I had a great time at BCB8. Even though I had ranted previously on the tech focus this time, the planners made it clear that all topics are welcome and Barcampers kept the same familiar atmosphere going.
To be honest, I don't go to Barcamp for the sessions per se, it is mainly for the people and this is one of the most relaxed ways to catch up with friends and make new ones. I met a lot of people and had very good conversations.
My own session on webdev frameworks and their relation to newer technologies such as cloud databases had a rocky start because there were lot of first-time Barcampers and were expecting a talk-style session. Luckily, I was saved by 3-4 guys in the audience who got it and we had a lively discussion. The takeaway is that, yes, there are interesting possibilities when we natively integrate our webdev frameworks and cloud databases (via modifying the ORMs) and cloud computing facilities. A few people were interested in my suggestion to carry the conversation forward in some sort of mailing list. So please join the "evolving-webdev" mailing list if you are interested in exploring these technologies.
The other interesting session I attended was on philosophies of yoga by Shashikant Joshi. As expected, he gave a very different take on yoga than what we normally hear. He started off by explaining the meaning of the word 'yog' as "state of mind" and what our ancient scriptures say on how to attain bliss and remove sorrow. It was hard for me to not be reminded of GTD philosophy, especially the "mind like water" concept. I felt guilty that there is so much already written by our ancestors that we ignore and wait for people to rediscover it and preach it.
I missed Shree Kumar's calligraphy session because it was at the same time. Oh well.
Besides that, there was a whole lot of hallway conversations.
Gopal was teaching people how to solve a Rubik's cube. He has it nailed down to a few algorithms, I can't even fathom how he had the patience to derive those algorithms. We timed him solving it. The first time he took 1 min 57 seconds to solve it. The second time he took 1 min 36 seconds. Phew.
Then in another freewheeling conversation, we were talking about Zeno's paradox and all sorts of stuff like that.
All in all, two non-stop days of fun reiterated why Barcamp remains one of my favorite events.
Thanks to all the planners (@ashwin, @daaku, @dkris, @fagunbhavsar, @hnprashanth, @viralsachde and others) who made it happen, and to Yahoo! for sponsoring the venue.
You can read more about what happened via the #bcb8 tag.