Join me and (as of this moment) 159 other geeks at the next edition of BarCamp Rochester this coming weekend, Saturday, October 6th. The event, like its predecessors, takes place at the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology.
It’s free to attend (although donations are welcome). Be sure to sign up so they have an accurate count for food and drink.
Check in starts at 8am, and you get a free t-shirt (assuming you registered in time), and a presentation placard. There is usually some other free stuff at our swag table, and you can mingle with other attendees and eat some breakfast! Bring your laptop and get signed up for the wireless network. Hang out and chat, but don't miss the introductions.
Around 8:30 or 8:40, everyone will be asked to go into the auditorium. The hosts of BarCamp Rochester will thank our sponsors, and give everyone the general rules for presentations (15-20 minutes, 5-10 minutes of questions, and give enough time for people to get to the next talk!). At the end of introductions, we will announce you can now sign up for your time to present on the giant schedule. A mad rush will ensue, and you'll have 10 minutes or so to decide what presentations to attend at 9.
Check out presentations about stuff you are already interested in. Throw in some other presentations about stuff you've never heard about. Tweet about what is awesome (or maybe about what is horrible?). Ask questions, be involved.
Lunch is free, and is served around 1pm. Spend the first half eating and socializing with others at the event, and maybe catch the start of lightning talks towards the end of lunch. We also raffle off some of our free stuff.
Catch the Lightning Talks
Lightning talks are run slightly overlapping the lunch period. The basic premise of the lightning talks is simple. You have 5 minutes to talk about your topic, once that time is up, you're kicked out and the next one starts. Fast paced and intense, but usually filled with awesome topics that don't really need a lot of time to cover, or do, but leave you wanting more.
Give Your Own Presentation
Now that you've seen a few presentations, and aren't as intimidated as you were before you woke up, throw your placard on the wall and give one yourself. Your passion for the mating habits of the African honey badger will surely peak some interest. Talk about something you care about, and you can share that passion with others. It's rewarding and exciting.
Attend the wrap-up
Something we do at BarCamp Rochester is hold the "How To Run a BarCamp" talk. This talk is where you tell us what we did right, what we did wrong, and what you want to see in future BarCamps. We take notes (seriously, we do), and we try to make the next BarCamp at least 42% better than the last. We also raffle off some more free stuff, so make sure you stick around.