I was not sure what to expect. I have not been to one of these BCB events before. I attended an un-conferences in the valley (MashupCamp2). Bangalore is certainly a “happening place”. I could not attend all the sessions but the level of both technical and social conversations amazed me. (I have some sentimental attachment to Bangalore. That is where my first successful startup happened. I spent about 6 years from 1983-1989). I have been visiting Bangalore on and off but spend the bulk of my time in India in Chennai. I was surprised to find a lot of people from other parts of the country at BCB7.
Here are a few of the sessions I attended (some fully others partially).
- Conceptual Search by Core Objects
- Wolf Framework for building SaaS applications
- eLearning Discussion
- Py3K where we break all your code
- ZiMesh – A semantic Information Management and recommendation engine
- How can U make the best use of undergrad life
- A session on connecting college students with industry projects (I forget the title)
I wish I had gone to more sessions. But the conversations in the corridors were sometimes so engrossing, I could not pass them up. I learned as much listening to speakers, from the questions and chatting with participants outside. A brief description of some people I was lucky to meet and events that I managed to be part of.
- An undergraduate student spends more than 12 hours a day, editing wikipedia and became one of the administrators. He gave a talk on Wikipedia 101. He is certainly a source of inspiration. He was lucid in his presentation and championed the cause for more people to get involved. Meet Srikeit, the amazing guy who is going to go a long way. When you have so much enthusiasm and passion, the world will part, to let you go ahead.
- Wolf showed a simple framework for building a SasS applications. By separating the business rules into an easy Excel style interface, they showed how to build a simple payroll app in minutes and refine it without writing a single line of code. It is a free service up to three users. You can get more info here.
- There was a lot of talk on Semantic Web, triple store optimization, Twine and other semantically rich topics. Shantanu from ZiMesh seemed extremely well informed about the technology aspects. His enthusiasm was contagious.
- The Conceptual Search session was great (it was the first one on the first day) and both Raghu and Praveena were patient with lots of interruptions and suggestions. We talked about contextual search, semantic search, limitations of current keyword search. CoreObjects, the company behind this technology seems to have a couple of implementations done already.
- The eLearning discussion was one of the most dynamic I have seen. I pitched in a bit since it is one of my favorite topics. I should thank Rajiv for pulling me into this session as I was wandering around the corridors talking to people.
- I made a presentation on Technology Trends. I had a lot of interaction towards the end of the talk and outside.
- Attending a session that was really meant for undergrads gave me an inkling into the problems students face. Their biggest complaint – not enough interaction with the industry. I am trying to fix that with a local school in Chennai but my model is not really scalable. We need a movement to attack this problem.
Thanks to the organizers and wonderful volunteers who made it such a successful event. I can’t leave this without mentioning Ashwin who was everywhere fixing WiFi problems on laptops. He personifies the spirit of a true OpenSpace event. There are far too many names to mention but you can find them all here. I met a lot of cool dudes and made some friends.
Overall, it was an extremely satisfying event. I will do it again. And again. And again.