Where am I?

The last few weeks have been a little hectic, to say the least…

Way back on January 28 I attended BarCamp Dallas. First, it has nothing to do with bars, and very little to do with camping. It was mainly a bunch of geeks getting together to talk about geeky things. In other words, it was my kinda place.

You can see a bunch of pictures on Flickr. Yes, I’m in a few of those. This one’s a bit like Where’s Waldo. I’m not sure what I was thinking in this one.

I attended six sessions on a variety of things – ruby, linux, javascript, etc. I also gave a little presentation. You can grab the audio from my session over at Web Logs Work and see what you think. I guess I should post my Power Point file and source code eventually.

Long story short, BarCamp was great. The event was free, the food was free, and everyone seemed seemed to share and grow. It was really great to be able to hang out and talk with so many smart people.

About a week later I headed off to Austin for Texas Computer Education Association Conference. I stayed in Austin February 7th through the 10th.

I’m not sure what to say about TCEA. I felt a little out of place there. The conference was dominated by teachers who were a little geeky, whereas I am a geek who knows a little about teaching. So, the sessions were mostly not for me.

For example, I attended a session by a “futurist” who flew in from California to speak. During the session he talked about Google Earth, Wikis, Blogs, and Podcasts. Most of the people in the audience seemed fascinated by what he was saying. The whole time I was thinking – I started my blog in 1999, does that mean I’m from the future?

I also attended a session about Linux where the speaker didn’t know the difference between Gnome and KDE. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe only the super geeks like me should even care about the difference. If anyone wants to spread the message of free software to the masses, I certainly won’t stand in their way.

I did attend a few sessions about running a district IT department that were interesting. It’s nice to see the way other districts deal with the problems we all face. Some of the other districts had a lot more staff and money than we did, but I did hear one guy say that he was the IT department.

I’d like to post more details about some of the other sessions I attended, but the session list on their website is not very helpful. It doesn’t even give the time that a session ran. Not to mention that session handouts are still not available.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m being too harsh on the conference. I really did have a good time there, and I think I learned a few things. I’m sure I’ll go back next year. I’ll probably even try to present something.

I also had a chance to eat at some great restaurants in Austin, and I got to hang out with Geoff and Tony for a while which is always nice. Geoff even took me out to eat for my birthday.

I’ll be heading back to Austin for South by Southwest on March 10. The Interactive portion of the festival promises to be a truly great gathering of web geeks from all over the world.

I’m sure I’ll also post my thoughts on SXSW, hopefully before April…