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13 May 2010

Trampoline Thoughts

Just under two weeks ago, we ran the third Trampoline – an informal unconference which brings people from a variety of disciplines together to share what they find amazing.

The day is filled with 20 minute sessions on whatever people who are there offer to discuss. We get a fantastic mix of topics: health, technology, education, dance, meditation, music, media, juggling, comedy, entrepreneurship and more. In true unconference style, none of this is planned beforehand – no speaker is given preference, there’s no keynotes.

IMG_6053

All three thus far have been in Melbourne. We’re definitely interested in sharing the love to other cities (but nothing’s locked in yet). That said, it’s a pretty safe assumption that Melbourne host its fourth sometime towards the end of the year.

From a personal perspective, I find these days amazingly energetic and inspiring (granted, I’m a little biased, being one of the organising team). It’s provided me (and many others) an avenue to connect with interesting, passionate people they wouldn’t normally meet. It’s just one of many things happening in Melbourne that solidifies my belief that it is truly – if you’ll excuse the hubris – a global cultural hub.

Adding to the Grid

If you’re interested in keeping an eye on future events, add yourself to the email list, and maybe follow the official Twitter account. There’s also a set of videos – the bulk being from the latest Trampoline – on Vimeo, and a growing set of photos on Flickr.

Trampoline 3 0449

I’m pretty stoked with how well received Trampoline has been thus far, and looking forward to making the next one even better. Would love to see some more new faces there too, so if you’re keen, jump on the list or get in touch!

14 Jul 2009

Rails Camps - Coming to a Country Near You

This weekend, there’s going to be a Rails Camp. In October, there’s going to be a Rails Camp. Then in November, there’s going to be a Rails Camp. That in itself is pretty freaking cool. What’s even cooler is that they’re in Maine, England and Australia respectively.

Definition

If you’re not quite sure what Rails Camps are – they’re unconference style events, held away from cities, generally without internet, on a weekend from Friday to Monday. The venues are usually scout halls or similar, so the name is slightly inaccurate – most people don’t bring tents, but sleep in dorm rooms instead.

Getting Down to Business

Also, they are events for Rubyists of all level of experience – and not just focused on Rails either. Anything related to Ruby and development in general is a welcome topic for discussion.

Communal Hacking

The weekends are made up of plenty of hacking, socialising, talks, and partying. Alcohol and guitar hero usually feature. A ton of fun ensues.

Making Pizzas

Rails Camp New England

A quick rundown in chronological order: first up, from the 17th to 20th of July, is Rails Camp New England. This will (as far as I know) be the first Rails Camp in North America. We’ll be up in the middle of Maine, at the MountainView House (a bit different from most Rails Camp venues) in Bryant Pond.

Unfortunately, if you want to come to this camp, we’re all sold out. Let me know anyway, just in case someone drops out (although it is late notice).

Rails Camp UK 2

Building on the success of last year’s first UK Rails Camp, a second one has been put together by Tom Crinson out in Margate, Kent.

Balancing

If you’re anywhere in the UK, or even Europe, you really should be keeping the weekend of the 16th to 19th of October free. In fact, go book your spot right now.

Rails Camp Australia 6

Last on this list is the original Rails Camp, that started back in June 2007, run by the inimitable Ben Askins. We’re returning to Melbourne (the host of the second camp, in November 2007), but this time we’re down by the beach in Somers.

John showing us how it's done

November 20th to 23rd are the dates for this, and going by the names of confirmed attendees, alongside what looks to be an fantastic venue, it’s going to rock just as much as the last five (and quite possibly even more). Feel like booking your place?

For all of these events, you should beg, borrow or steal to get your hands on a ticket. The energy, intelligence and passion of past camps has been amazing (which is why I do my best to spread the word), and they are a breath of fresh air compared to the staid and structured setup of RailsConf and most other technical conferences.

Thanks to John Barton, Max Muermann, and Jason Crane for the photos above.

06 Mar 2009

Trampoline

Born out of a discussion about BarCamps, Rails Camps and the value they could bring to those not so technically minded, Melbourne will be hosting the first Trampoline on Saturday, the 28th of March.

This is something Mel, Steve, Bei and I have been discussing for a few months now – bringing one hundred inquisitive people together to discuss interesting and amazing ideas covering various disciplines. In true unconference style, the schedule will be determined on the day by those who are there – you don’t need to be an expert in your field to share what you think is awesome.

We’ve got some fantastic space at DonkeyWheel in the CBD lined up, and already half the tickets are taken (so if this sounds like fun, I recommend registering sooner rather than later). People are already sharing the topics they want to share and hear about, and that discussion will ramp up as we get closer to the event.

