BarCamp Orlando 2011

Today BarCamp Orlando took place.  I’m not sure how many have graced our city but this was my first.  Not having any expectations for what to expect, it was awesome.

The sessions are filled with speakers who volunteer in the morning to talk about things they are passionate about or that live in their wheelhouse.  Here are the sessions that stood out for me.  Apologies to the speakers b/c I didn’t get their names from the slides or the session sign-up board, but I’ve added the ones that I captured from slides or conversations.

Barcamp Orlando BuildASession
Barcamp Orlando Session Board

Here’s how the sessions get built up.  Pickup a sharpie off the table in front of thesession board and write down a catchy but descriptive title of your talk.  You have 20 minutes to to you talk and allow for 10 minutes for setup, questions, and running over.

Pause.  It’s a verb and also an acronym for what to do when you approach an opportunity for design.  Here’s the breakdown.  He started with a question about what was the oldest tool we knew of.  Give up?  The hammer, and if you imagine one with a claw opposite side of the striking surface, you have an “undo” feature.

Make a fist with your hand and you’ve got the first hammer known to man (and woman).  Then it progressed – to a stick for leverage, then a rock for durability, then a rock tied to a stick.  Then if the rock breaks, you’ve got something that looks like a chisel potentially.   Back to the acronym.

P. Purpose. What’s the purpose of the thingee you’re going to build for the solution to his opportunity

A. Actions. What actions does it need to perform?

U. User.  This adds context to the thingee, is the user blind vs color blind vs 5-yr old.  We elminate the other types of users when we apply this context to the opportunity.

S. Spacial domains.  What type of space will the thingee live in?  You wouldn’t want to build a 1000 x 800 site for a smartphone would you?

E. Evolution, just like the hammer example above, it evolved from a stick to an Estwing.  Your idea should do the same thing.

The last thing to consider are how strong are the connections between P and A, A and U, and so on, the stronger the better.


Here’s a picture of the lunch line today, and the eats were good and filling as well.  And the weather was just screamin’ blue sky all day long!

Health Care IT

Aaron Drenberg had a great talk on his views of impacting Health Care IT in the next decade.  And the impact that the aging baby boomer population will make in that space.  Easy to understand concepts about how this space can potentially offer opportunities for consultants involved in science and engineering.

There were discussions around BarCamp today of having a few health camp events in the state, and organizing local chapters around the state.  Here’s the site for more and better information.

Go When Called To Grow

This designer started out a hair dresser then became a graphic artist, then after leaving a larger company found herself unemployed and found other areas of her life to explore that added to her graphic design career,  and along the way became a yoga teacher.  One of the points she made that stuck with me was “think small – business”.  There’s help to be handed out in this area and she gave one example of how she helped one client with a dream to start his online business.

The front page she created for them would have been called “hideous” by some, unable to convince the customer otherwise, it was what the customer wanted, lime green, shartruse and all.  That’s what she delivered.  She also mentioned she was also working at day care teaching kids yoga and drawing.  She thought that maybe she might be influencing a future desinger by sharing to kids at that age, while teaching herself childrens’ book illustrations at the same time.  Much about the attitude we have when we walk in the door to our job, or when our customers walk in the door.


Content + Design = Great User Experience

For the whole twenty minutes Jason (Van Lue) held our attention in describing how we should be handling and thinking about content and design.   A few points I managed to jot down during this barage of information:

Content Strategy

  • Know your voice – what to say
  • Know your audience – who am I talking to

Personalize content by using filters

  • geo-ip addresses
  • social demographics
  • registration information

Responsive Design

  • Design on grids
  • Grid elements must be flexible
  • Different views in different contexts via media queries (did not know what media queries were until today)

Mobile First

One resource I eeked out of my notes was “ – mobile design”  – I checked, there’s a lot of stuff over there you might want to check out.

@jasonvanlue |

There was a contingency of .NET folks up from Sarasota today as well, and I hear there’s another barcamp in store for the community down in Sarasota April 30th – May 1st.  Checkout for more info, ping Stan Schultes at, or just register and show up.

It was a really awesome day with a lot of really talented and smart people filling the air with passion and excitement for technology.