Yawn 6am get up for trip from Mandurah to Perth on a Saturday and first day of my holidays was hard to take but it proved well worth the hassle. After much trepidation about attending a new event where I only would know a couple of people I walked in the doors of Central TAFE to attend the 1st BarCampPerth on Saturday. I had recently become a Twitter convert or maybe addict just days before the BarCamp so was good to get the f2f experience with these people.

I Googled most of the names that kept appearing on the Wiki as presenters and read through their blogs to find who what etc about them, what I found before I went was that they all had far more experience in web than I did. Other than when I attended the MEDC in Melbourne this would have to be the best event I have attended, cant really call it a conference as it is classed as an unconference. It was well organised and thanks must go to Myles for all the great work and of course to Jordan for the constant supply of coffee. I have never met such a relaxed group of people willing to share and listen to others, no cliques here and because of all the wonderful sponsors it was free and Bronwen handed out free PerthNorg t-shirts.

Coffee TShirt
mmmmm Coffee                           TShirts

Food
Food

Sue Waters started off with a session on MLearning and roped me in to do it with her but I just added a few side comments. As usual she did a excellent  presentation and we had lots of group discussion about the issues that we are all faced with when trying to “engage not enrage” with these new technologies and ways of teaching.


Sue                                 Sue Presenting Me with PDA

Web 2 for n00bs (which is defiantly includes me) was presented by Constance and Kate and made the mud a little clearer for me.

I have had a small introduction to Second Life when I watch the SBS series on Future Focus and was interested to hear what Kathryn Greenhill had to say about its place in education.What’s the use of Second life in Education ? It is certainly a very controversial topic as to whether education has a place in the virtual world and the debate on this is sure to continue for a while. Kathryn summed it up well with her opening statement “I am really into Second Life, and I am going to explain why but I don?t necessarily expect you to share my excitement.?

Problems with the Mobile Web was presented by Nick Cowie and he had some interesting facts about the number of these devices being sold, in the classroom situation most students will own a mobile phone but some may still not have access to a computer at home. Developing web apps for mobile devices is a virtual minefield with so many different devices and OS and mobile browsers that are available and the speed that these devices are being released to the market is mind blowing. I have also come up against these issues developing applications for PDA’s but not to the same degree, think I will stick on my side of the fence and leave web development to these guys.

Then we had lunch…. Pizza Subs, Coke, Coffee and Redbull gave us all a chance to chat and spring back into action for the afternoon sessions. Me right down the back pizza and a chat with Nick Cowie.

All ready to go again and I went off to the presentation on Running successful industry projects with Software Engineering Students. by Tiang Cheng It was interesting to hear the Uni way of handling industry projects with their students. Our TAFE diploma students also have industry projects for their major assessment in the last semester of their study. Our industry clients end up with a finished product while the Uni seems to head towards proof of concept outcomes. Uni and TAFE both have different ways of operating but they are both engaging the students with industry in “real world” projects before they have finished their study. This is an essential part of their study as it brings home to them that this is where they have been heading all these years, there is a “real world” out there and if they think we are tough as lecturers wait until they are in the workplace. It also gives many of them a boost as they realise that they are capable of completing the projects and have come a long way since they walked through the doors to start their study.

The last presentation I attended was by Ruby On Rails by Matt Didcoe and Myles Eftos. Excellent presentation that outlined the strong and week point of using ROR. Before reading the Barcamp Wiki I had heard of ROR but not taken much interest, well that has definitely changed now. I have three weeks holidays now so this is something I will be getting into. Great job guys!!!

So summing in up one sentence says it all for me “When is the Next BarCamp guys?” Well Done by all 🙂

There are lots more photos from the day on Flickr

I even got my son Harri to come along for the day.

Backs of the Geek’s Harri Me and Sue