Barcamp Canberra – On again, Saturday 17th March 2012

17th March 2011 (image shows James Dellow presenting in front of a whiteboard)

The 5th Canberra Barcamp is fast approaching – and if you have been before, you’ll know just what that means. But for a lot of people – its a new label, and probably a bit of a puzzle.

Is there a bar? What sort of cocktails will they have? Are there tents? A campfire?

No? Then just what they heck is it? Let’s just say that there is a good explanation – but its probably not worth worrying about too much now.

What you need to know is that BarCamp is a gathering to share ideas, meet new people and learn new stuff. It is free to attend and is a voluntary run, non-commercial event.

Anyone can speak, run a demonstration, host a discussion or even perform a song! Expect sessions to cover all sorts of topics, and vary widely in style. There is normally a lot of interaction between the speaker and the crowd – each asking questions and offering ideas. Its a great place to bring tricky problems for discussion by a diverse group of smart people.

Barcamp Canberra is part of a larger series of events that happen across the world each sharing a name and a couple of common aspects. They emerged from the tech scene in California – but now extend into many non-tech topics and communities.

Barcamp Canberra in past years has included a number of great talks regarding government and technology – reflecting both the location and the background of the barcamp movement. But a key thing about a self organising conference is that you can’t predict what the talks will be on the day. Based on past years, you could expect talks on solar panels, website development, creating maps, soil science – and any number of other things.

The magic of barcamp is the coming together of people with different skills and experience and seeing how they can share what they know for mutual benefit. Art meets science.

Don’t be put off by the seemingly vague plan for the day – come and see, it just works.

Look out for announcements on twitter @barcampcanberra

If you’ve been to a previous barcamp – how would you explain it to a newcomer? Post your ideas in the comments below.

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