Sunday, 11 April 2010

Apache programmers study Leech Farming in Ireland

For the last three days I've been in a Youth Hostel in rural Ireland with a bunch of programmers. Sounds like hell? Actually quite the reverse. It was probably the best 'unconference style' event that I've been to. So many things made it work - here are a few:
  • Beautiful countryside (most of us did a couple of hours walk on Saturday)
  • Everyone staying overnight for two days - no splitting up to go out to different pubs/restaurants etc
  • The weather - yes, it was sunny - in Ireland - in April - for three consecutive days.
  • Great mixture of projects, people, talks and coding time.
  • The only use of PowerPoint was in 'Presentation Karaoke' - a right and fitting use for PowerPoint. This is where the Leech Farming came in.
Thanks go to Noirin Shirley for the organisation, not only for doing the normal hassle stuff (booking the hostel, organising the food) but also for roping in her husband to collect us from Bray station and persuading her parents to turn up with home baked bread on the last day.

Here is a shot of Andrus Adamchick at breakfast on the last day - just to give an idea of what the place was like.

These events are somehow much more satisfying than the huge, expensive conferences. I come away feeling that I've learned something and met some great people. I'm looking forward to the next one already.

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