Reaction To Bar Camp South East (Waterford)

Had to duck off early from Bar Camp this afternoon which meant I missed James Corbett’s talk (wanted to catch it too!) but I’ve got to say, kudos to Keith and Tom for organising a cracking show.

Hit Waterford in plenty of time and was out in Carriganore before 10am. Excellent spread on (foodwise) for the day, decent coffee and the fruit was a most welcome addition I might add.

Damien Mulley

After a brief introduction from Keith, me with my head in the clouds decided what to go to as the timetable chopped and changed I started the morning with Damien‘s presentation on pissing people off (lobbying) and enjoyed it a lot. Very interesting to see the Ireland Offline side of things while I felt the press element (profiling the journalists you deal with, working with press contacts, never refusing the press) was most relevant to the work I do with Kilkenny Music and certainly something I’ve been trying to do in recent months (to the stage where the local press are now contacting me for details rather than having to submit content). It is true – you write a decent press release and it just gets copied and pasted into the newspaper!

Donncha O Caoimh

Next up was Donncha O Caoimh. Real nice chap I’ve got to say – presentation was good, a lot of technical details covered in relation to WordPress MU and its structure while there was a nice down to earth feel about when it came to talking about working from home (especially in terms of it being a lonely profession). This was one of the presentations I was really looking forward to given I’m in and out of WordPress for the odd tweak, theme development or just launching ANOTHER blog and it didn’t disappoint. Some interesting developments arriving in WPMU 1.1 and WP 2.1 when they launch, gave us food for thought on one or two existing projects we’ve got open. I’ve also been considering launching WPMU around KilkennyMusic.com as well as a way of giving bands an extended presence on the site that they could manage themselves. Whether this comes to development or not remains to be seen but the thought is always there.

Finding Money For Your Startup

With Donncha’s talk running on for more than its alloted time, I think next up was the first panel discussion on finding money for your startup. This would certainly have been extremely relevant to me 18 months ago when I was filled with the same questions but going forward, knowing that there’ll be more developments and situations I’ll be in or am aiming to put myself in that will warrant certain external investment it was interesting to hear what the panel had to say – in particular Brian (Trinity Venture Capital) and Tom (whose surname eludes me). Good luck to Bernie too shifting that IBM kit.

Lunch

With the timing off for the day by a half hour or so it was time for us to get off to the canteen. Kudos to the college, the soup was deadly. Just what you needed, bar the absence of a half slice pan to dunk in it. Still, a chicken sandwich or two, a cup of not-so-great coffee (downstairs seemed better for some reason) and a few mini eclairs kept the troops well fed for the afternoon session.

Starting A Web Services Company

The second panel discussion and my last stop of the day was ‘Starting A Web Services Company’ which got underway not long after 2pm. Present were Joe Drumgoole, Conor O’Neill, Walter Higgins, Jan Blanchard and Helene Haughney.

Five strong speakers, five great web services and some great insights to all businesses. Putplace.com goes out on Monday, Louder Voice is nearing another beta trial, PXN8 is on the up and up, Touristr is also launching in a week or so to private beta and ZInadoo is gathering the strength to get out of Carriganore and out on its own.

Interesting that Jan opted for the US for Ruby On Rails developers for Touristr – big difference in being quoted 150K on home soil here than being able to get a vision of your project handed to you, and access to developers who can work on your project for about 10% of that cost. More interesting was Conor’s point that he couldn’t find developers for the project (eventually getting one throught the TurboGears mailing list) and while Aidan Finn pointed out that there’s a limited number on a Rails developer mailing lists there is obviously a shortfall in

  1. Ruby On Rails developers in Ireland
  2. A centralised location to find developers suited to your project

Some sound advice from all involved and I’m looking forward to seeing how PutPlace, Louder Voice and Touristr all turn out. Shall Tom Raftery’s reference be edited out of the video? (it wasn’t bad…!)

Wrapping Up

After the panel discussion we (myself and John) got a little more information on Zinadoo and its development (one of the programmers and early UI guys on the job was a classmate of ours, moving to TSSG about the same time myself and Aidan started the business in Kilkenny) – certainly a strong product – unfortunately had to cut the day short at that stage, miss James’ talk and the closing session.

Great day though, was sorry that Damien & Donncha’s combo clashed with Bernie and Conn’s podcast session, the resulting podcast of which I’m hoping will be live shortly. Given that I’m just getting in on the ground in terms of podcasts (7 done so far, another one scheduled before the end of the month) it would have been great to catch it – alas, thats the way I guess these Bar Camps go.

Rumour has it (or an announcement from Tom Corcoran) that the next one is already in planning with a possible date in May on the cards, the ‘where’ remains to be seen.

Cheers to everyone and anyone I ran into, hello to those of you I didn’t, chalk me down to attend the next one. I’ve also got a grand total of FIVE photos on the phone, that will have to wait for another day though…