Tuesday, April 11, 2006

BarCamp Chennai was Amazing

Hello guys, BarCamp Chennai was 1 amazing event that shook me awake. Though i dabble in most of the technologies (and thats the reason why the student champs call me Java), the presentations were all at a very different plane that we mostly tend to miss. There were many presentations on usability (Adel, Muthu, Amit from Uzanto etc...). There were presentations on PodCasting by Sujatha and Sriram (cofounders of PodBazaar). Since they are based in USA, the PodCasting presentation was done over skype. We played the slides here and heard their voice over skype :). And the best thing is that, it wasn't tested here before. It all happened perfectly.

Since this was primarily a Web 2.0 'un'conference, bosky's slides were a bit different. He built it on ajax and ran it over a browser; quite different from the usual stuff; cool dude :D. The sessions on VoiceSnap by Ganesh Padmanabhan, Search Engine Optimization by Ganesh of rupya, Making money using blogs by Amit Agarwal were particularly excellent. Vijay Anand was very optimistic of making the future of Indians brighter with his Project Infranet. The session on NPL was good. Suman, who is the brain behind NPL, told that (over lunch) programmers face the common difficulty of understanding other's coding. His NPL tends to solve it.

Tracbac is a nifty Web 2.0 product that allows us to collaborate designs based on gifs, jpegs and swf files, over the internet. Its still in beta, so you have to sign up for an invite to try it. This tool will be useful for students on collaborating symposium poster designs and flash enabled websites that we build during the symposium. Atul Chitnis was @ BarCamp. I almost got lost on his session, and understood the point from vijay's blog.

Mobile computing is an entirely different mamoth. You require a different mindset to get used to the lifestyle of using mobile devices to aid you in your everyday life. You can't expect applications to behave the way that they do in your PC. But overall, they are capable of changing, or making your life better, if you are willing to give it a try.
Part of the reason of being lost was because i was setting up my project demo on rupya's HOT!! laptop. Myself and moyeen did a presentation on our final year project (mSync). Ganesh (not the rupya version), recorded it and has uploaded it to youtube. Watch it here. Shyam became ecstasic when we said during our presentation that we used YahooPops! to retrieve email from yahoo. Btw, Shyam is one of the lead developers of YahooPops and i will be troubling him from today. I was looking for a person to explain the structure and flow of YahooPops source code and there can be none who is better than Shyam :D. My project has been blogged here, here, here, another here, yet another here etc... Amit Ranjan has a very energetic post on BarCamp. It is a MUST read.

Beyond everything else, Narain and Vijay Anand inspired me beyond compare on some ideas. They have done it unknowingly and i hug them for sharing that knowledge with me. It happened on day 2 of the barcamp, very early, before the presentations, when we were hunting for laptops on which we could test our demos. Ganesh of Rupya came to the rescue and we used his laptop for our presentations. A huge hug to you buddy :D

Overall, BarCamp Chennai left an ever-lasting memory because of the way it was conducted. I made friends quickly, which usually doesn't happen at normal commercial conferences, and those people were only more happy to share their knowledge. He he, i also shared my 2 cents :). Lots of them have done live blogging on the event. You can find them at the bottom of the BarCamp Chennai wiki. Wish i had a laptop. I also wish more such events are conducted on a regular basis.

You can find a lot of photos on Day 1 and Day 2 of the barcamp at ChennaiBlog and Flickr.