July 31, 2013 by lallyd
So it’s been a few days since Barcamp Blackpool took place at the Norbreck Castle hotel on Blackpool promenade, and what a day it was! We ended up with over 180 people in attendance on the day with a really strong female turn out which I am particularly proud of. We had stall holders from all manner of local tech, craft and business groups as well as plenty of robots, raspberry pis and other hardware hacks on show.
Thanks to the Preston, Manchester & Leeds hackspaces that lugged all their kit over to show for us, as well as Si, Jason & Ben from #teamrobot & Manchester Raspberry Jam. I’d also like to thank all the other stall holders, including Appliances Online, AltBlackpool, Aunty Social, Manchester Girl Geeks, WoMen Tech, Cefn’s Shrimp Kits, East Lancs (& Rossendale)LUG, Blackpool LUG, DigiEnable & Blackpool Roller Derby who contributed so much to the event and kept the main room buzzing with knowledge sharing and fun!
I’m really proud of what Les and I managed to pull off this year, it’s been the biggest Barcamp Blackpool yet and we got loads of great feedback from both those attending and our lovely sponsors which makes it all seem worthwhile. Next year we want to continue with the same theme for the event; combining talks with stalls & demos and hopefully it’ll continue to get better each year.
The event wouldn’t be the same without the masses of support we get from sponsors & volunteers, from the local LUG to our international sponsors, we genuinely couldn’t have pulled off such an amazing feat without you guys, so I’d like to say a special thanks to Liz from DigiEnable, Dan from Mag7 & Jan from Raspberry Pioneers for all of their hardwork. Also a special mention for the one and only Mick for manning the registration desk all day!
I hope that everyone who came enjoyed the event, and learned at least a little something along the way.
See you next year!
Category Computing, Crafts, Events | Tags: #bcblackpool,2013,barcamp,blackpool,castle,computing,event,geeks,girls,hack,hackspace,norbreck,raspberry pi,Technology,unconference,women in tech | No Comments
May 22, 2013 by lallyd
Yesterday I took my final exams for the BSc (Hons) IT degree I have spent the past 4 years studying for.
When I moved home about 5 years ago, I had no idea what I was going to do with myself beyond temping in an office somewhere and after much encouragement from friends and family I decided to go back and get me a degree.
When I started this degree, I was adamant that I didn’t want to work in IT and that the industry was just full of wankers (what a misconception) and that I only wanted to get an IT degree so that I could do a PGCE and become a teacher. That notion lasted a full 2 years, meanwhile I got involved in the tech scene in Blackpool, thanks to Les Pounder who set up the first geekup in Blackpool & Gemma Cameron who brought Barcamp to Blackpool. It was then that I fell in love with the industry, the creativity, the potential and most of all the people.
Over the past few years I’ve met not only my boyfriend, but my boss and most of my colleagues as well as others I’d count amongst my best friends thanks to the amazing community that’s been cultivated not just in Blackpool, but across the NW and the UK.
So thanks to you, for opening my eyes to not only how great a career in IT can be, but to new technologies, friendly communities, exciting opportunities, amazing collaborations and most of all for the cake (which may or may not be a lie).
I’m not sure I’d have made it this far without you.
Category Education, Ramblings | Tags: #bcblackpool,barcamp,blackpool,community,degree,geekup,student,thanks | No Comments
October 17, 2011 by lallyd
So this weekend I attended the third Barcamp Blackpool, held at the Pleasure Beach and I have it say, it was awesome!
The weekend started for me on Friday night, trying to get myself into town where a few of us were meeting up for a bite to eat and a few beers, which turned into a 3am taxi back to the hotel after 3 pitchers in Revolutions on the prom!
Saturday morning was not a good look for me at 9am. I plastered on a tonne of concealer to hide my vampire eyes, arrived at the venue and the first comment I got was “You look like shit”!
I powered through it. Went to a range of talks, from the future of the web and development techniques (hosted by one of my college tutors) to how to make 8 bit hama bead badges. As well as the awesome content being generated, there was food, drink, cake, swag, rock and much more. However, of all the stuff that was going on at this year’s Barcamp Blackpool, what I enjoyed most, was the conversation.
For me this year, I went to a handful of talks, but I talked to so many more people about everything from how I’m getting on at Uni, to what I want to do in the future, and how I can map my path over the next couple of years to get there. I found so many people inspirational to talk to, and what I took away from the weekend as a whole, is how awesome our community is.
This year I tried to encourage some of my classmates from college to come along and unfortunately I failed. However there was one guy from my class who was working at the venue on the day, and I think he was pretty amazed by the sheer number of people coming and going all day long and the range of topics covered. In lieu of turning them into barcampers, I’m definitely going to get them to come down to Gillespie’s for Geek Up on the 24th October, so they can get a little taste of what a barcamp can be.
A massive thanks to Gemma for organising the event this year, and to Les for being her wing man. Thanks to Joe, Caius, Tim, Steve, Catherine and many more for the great conversations and the learning! But the biggest thanks of all to the sponsors, who enabled the guys to put on a great day for all.
Category Events, Ramblings | Tags: #bcblackpool,2011,barcamp,blackpool,geek,up | 1 Comment