Tag Archives: bcp5

Why you should be on Twitter – and how best to use it

This weekend, at Barcamp Pune 5, I gave a presentation targeted towards people who are new to Twitter, or who do not see what the hype is all about. The presentation went into the reasons why people find Twitter so useful and why it’s considered to be the next best thing after email. I also gave tips and tricks on how to use twitter effectively.

You can view the presentation online via slideshare:

or you can download it in your favourite format: PDF, Powerpoint 2007, Powerpoint 97-2003. Please feel free to download it, forward it to your friends, especially the ones whom you want to convince to start using twitter.

What to expect at Barcamp Pune

Update: Our hearts go out to the people of Mumbai, but our bodies continue their day-to-day activities in Pune. Barcamp Pune 5 will happen. It starts at 10am, at SICSR (Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research), Model Colony, Atur Centre, Opp. Om Super Market, Pune (map).

Barcamp Pune 5 is this Saturday (29th November) and I am hoping that this time, a lot of people who are not familiar with the concept of barcamp will show up. Earlier, we wrote about what is barcamp, and why you should attend. For those still sitting on the fence, wondering whether to attend, let me try and give an idea of what to expect at BCP5.

The barcamp page shows 250+ registrations. So expect at least 150 people or more to show up.

Expect chaos. I mean that in a good way. Conferences are thoughtfully organized by committees of experts to include topics that you should know about. Barcamp is not a conference – it’s an unconference. No suits, no committees. What you will get is talks on topics that you want to know about.

Expect a tweet-up. At 5:30pm. A meeting of people who use and love twitter. If you are not a twitter-user yet, you should be. Attend the tweet-up to find out why.

Expect talks from a set of very wide-ranging topics (mostly tech): how to secure your home wireless network from hackers, PHP, how to build iPhone applications, the semantic web, using maps in your applications and websites, robotics, bootstrapping your startup. And many more. It’s an unconference, so can’t know in advance all the different presentations that will ultimately happen. And some of the presentations will actually happen with 4 people huddled around a laptop in a corner on the floor.

Expect enthusiasm. Expect to see lots of energy. People passionate about technology. Blogging. Web-2.0.

Expect to see people not just from Pune, but also Mumbai, Bangalore, Aurangabad, Hyderabad and other cities. Yes, barcamps are worth travelling 800km for.

Expect to see students, junior techies, people with 15+ years of experience, programmers, managers, designers, NGO volunteers, open source fanatics, .NET gurus, savvy businessmen and geeks.

Expect to make new friends. You’ll meet lots of interesting people. If you are thinking of a startup, you might meet your co-founder. If you are interested in Erlang, you might meet other Erlang enthusiasts. If you are a recruiter, you might meet your latest recruits. If you are single, you might meet your future partner (hey! it happens).

Expect to go off to dinner parties with strangers.

Expect to give and receive business cards – some old school habits die hard.

Expect people to take lots of photographs and upload them to flickr. Expect blog posts about barcamp to trickle in all through the next week. Expect wi-fi. Expect live-blogging. Expect twittering.

Expect struggling startups to demonstrate their work. Some of them would have been doing this for the nth time, because they’ve been going to every barcamp in the country to get visibility for their startup. In other cases, you’ll be the first people in the world to see the new product.

Expect the unexpected.

Expect to learn. To teach. To discuss. To argue. To agree. To disagree. To clap. To laugh. To giggle. To boo (yes, that happens too.)

Expect the boring people to stay at home, and only the interesting people to show up.

Expect those who wanted to come but could not to be profoundly unhappy.

Expect those who did not attend to have missed something great.

What is barcamp, and why you should attend barcamp Pune (Nov 29)

What: Barcamp Pune 5

When: 29th November, all day

WhereSICSR, Model Colony. Here is the map.

Registration and fees: Are you kidding? (Actually, register at the barcamp homepage.)

What is barcamp?

A barcamp is a conference that is the opposite of conference. Conferences are arranged by people in suits who have expert committees to decide agendas, and scheduled printed on glossy paper 3 months in advance. By contrast, a barcamp is organized (or unorganized, actually) by the T-shirt and jeans types. There is no agenda, no schedule. You just show up, and anybody can announce a talk, and preferably it shouldn’t be pre-prepared. For a more formal introduction to barcamp, check out the wikipedia entry for barcamp. (Encyclopedia Britannica doesn’t have an entry for barcamp!)

So anyway, a barcamp sounds like chaos, right? Surprisingly, it works very well. A barcamp is one of the best places to go to get a feel for the pulse of the tech community. You’ll meet interesting people and get introduced to interesting new technologies. Tarun Chandel, the grand old man of barcamps in Pune, said this after Barcamp Pune 4:

Let me go back around 20 years and take a look at the life of a developer. It was simpler than your life isn’t it? He just had to learn one or two languages and the career was rolling (you don’t believe me ask any of your bosses). Let me come back to you. I am sure you all know at-least 3 languages in which you can produce code for living. But how many of you are confident that you will be able to make a career like the guys did 20 years back?? The reality is that the innovation is happening at an unbelievable rate today, oh sorry I cant fool you guys you are insiders and as insiders we know that the splurge of various technologies, languages, platforms is because of the work that people have been doing for a long time. For an outsider there are too many things happening suddenly but for an insider this is not a surprise but a time when all the things are peeking and coming together perfectly. To be successful at this time we have to make sure that we are riding on the top of the tide. It is easier said than done. It takes a lot of time and effort to be just aware of all that is happening in the technology space. A developer needs to be aware of so many things at once and not only that he should be ready to work with newer things as early as they happen. It is not easy to keep pace with the speed of innovation and ever changing world of technology, how much time do you guys get out of your project work? The pressure is enormous to deliver, where is the time for other things?

Barcamp Pune or similar events are the place that gives you a present snapshot of the world around you (or let me put it this way gives you a heavy dose of all the technology related things that you missed or are still missing). There is a learning curve in all the places so is there a leaning curve in Barcamp Pune as well. You come here and get excited about new things technologies, you go back and whenever you get time, say the code repository server is down or your manger has fallen ill you can read in details about what you learned here. You come back for the next time and you attend a workshop on the same got to learn how to code or use the technology. You go back home and run some code get your hands dirty learn few new things. You again come here and this time you share with other campers what you have learned and they will share what they learned and you will improve yourself. Isn’t that great!!! I read somewhere that you retain 95% of what you share with others.

We have a very experienced Barcamp crowd in Pune but just for those who were there for the first time, let me repeat what I said at the starting session of the event that, the onus of getting best out of camp lies with you. There is a famous rule of Barcamp “Law of 2 feet” that is, you will have to use your 2 feet to walk to a place where you can learn, if you are not learning walk out of that place (no one will mind) and go to a place where you can learn or share. Meet as many people as you can and network and use this gathering of intelligent people wisely.

So mark your calendars, and head to SICSR for a Saturday of unorganized tech fun.

And check the PuneTech calendar for other exciting tech events that have been planned for you in the next few months (for example, I bet you did not know about the Conference on Advances in Usability Engineering?)