My friend Kenney Jacob, chief technology officer at MobME Wireless Solutions Pvt. Ltd, mooted the idea of a BarCamp in Kerala over coffee one evening. Together with a few techie friends, we got the basic ingredients of a BarCamp ready: an open venue, free Wi-Fi, and lots of interesting people.
The event, held at UST Zenith Hall at Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram on 25 November, saw more than 70 people attend. We had eight really good talks, including one on QT development by two students from the nearby UCK College of Engineering.
I had been to BarCamps before in New Delhi and Hyderabad and it was great to be part of one in my hometown. Kerala had the first ever technology park in the country and is increasingly becoming a popular tier II destination for outsourced firms.
The discussion spanned Ruby on Rails, Python, game development, open source as a commercial platform, Bluetooth remote control, Asterisk as a mobile voice VAS platform, OpenSocial and more.
But the absolute best thing about a BarCamp is the zen-like moments you have—over coffee at a pre-event organizers’ meet, when the other guys around you have the exact same ideas about low-profile sponsorship, at a heated discussion about power distribution during the event that drew the audience in and, afterwards, when a new friend comes to you and says it was brilliant and we should have the next one soon. And you respond, with a wink, “Sure we will. See you in Kochi next!”
Vishnu Gopal worked with the team that organized the first BarCamp in India, held in New Delhi. He is currently a consultant for Web 2.0 start-ups.