BarcampRDU: Can’t Wait to Feel That Tech Vibe in Raleigh

There’s a great deal of talent and an explosion of successful web based companies in the Raleigh Durham area. I’m pleased to be traveling to Barcamprdu this weekend, for yet another un-conference.

In May of 2007, I traveled to the DCamp Conference in Raleigh. With one big toe in academia and the rest of me set squarely in the tech industry, I must say I really do understand the importance of the un-conference. Unlike academic conferences, it’s an open forum for teaching and learning, and it’s free. So there is no pre-arranged schedule and no conference fee.’BarCampers’ arrive at the conference and propose sessions (it’s very exciting actually) and then the group splits off into different rooms. Since I’ve been a participant of the un-conference I can say it works well in action.

The organizers of BarCamprdu are wonderful, and the list of sponsors they’ve assembled is impressive. Some of these include: Lulu.com and Icontact.com, as well as Design Hammer, a Durham based website design and programming firm that Maximum Web Marketing professionals have presented educational seminars with at the Raleigh School of Communication Arts.

Without the barcamprdu sponsors, the before and after party (this year the pre-party is being held at Tyler’s Taproom in Durham) would not be possible, nor would the complimentary lunch or free t-shirts. These are all great ways of celebrating the tech community and continuing to engage with each other.

More than anything, I appreciate the spirit of sharing information, knowledge, and methodology that exists in the un-conference format. As I collaborate with programmers and designers on complex projects, I learn from them, and they learn things from me about organic search. I feel that these aspects of teaching and learning are the most important for professional growth and yet they are often overlooked, because there is very little formal context. It’s not formality that matters, but the dedication of organizers who put an event like Barcamprdu together and the campers that come to participate that ultimately determines the success of the teaching and learning experience.

I’ve learned a great deal from my collaboration with website designers and programmers. In this format, I can listen to them speak about technology they are working on developing. This is fascinating for me, and exciting for the opportunities it brings to the tech world – always on the move and changing quickly.

Thanks to all of the people in the Raleigh Durham area for organizing BarCamprdu this year.

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