Good times at Nashville Barcamp 2014

Today consisted of a lot of learning, looking at code and meeting interesting people. This year’s Barcamp was my first but will not be my last.

##What is Barcamp Nashville first embraced Barcamp in 2007 and it has been growing strong ever since. Known as an ‘unconference’, Barcamp is all about sharing tech knowledge, networking and learning while having fun. This year the topics ranged from Nashville’s tech scene in general to descriptive lessons on javascript frameworks. There was something there for everyone. Even my non-programming husband enjoyed himself.

Still unsure where the unconference fits in? Most conferences and tech camps i’ve been to in the past have been very rigid and intense. Barcamp focused more on the fun aspect while still maintaining its time structure. The bar, which opened at 10am, sure helped the mood.

My only gripe was the voting system.Similiar to last year, they experimented with a voting app that allowed attendees to vote for their favourite speakers. The speakers with the most votes were given the larger venues to present and put on at prime times. While i’m not against the voting in general it was very confusing that the voting was done on the day. The speaker schedule was not finalised until 30 minutes before sessions started. An adjustment i would suggest for next year is have the voting take place on the website a few days before the event. I’m very much one of those people who like to plan out their day.

##Highlights Of The Day The lineup of speakers and their topics were so broad and interesting it was hard picking and choosing which to attend. I was on a mission to attend all javascript related topics on the list as we have been learning it in class. The sessions on meteor js and angular js were very interesting. The real eye opener for me was the session on ‘How To Be A Six-Figure Developer’. I’ll go into a bit further detail on each.

Tyson Cadenhead started off my day with an insightful introduction to the JasvaScript framework Meteor JS. Having only dealt with vanilla Javascript and jQuery this was an eye opener for me. It interacts with both the client and server side in real time. I don’t know enough on this framework yet to go into too much detail but what i do know is it is impressive and very powerful. Very much something i will have to look into further down the coding rabbit hole.

Next up was a Swift development lesson by Chyld Medford who is actually a teacher at Nashville Software School. Swift is the brand new programming langauge released by Apple for the development of Mobile iOS apps. I was very impressed with Chyld’s demonstration of how to build a simple app with swift.

I do realise up until this point i have given you more of a rundown of my day rather than the highlights (although in my defense all these sessions were highlights). I do have to say Gaines Kergosien was the highlight for me. He delved into creating your brand as a developer and why it is important to volunteer within the tech community and network. I feel like his resume building tips and negotiation strategies will be helpful when approaching the job hunt at the end of my six months at NSS.

Another highlight was volunteering. It was my first time volunteering at a technology event and i loved it. The comraderie with the volunteers was amazing. It was great to feel like i was apart of something that benefits the commnuity and brings people who love tech as much as i do together. I will most certainly be volunteering for my events. Bring on Nodevember!

##Final Thought I am so glad i am doing what i’m doing. Vague and a little simple i know buti like to think you can feel when you’re on the right track in life. What i’m trying to say to those newbie coders like myself, is if you love it emmerse yourself in your tech community. Give back. Volunteer. Learn from it. It will pay back tenfold. Thats all the insightful dribble you’ll be getting from me for a while. Back to the technical goodness next post.