As opposed to previous years, this year there was an increase in the number of workshops offered. The topics of these workshops varied — from security in information technologies to infographics and data visualization.
Special guests this year included Google software engineer David Garcia Quintas, head of RIA Novosti’s infographics division’s programming unit Mikhail Dunaev, special projects editor at RIA Novosti’s infographics division Philipp Kats, and Senior Innovation Advisor at Internews Network Anahi Ayala Iacucci.
The format of this unconference was not known to the BarCamp’s special guests prior to their arrival to Armenia.
“To tell the truth, this is the first time I’ve come across this type of conference. BarCamp has a very interesting and successful format; it allows people to regard the presentations informally, to establish more contact, and make new connections. My colleague, Mikhail Dunaev, and I want to organize a similar unconference back home, at RIA Novosti,” says Kats.
Kats and Dunaev talked to BarCamp Yerevan participants about infographic and data visualization tools and techniques.
“Data visualization is fashionable now; it’s a trend. New tools are constantly coming up that allow one not only to visualize figures, but also to dig deep into information.
“Media consumers have begun to use visual information more and require more complex content. It’s interesting to see where this will take us in the future,” says Kats.
For Internews Network’s Senior Innovation Advisor Anahi Ayala Iacucci, who travelled to Armenia from the US, BarCamp was also a revelation in terms of not only the format, but also the local tech “geeks”.
“BarCamp is a very interesting and enjoyable unconference. I met very interesting people, and found out how the tech environment is developing in Armenia and what the youth here are interested and engaged in,” she says.
BarCamp Yerevan’s veteran volunteer Mary Melkonyan, who for 4 years has been monitoring participant registration and ensuring a smooth unconference, finds that BarCamp improves every year.
“BarCamp gets better every year: new presentations are added; there are changes in the format. This year, exploring this sector were many youth from different universities and schools, who will become IT experts,” she says.
One of the organizers of BarCamp, Harut Martirosyan (@inteloid), likewise finds that this year’s BarCamp Yerevan was more successful than last year’s.
“Last year, it was in more of a sloppy format; this year it was a little less sloppy, for which I am eternally grateful.
“This year at least there were a few technical presentations and less [self]promotion [in the presentations], though this year we hadn’t prohibited advertising [in the presentations]. This year’s guests were better too. Everything was better,” he says.
As in previous years, you could follow this year’s BarCamp on Twitter by searching the hashtag #barcampevn13, as well as watch the two-day event live on Livestream.
BarCamp is an open unconference dedicated to IT, the Internet and Internet culture, new media, and other “geeky” topics where participants are the presenters.
The idea behind this unconference is to ensure a space for geeks of all sorts and their friends to teach, learn, share, exchange thoughts, and develop new ideas.