friendly, flexible and informal event where everyone who attends has a say in what happens on the day. The idea is to come with a topic you’d like to present, discuss or even hack-on. We figure out exactly what happens in the morning, and then get on with it.

We already have people who like to get together on topics as diverse as; open source, cloud computing, semantic web, mobile tech, agile development, UIX and accessibility, Python, Dojo and Javascript. If something else takes your fancy, then just a look at the wiki [1] and add your interests in the attendees list or come up with an idea on the day.

We’ll have food and drink to keep you energised. This year the TV goes on and club bar opens at 3 for those who just can’t bear to miss the World Cup football. Those who want to carry on a great conversation or hack session can do so in the upstairs spaces.

So why not join us – just add you details to the wiki page [1] or email us [2]

This year the Barcamp follows on from the TransferSummit [3] open innovation conference being held at Keble College, and a number of attendees will stay on for the Barcamp. They will no doubt have a lot to talk about after the Summit which promises to be exceptional given the programme [4]. Note: there are still spaces at the Summit, you can register on the website [3].


We hope to see you on the 26 June.