As globaldev was one of the main sponsors of the over-subscribed BarCamp London 9 I was lucky enough to have a ticket for Saturday. I was a little apprehensive when I arrived, having been used to attending conferences with a pre-defined schedule, I did not know what to expect and what I wanted to get out of it. Walking through the doors of City University London it was obvious this was going to be a conference that did not take itself too seriously. I was greeted at registration by a couple of people wearing witches hats - it was Halloween after all!
From the opening talk it was clear that the 200+ people were from a range of backgrounds (not just developers) and countries (meeting people from Poland, USA, etc.) for a range of different reasons such as meeting new people, sharing knowledge, to be inspired. There were BarCamp veterans, along with a large percentage of newbies like myself. After introductions, a few dos and a few don’ts (no racing the chairs, no fires etc.), it all got underway as the 'Grid' of sessions begin filling up.
The 'Grid' proved a place for attendees to book a slot to talk about any subject they wanted! There was a range of sessions to attend/take part in. As a developer I decided to attend the more development focused talks - @danielknell spoke about the use of dev/null can be used as a high performance database, from @almostobsolete we had kittens mixed with RESTful web services and HTTP patch verb. Then @jack_fracklin provided a great overview of Coffee Script, the tech kept flowing till lunch with an Introduction to Rails 3.1 by @cbetta
Amazing for a free event - lunch was free! There was an array of sandwiches/fruit/snacks to keep everyone happy, lunch also provided another chance to catchup with people.
As a user of lanyrd.com, the talk by @simonw and wife @Natbat provided a great insight in how a small project can become a startup, and how it's possible whilst travelling the world! The afternoon sessions continued with @mheap and Scaling your Development Team, a workshop on Lean Startups: Bullshit or Not? by @adrianh and @jamieknight on How the BBC do Agile for developing iPlayer Radio & Music.
One thing was being apparent as BCL9 went on, and that was the quality of the sessions - this was a free event, but on par with any event I had attended in the past. A great deal of effort had gone into everyone’s sessions, with people setting high bench marks in terms of slides/visuals/presentations. Also a big round of applause is needed for the BarCamp crew, without their hard work the event would have never happened.
Unfortunately I had to leave before the bar (that globaldev were a proud sponsor of) opened in the evening, but overall I had a great time at BarCamp London 9 and encourage people to go to the next one if they get the chance.