Sunday, May 14, 2006

BarCamp Mumbai May-2006

It was the best of camps, it was the worst of camps...

So I went to the Mumbai BarCamp held appropriately on the 13th of May at IIT Mumbai; and was thoroughly disappointed by the quality of the vast majority of the speakers as well as the venue.

What went wrong? Where to begin!

1. It must have been 33-35 deg Celsius out, with very high humidity and all the slightly interesting talks were held in an unventilated, non air-conditioned room. I was sweating like a pig in sauna and my God, I stank! It just wasn't possible to concentrate in such circumstances.

2. This is supposed to be a BarCamp, not a conference. Sandeep was the one who really pointed this out. We were supposed to be discussing these topics interactively, not sitting in chairs listening to droning speakers...

3. ...and the speakers! Where did they find this bunch?! The first talk was on 'SMS Applications'. At the end of it, I knew nothing significant about this technology, but had learned that it may in fact be physically possible to be bored to death. I was really looking forward to a planned talk on OpenLaszlo and Flex, however, both turned out to be completely empty of content. The only bright spot was a talk by some guy from Pinstorm about the mechanics of optimising Google AdWords campaigns. That was interesting, however, the heat and humidity had sucked all the life out of me by then.

4. Let's not leave the audience out of this however! What a bunch of morons! In just about every talk I was in there were a couple of idiots (different ones every time!) who would bore everyone with endless, inane questions with very little relevance to the topic at hand. You're supposed to ask 'questions' in order to learn retards! Not to try and push your own agenda, you imbeciles! It's a good thing things weren't as interactive as BarCamps should be. I shudder to think of the quality of the discussion.

The only redeeming quality of the entire circus was that I got to meet Vinay and Chandrasing. We really clicked and ended up spending pretty much our entire free time holding spirited debates on everything from LISP to PHP, OOP to Procedural programming. After the fiasco that was BarCamp Mumbai finally ended, we went out to the Hirandani Complex where we held out own mini-BarCamp (FooCamp? / BazCamp?). I learnt a hell of a lot more in those few hours than I did in the entire day before it.

The plan's now to meet every month or so for our own, more exclusive and as yet un-named, gathering (FooCamp!) and discuss matters of importance to us. Code a bit too. Get our hands dirty.

Let's see how things work out! Even if all we end up doing is meeting up in the swamps and flinging poo at each other (PooCamp!), it'll be better than a BarCamp!


Idea, Execution, Profit! said...

Good One!

Vaibhav Domkundwar said...

Totally agree. I posted a similar note here: said...

Sounds like a shark contrast from prior BCs in other Indian cities. Well, on the bright side, the trend atleast got started ;-)

Nag @

Arsalan Zaidi said...

Hey, I know I'm a little hard on the BarCamp in this post, but that's cause I care :-P

Really, I expect much better. A friend of mine who'd heard of the whole deal had got me all excited about it and it was quite a let down...

BTW, Vaibhav, I'm in some of the photos on flickr you've linked to :-). This is me looking like a spaz and this is me sweating all over the place. I'm in the pink shirt on the left. Notice the healthy sheen of perspiration. I have a handkerchief in my hand in *every* one of those snaps! :-D


I totally agree with your views.
I missed the opportunity of meeting you although I did spot you while you were asking questions to Nirav of Magnet.
My name is Hasnain and I am based in UAE. I happen to know mahmood merchant and Mohammed Ali Vakil/Arif Vakil who are all working closely in DILP. Today while chatting with Mohammedali, your reference came about along with the link to your blog. I recalled having spotted you there.

ishan said...

i dont think i would need to say anything more then after u read the title ..

with the director of linux international coming up as a barcamper..the barcamptechfest would be the most intensive gyan session a barcamper would ask for ..BarcampTechfest is the third one thats being held in mumbai and barcamp being a part of techfest and IIT Bombay and everything seems to fall into the rite place…the hub of the geeks and a time when IIT Bombay would be having as many as 30000 people coming up .. u cant as k for more ..

be there at barcamptechfest.