This one is for the geeks of Singapore. “Those who code shall rule the world” appears to be the mantra that drives many other Barcamps around the world. In Singapore, we might be late to jump on this bandwagon but we are coming there.
Harish lamented the lack of geeks at the Barcamp event. I agree. I might not be a geek but I do know what Barcamp is not – another event for business types like myself. We need diversity of social events for the coders, hackers and all forms and shapes of programmers to come out and share knowledge with each other. Thats how Singapore will catch up with the other IT hubs in the world – hustle the geeks out from behind their screens to a real event.
To be fair, the event was still an enjoyable one. The energy in the room really went up with the halfbaked.com session which saw random keywords being generated by the audience and then haphazardly strung together for various teams to come up with adhoc business plans based on these words. With a web-savvy crowd in a playful mood, it was no surprise to find the business plans revolving around the single most-searched term on the web. 😉 This activity surely got everyone’s creative juices flowing.
A discussion on “The Future of Communications” was subsequently hosted by a PR agency, Text 100. This was followed by the programme being split into two tracks – business and tech. I stayed on the business side as Henry, a mobile software engineer from Yahoo, presented “The Mobile Web Explosion” to an audience curious on whether software, hardware or the network infrastructure was the key to increasing web content and service development over the near future. “Pinko Marketing”, inspired by Tara Hunt of Riya, was the next topic of Chandra, whose intense wordplay with Rachit, a local internet marketer, cuased much food for thought on how communities really contributed to marketing.
The event drew about 35 people, with a maximum of 6 females. About 10 people attended the technical discussion track while the rest were at the business track. The average age was about 25. Roughly 30% were students with working professionals making the rest of the headcount.
Based on the demographic above, Barcamp can only grow in future events if:
1. they attract more students with free time to commit towards coding and application development alongside their schoolwork. A more targetted publicity campaign inside the engineering and computing faculties of the tertiary and pre-tertiary groups and in the online forums, will solve this problem.
2. The diverse student communities also represent greater social integration and implications for better word-of-mouth effects compared to a mature audience of an average age of 25 who are likely to have more family-oriented or work-based networks.
I think the aim of Barcamp is this:
Pass this message on to your friend. I will be doing my part to help the Barcamp organizers churn out more lines of code for the next event. More related posts by these fellow bloggers here.