Last Saturday I attended BathCamp near Bath and Tues through Thursday I attended Software Architect 2009 in London. I loved both conferences yet they are so very different. Hence (in a blokey way) I thought it would be interesting to summarise and compare.
I was an invited speaker for Software Architect (my sessions) and proposed and had a session accepted on the day at BathCamp.
|Location||A field behind a pub near Bath! Many folks camped overnight.||Royal College of Physicians in London||Both great venues for totally different reasons|
|Number of days||1.5 (On a weekend)||3 (Weekdays)|
|Number of tracks||3||5|
|Sessions||Pretty much on anything “geeky”. From “Kung Fu for IT people” to “365 days in the life of a rubber duck”||Architecture and development, typically but not exclusively on .NET||BathCamp sessions were great fun but at times difficult to find “code stuff”. Quality was variable. SA delivered high quality sessions throughout.|
|Learning style||Listen and Talk||Listen lots and ask a little|
|Organiser||The attendees||Bearpark (VSJ publisher)|
|Attendees||A real mix. Developers, contractors/freelancers, web designers, scientists, publishers etc. Majority of dev types were PHP and Apple.
Average age… hmmm… under 30
|Architects and developers, majority .NET. Average age is over 30.||Both are small enough to “recognise everyone” by the end.|
|Speakers||The attendees are the speakers! You propose sessions on the day||Lots of well respected names in the industry||SA attracts some of the best speakers – entertaining and knowledgeable.|
|Agenda||Made up on the day||Published in advance||SA gives predictability and high quality. But BathCamp gave some great surprises and treats|
|Food||Attendees made it! (you made your own sandwiches from the stuff provided)||Standard conference food – nice shepherds pie!||The hacked lunch at Bathcamp was a great idea|
|Evening||Band, BBQ etc||“Standard” free drinks reception||Bathcamp wins on this one by a long way. Very social.|
|Giveaways||A tin cup and a chair!||Nice bag with sponsor bits||Tin cup rocks!|
|Relevance to job||2/10||10/10|
Which to me proves that there is room for both extremes. I also think there is room to do a hybrid – and no doubt they exist! www.microsoft.com
And finally, some piccies.