BarCampRDU was a rousing success

BarCampRDU 2009 took place last weekend, and was a rousing success (as usual). I heard several attendees comment that the presentations outdid last year’s camp.

One of the highlights for me was attending Nathaniel’s talk about startups. It was a longer version of the talk he gave at Ignite which was perfect for me since I was unable to attend Ignite. I was also intrigued by a round-table discussion about developing applications for the Palm Pre. The primary reason I haven’t switched to the iPhone yet is because I adore Sprint’s phenomenal coverage area. I’m not willing to “downgrade” to AT&T at this point. The Pre looks like it could be a nice alternative. The jury is still out though, because Curtis mentioned in a hallway conversation that Sprint is planning on introducing a phone that runs Android later this year. Hmm, decisions, decisions.

I also really enjoyed catching up with some folks I hadn’t seen in a while. Who says geeks aren’t social? By the end of the day I was pretty worn out from all the “socializing” being done. I made sure to get my own presentation in early though, which was a change from last year. I pitched a talk about nomadic programming and jumped on the first time slot in room E, a favorite. The turnout was much higher than expected. I enjoyed sharing some of my own experiences with nomading and hearing what other people had been up to.

If you’re not familiar with nomading, my previous post on nomadic programming is a great introduction to the concept. Essentially, it’s the idea that getting out of the house or the office and to a coffee shop or co-working location has numerous benefits, including enhancing your productivity and providing fresh networking opportunities. I shared a few of my favorite nomading locations, including The Wake Zone. I also ran through the inventory of my “go-bag:”

  • Power strip/block w/surge protection
  • Wireless mouse (Bluetooth is ideal)
  • Headset w/boom mic (for Skype and music)
  • EVDO connectivity (Millenicom is my recommendation)
  • Laptop (preferably a Mac!)
  • Cables for connecting to an external monitor
  • Water bottle (keepin’ it cool)

I do plan on writing a follow-up to my original post about nomadic programming. Expect to see something later in September. Something I think we all should do going forward is communicate our nomading plans via Twitter. Make sure to use the #twitter hashtag when you do. Twitter has been the best way for me to coordinate co-working trips with fellow geeks. Chris has said that there really should be an app that makes this easier. Hmm, interesting idea! Anyone want to run with it?

By the way, make sure you’re following me on Twitter. C’mon, you know you want to.

In conclusion, I continue to find BarCamp to be, far from a waste of time, a great way to reconnect with a group of geeks I don’t see very often, and also an invaluable educational resource. I always pick up something new when I attend. And who can resist free T-shirts and food? If you’ve never been to BarCamp before, you should definitely consider subscribing to the blog and attending in 2010. You won’t regret it.