Beaver Barcamp 16
The conference everyone waits for all year, BEAVER BARCAMP went down yesterday. This is my third year and final year organizing the unconference, and all was strangely calm. I'm not sure what magical forces to attribute this to, but usually there is a sharp spike in meetings, tasks, and general PANIC on the media team starting in mid-January leading up to Barcamp. Perhaps thanks to our beautiful + talented writer Amanda, perhaps because our workflow was "What did we do last year? Yeah, do that", perhaps because we were old-hat now, everything seemed to go smoothly and be stress-free. 120 attendees, 32 talks, too many burgers to count, it was a great time. For me Barcamp is a chance to see a lot of alumni and old friends that I don't get to see very often, so it was nice to have a solid chunk of time in the morning to say hello to everyone and get sufficiently caffeinated.
The first talk I went to was Lightning Talks, which is a grab-bag of topics in 5-minute installments. As expected some talks were great and some were very meh, but I definitely learned some new and interesting things about unexpected topics. The best talk was Eli's on Art History (totally not biased), though one talk on Explaining Myths in the Theater (ie. "Break a leg") was also very well done + interesting, as well as one on how to Correctly have a Polictical Discussion. Overall it was a good way to start the day.
Rust Types + Traits
I haven't gotten on the Rust or Go trains yet, and honestly don't plan to in the near future, but I do try my best to know what's what with the Hip New Languages. Though not the best speaker, Mythmon is very knowledgable on the topic not just of Rust but of language design in general, and the content of his talk was definitely ideal for my background knowledge. This was the talk that I got the most out of at Barcamp, and it helped me be more comfortable participating in discussions of Rust.
How to Watch Professional Starcraft
As an aspiring video gamer, I was pretty stoked about this talk. I laughed, I embarrassed myself, I learned a lot about Starcraft. This was a good post-lunch break from thinking.
Zendo is an addictive game. The idea is you have several pyramidal structures like so:
The Master thinks of a simple rule for structures that can be built with the pyramids. For example, some good rules are "A large piece must touch a small piece", or "There must be at least six pips in the structure" or "There must be a blue and white piece in the structure", etc. Then each player
Definitely the most entertaining of the "talks", and it was hard to tear myself away at 10 to 4pm, when my talk was scheduled.
As usual, we hosted a BBQ at Avery Park after the event. Good food, good company, great weather, what more can you ask for?
It was excellent to see some familiar faces again, and have a day off from thinking about school. Since I'm writing this last sentence on September 13th, 5 months after barcamp actually finished, I'm just going to leave it there and publish this now. Writing a blog is hard guys.