A Succesful Beaver BarCamp 14

Justin Dugger giving a talk

Over 115 students, educators and community members joined together on Saturday, April 12, in the Kelley Engineering Center at Oregon State University in order to attend the Open Source Lab’s Beaver BarCamp 14.

Continuing on with the spirit of previous BarCamps, Beaver BarCamp 14 had a diverse group of tech based and non-tech based sessions; this year topics ranged from Heartbleed to Vagrant to How to Podcast to Magic the Gathering (with free sample decks).

“The secret I’ve found to getting people to show up to your talks is having lots of props to get their attention,” advises Evan Marshall, who hosted a session on helicopters. Marshall followed his own advice and brought a helicopter flight simulator to accompany his session.

Everyone is welcome to present at barcamp, regardless of their experience level. This open format provides the opportunity to hear from a wide variety of speakers from many different backgrounds and interest areas.

First time presenter Daniel Reichert ran a session on Theoretical Cryptography. “I wanted to get more experience speaking in public,” Reichert states. This was a consensus he shared with many of the other presenters, including Gregory Brewster, who ran a session on Google Glass.

Students discuss which talks to attend

“I decided to come with one of my friends that came last year, and thought I could get experience presenting to people,” Brewster says. “I happen to know about Google Glass, and thought that it could be interesting.”

The interactive element is always strong at the unconference, and Beaver BarCamp 14 was no exception. Those who attended the Google Glass session where given the opportunity to try it out. Some played games, some took photos and some simply explored the different features.

“Google Glass Tennis was absolutely exhilarating,” reports barcamp newcomer Maren Vick. “Your head is the racket and it’s so lifelike. Be careful, though, you need to focus on where you’re walking as well.”

Rackspace sponsored Beaver BarCamp 14, and attendees were able to enjoy a full, free Beaver BarCamp experience along with food, refreshments and t-shirts.

The Board

In the past, Beaver BarCamp has been a biannual event, however the Open Source Lab has decided to switch to an annual format going forward.

“This year we decided that it was best to switch to a once a year format and focus on making Beaver BarCamp better," says Lance Albertson, director of the Open Source Lab. “We also look forward to developing new education programs such as a Hackathon focused on DevOps and FOSS, getting students interested in it early on in their school year. This would also enable us to kickstart DevOps Bootcamp.”

This means that Beaver BarCamp 15 will take place in April 2015. Any updates or details will be posted to the Beaver BarCamp website, so stay tuned!