Field Report from BarCamp Madison


Bar Camp
Originally uploaded by jodieandlarry.

I spent most of the afternoon on Saturday at BarCamp Madison (I would have spent more time but I had some family obligations to attend to).  I have to hand it to the organizers, they put on a great event.  The conference location was very scenic (it took place literally across the street from the Wisconsin state capitol) and the logistics went off really well.  There were well over 100 people who had signed in by Saturday afternoon.


I attended some really good sessions:



  • Sheila Thomas gave a talk on “The need for interpersonal skills specifically for IT professionals”.  One of the conclusions of her university research paper was that many of the IT projects that failed every year were at least partially caused by the lack of communications skills in IT professionals.
  • Sean Johnson gave a talk on “How To Burn Your Business Into The Ground – Lessons in Entrepreneurship”.  He identified 7 things that you should think about if you are starting your own business.
  • Brennan Stehling’s talk on “Creating a Custom Provider (Photo Album Provider)” became really interactive when I asked him to pull the photos I had taken of Gabe Gross the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder into his demo (I was pretty sure that I was the only person on Flickr with photos of Gabe Gross).  Worked like a charm!
  • Tony Duckles gave a talk on “Introduction to AJAX and Prototype.js” that was an overview of the Prototype Javascript Library.  Prototype is a client side JavaScript library that can be used to add AJAX to your site. There was great discussion about some of the issues surrounding AJAX development during this presentation (JSON vs. XML, security, design).

So where was my presentation? Unfortunately by the time that I got there all of the slots where taken, which is great for the BarCamp.

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