13 Dec 2008

Link: Unit Structures: Advice for Planning a Bar Camp

"Here are a few of the lessons I've learned in planning a BarCamp."

13 Dec 2008

Link: Open Space Technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"a method to run meetings of groups of any size."

13 Dec 2008

Link: unconference » How to DIY Unconference

"outline the simple steps to host a successful DIY event"

13 Dec 2008

Link: scottberkun.com » Improving unconferences

"I’ve noticed one consistent problem: The people who get to run sessions aren’t the smartest or most interesting people."

26 Aug 2008

Rails Camp UK Report

Just over a week ago, the first Rails Camp in the UK was held in Downe, outside Orpington – and I think it was a fantastic success (having been the organiser though, obviously there is some bias).

We had quite an international flavour to the weekend. Of the 30 or so who attended, several were from around Europe, alongside the local British, and a few of us Australians to round it out.

The Beer Disappears

In true Rails Camp style, around the beer, pizza and games, much hacking and discussion was had – assisted by the *jour gems, twetter and SubEthaEdit. Plenty of cool projects were displayed and created – topics ranging from RSpec to EXTJS to in-memory models to plugins to CouchDB to approaches for better browser-server polling (with a neat browser game as an example).

Railscamp UK 2008 (8 of 12)

One of the cool creations of this Rails Camp has gone live. The collective talent of the RailsLove guys and Rany Keddo produced a forkable lists web app called Don’t Forget The Wurst – and features William Shatner, which just adds several levels of awesomeness to an already neat idea.

Werewolf

Massive thanks to all who came along and made it such a fantastic weekend – I’m looking forward to hearing about another Rails Camp in this part of the world (even if I won’t be able to attend it).

Matt and Simon

Also, if you’re in Europe, you might want to check out the German and Danish Rails Camps, which will be happening later this year. Australians, Rails Camp #4 will be happening in November (details are almost finalised). Everyone else: I highly recommend making one happen near you. There’s now a group of us who have dabbled in the organisation of them, and we’re more than happy to help however we can to get more of them happening around the world. It’s not too hard, and it’s an awesome way of strengthening your local Ruby community.

Balancing

21 Aug 2008

Link: Avant Game: Memories of a Dead Seer: Werewolf at Foocamp08!

Werewolf theories

01 Jul 2008

Rails Camp UK

Following in the steps of the Australian Rails Camps, it’s now time to announce the first UK edition. Running from Friday the 15th to Monday the 18th of August, it will be an extended weekend of hacking, talking, eating, drinking and games, with a bunch of smart and passionate Ruby developers.

Even though the name is “Rails Camp”, previous camps have included talks on topics from Merb to Rack to Extreme Programming – all topics somewhat related to Ruby are welcome.

If you’d like to come along, I’d recommend registering soon, as there’s a very limited number of places.

26 Nov 2007

RailsCamp Wrap-up

RailsCamp 2.0 finished earlier today – and I think it’s safe to declare it a fantastic success (even given my bias).

Massive thanks to Ben and Karen for their hard work getting everyone fed and co-ordinating people in the kitchen (and the RailsCamp bus from Melbourne to Sunnystones). Thanks too to everyone who helped at various points – both in the organising and over the weekend.

Finally, thank you to everyone who came along – these camps are so much fun because of the calibre of people who attend, and their willingness to share ideas, code and laughs.

Will be posting a version of my talk at some point soon… once I’ve recovered from the weekend.

12 Nov 2007

Link: scottberkun.com » How to run a great unconference session

"The myth is that by choosing to do an unconference, special magic will trickle down into all the sessions, blooming into dozens of beautiful flowers of enlightened communal experience."

30 Oct 2007

RailsCamp Reminder

In case the few readers of this blog are not aware, there’s a RailsCamp happening just outside of Melbourne, from the 23rd-26th November (not far away at all). It will be a weekend of hacking, chatting, food & drink, and very likely some gaming (along the lines of GuitarHero and WiiSports), taking a similar approach to barcamps. The first one, back in June near Sydney, was a fantastic success, and judging by the current list of attendees, I’m expecting it to be much the same.

We’re edging closer and closer to being sold out, so if you’re considering coming along, I recommend signing up as soon as possible. Day passes for the Saturday and Sunday are also available.

09 Aug 2006

Link: Digital Web Magazine - Understanding the Unconference

Someone (me, perhaps?) really needs to do this for Melbourne.

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About Freelancing Gods

Freelancing Gods is written by , who works on the web as a web developer in Melbourne, Australia, specialising in Ruby on Rails.

In case you're wondering what the likely content here will be about (besides code), keep in mind that Pat is passionate about the internet, music, politics, comedy, bringing people together, and making a difference. And pancakes.

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