Personal Reflections Technology

BarCamp Delhi 6

Been weeks now since BarCmp Delhi 6 was held – on 28th February and 1st March 2009. Not many people seem to have put up photographs, although I did put up whatever few I had from BarCamp Delhi 6. In retrospect, the event took a huge beating in participation due to the fact that it was being held at Gurgaon. Admittedly, reaching the venue was a difficult proposition for many people. But then, we didn’t get any other venue and are glad that MDI Gurgaon helped us out during that time. Read up tweets from BarCamp Delhi 6.

Day 1

I reached early in the morning to help set up stuff. Pleasantly surprised to find WiFi working at every room sessions were to be conducted in. Others who had volunteered were Piyush, Jasdeep, Anand, Rashmi, Vaibhav, Deepak, Praval, Honey, and Gaurav (hope Im not missing out anyone here!). Soon enough participants started trickling in for registration. (About halfway through you realize that you might need to miss a few sessions for this, but that’s OK.) Post-registration I decided to attend a session on social media.

Most of the action happened after the lunch break (lunch had to be paid this time since we didn’t have enough sponsorship to cover food). Pankaj Jain and Deepak Shenoy gave an update on the financial crisis; as always, the statistics were startling. Shwetank Dixit, Opera evangelist, conducted a session on ‘The Open Web’ concept which Opera has been championing. Rohit Srivastava of Clubhack gave an incredibly obvious (and thus boring) session on Internet security. ‘How to interact with the open source community’ was worth attending after that. I met my friend Animesh of iTasveer and demonstrated a bug in in their shopping cart which makes the browser unstable when a large number of photos are added in Firefox or similar browsers. (It seems to be a Gecko layout engine or JavaScript issue.)

The highlight of the day was Pavan Duggal‘s open house interaction session on cyberlaw in India; specifically about privacy issues. He took an ongoing case where an explicit video was shot by some company’s employee using a company-provided phone and one of the parties is now threatening to sue the company because the video has been leaked. Just as in WordCamp the interpretation of law spurred some heated discussions – and talk of hard work and creativity. Pavan Duggal also spoke on the liablity of website / forums owners on content which maybe posted by third parties, ‘legal acceptance’ of terms and conditions, etc. This was the closing session of the day.

Day 2

Turnout on the second was visibly much lesser. While day 1 had around 180 participants, day 2 had around 50. Among the volunteers me and Deepak were the first to reach. Eventually people started turning up, so we decided that until there was a reasonable crowd we’d conduct an informal discussion. The bright side is that in these smaller groups a lot more interaction and active discussion can take place. Sessions got off to a late start, with some product demos in the morning. I requested Praval to talk about his journey from being a freelance writer to co-founding MediaRedefined. I was up next with my BarCamp Delhi 6 Quiz. This was primarily a re-hash of some of the best questions from a few of my earlier quizzes. Credit also goes to Espera; I took some questions from her Physics Quiz. (I don’t regret make an un-original set this time, because eventually the audience turned out to be small.) Guru Dutt, an ex-quizzer and alumnus of MDI Gurgaon, walked away answering the highest number of questions (thus getting the highest number of chocolate bars in the process).

Lunch was individually bought from the canteen. Again, lots of interesting discussions and networking during the lunch break. Post-lunch, we had an presentation by Abhay on usability testing in India. He gave some interesting anecdotes from usability tests, and those are quite extensive because he does that for the group of companies which own quite a few major Indian web portals.

At the end of the day, I really enjoyed being an active part of BarCamp Delhi 6, meeting up so many friends and making news ones. Oh, and there was Twilight Fairy + Sanjay Srivastava’s photo exhibit at Epicentre in Gurgaon (visited that on both days after BCD). Awesome pics.

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