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BarCampDSM Take Aways


I wanted to take some time and thank the organizers of BarCamp Des Moines, they did another amazing job this year. This was the 2nd Des Moines BarCamp and also my 2nd time attending and I have to say this is quickly becoming one of my favorite events of the year. You could call it a conference if you want but it really isn’t in the same sense, if you’re curious as to what BarCamp is check out wikipedia. One of the big reasons why I enjoy this event is because it’s not all technical, there are technical people in attendance but there are also designers, businessmen, entrepreneur, and regular Joe’s as well. Because of this mix you get some really interesting presentations and conversations happening throughout the day, and thats what I enjoy about this event.

This year’s event was even better than last years, and I think that had to do with everyone knowing what to expect and how to prepare. The first session I went to was actually one I attended last year and got so much out of that I for sure wanted to attend again this year. The session was simple, name one of your favorite books and give a description on why people should read it. I got so much out of last years and was definitely not disappointed this year, and now have a few more books on my must read list.

The rest of the day I tried to participate/attend in sessions that were outside of what I deal with on a day to day basis (programming). Here are some of the high points from those sessions:

  • Take the time and find a way to design with emotion, it helps create a relationship between your product and your customers. If you design with emotion and make a mistake your customers will be ticked but will also forgive you, where if you don’t create the relationship with your customers and you make a mistake that customer may leave and never come back.

  • To help yourself create/come up with new ideas you need to get out of your comfort zone, take the time to meet new people and hear new ideas. If your always talking and hanging out with the same people you’ll never give yourself the chance to meet that one new person who will inspire and help you take that next big step in your life.

  • Take the time to organize your life, and remove distractions so you can focus on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking only gives the illusion of productivity, you get more done when you only focus on getting one task done at a time. I’m already trying to do this with Evernote and following the GTD techniques described in David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” book. I have definitely noticed a difference in how I get things done when I’m following these ideas.

  • I also got into an impromptu Regular Expression session that was really interesting, because this is something I do use every day in my work life. It was really beneficial to get an experts point of view in how they view RegEx and how they use it in their everyday work. The RegEx tips and tricks are definately going to help out, multiline who knew?

Last year I ended up leaving before the event ended but this year I stuck around and went to the after BarCamp meal. This was a lot of fun, because you can’t beat free pizza and pop ;). I was able to enjoy a good conversation with a friend of mine from the Cedar Valley .net user group and also got to meet and talk with some really interesting people I would’ve probably never met otherwise. I hope the guy who did the session on, meeting new people to create ideas, would be proud, I extended my Venn diagram and had a lot of fun doing it.

I can’t wait to see what next years BarCamp has to offer, thank you again to the organizers.

Tags: Reviews

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