I decided a while back that I would make the effort to visit Oggcamp 12 this year.
When it came time to head off to Liverpool though, I was filled with doubt. Despite really looking forward to meeting the guys from the Ubuntu Podcast and the Linux Outlaws, I was taking a couple of days off from a really high pressure project and was feeling guilty. A number of questions were running around my head as I settled down on the train….
- Would the trip be worth spending time away from the project?
- Was I techie enough to get the most out of the trip?
- Is everyone there already going to know each other and I would end up drinking in a corner on my own.
At least I knew the last of these questions wasn’t going to be too much of an issue. My son had also decided that he wanted to attend and was also heading to Liverpool and would be meeting me later that evening. As long as he wasn’t too embarrassed by his dad I would have at least one drinking companion.
As it turned out none of my fears were justified. Even whilst checking on at the hotel, Tony Whitmore from the Ubuntu Podcast team, who was already checking in, chatted to me and made me feel welcomed. Once we hit the bar later that night, there were plenty of others happy and eager to chat. Already this was turning out to be the most friendly and open techie gathering I had attended. And I’ve attended quite a few all over the world.
Once the (un)conference got under way, the biggest problem ended up being an embarrassment of riches in terms of everything on offer. Sessions on open source and privacy from the likes of Simon Phipps president of the OSI and Ross Gardler from OSS Watch rubbed shoulders with Pete Lomas, Managing Director Director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and a specially recorded video from Stephen Fry.
Whist all this was going on there was a floor of hacker areas, with everything from Raspberry Pi’s for sale and free components being given away, to automated sewing machines, arduino projects and makerbots.
On top of all this, on Sunday there were a series of lightening talks from attendees.
On the Social side, Saturday night saw a great party with 20lbs of Sound providing a great set of music and brilliant company. I was able to meet up and share beverages with Gary a fellow British Tech Network listener from the South Coast (thanks Ewen), Ian from Ireland, a couple of fellow Scottish attendees and even Pete Lomas. I cannot get over just how friendly everyone was.
I even won a couple of prizes in the raffle.
I will definitely be back again next year. If Oggcamp 13 has exactly the same content as Oggcamp 12 there would still be enough items that I didn’t see this year to keep me occupied and lots of new friends to see again.
Thanks to everyone who put Oggcamp together. You did a mighty fine job and I look forward to seeing you all again.