Learn Something New at Rochester ‘Geek Unconference’

Community invited to RIT Oct. 29 for BarCamp Rochester

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Sean McGary

Participants at BarCamp Rochester study the grid of presentations. The schedule for the “geek unconference” is organized just minutes before the first presentations.

Most of the schedule for this Saturday’s BarCamp Rochester will be organized on a giant grid, just minutes before the first presentations. For participants of Rochester Institute of Technology’s 8th BarCamp, this is common practice.

“BarCamp is what happens when you put over 150 outgoing learners (or geeks) in a room and talk about what you think is cool,” says David Morgan, an organizer of the event and information technology graduate.

The free conference, dubbed Rochester’s ‘geek unconference,’ starts at 8 a.m. Oct. 29 in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Six 30-minute sessions will take place simultaneously in classrooms throughout the Golisano College. The rule is 15 minutes for presenting and then people get to ask questions. Previous topics included demonstrations of robotics, how to travel the world with just $1,000 and even relationship advice.

Presentations in the Golisano Hall auditorium will be streamed live to the BarCamp Rochester website. After a free lunch, everyone will gather in the auditorium for one hour of “lightning talks,” which consist of five-minute presentations about anything.

“Last year, someone did a lightning talk on the characters of My Little Pony,” says Morgan. “I am pretty sure it was a dare, but it was very funny and informative.” To view a YouTube video of the presentation, go to http://bit.ly/vb6LxD.

BarCamps are not unique to RIT. Morgan says similar events are hosted in cities around the country. The name is derived from the terms “foo” and “bar,” which were used in early versions of computer programs and documents.

“All attendees should give a demonstration, a session or just help out,” says Morgan. “Anyone in the Rochester community is invited to attend, participate and learn something new. It is always a great mix of people with different hobbies.”

To learn more and pre-register, go to barcamproc.org.