Campus Party is one of the greatest LAN parties of the world. Born in Spain, it even spread out to other spanish talking countries over the years, reaching Colombia and Brasil. Campus Party has never been so live.
However I feel a curious feeling (kind of pity?) each time I look at the TV news showing Campus Party like a zoo of freaks. I´ve been on Campus Party 2009 on the developers area, and I want to share with you a different vision of CP: conferences, workshops, competitions… a nest of learning and collaboration.
The thing I like most about CP is the mix of people. Some are there just to play games as long as their eyes could keep open, others came in order to learn or to share their knowledge on the most diverse areas… there are people with their robots, with big modded cases, with a camera on their hand and a MacBook
on the other… Definitely, its a great place to know new and interesting people.
In Campus Party you just can´t be bored, there are tons of things to do each minute. In order to get all these people organiczed, and trying to give to all these differents profiles the more focused entertainment and learning, this year CP was divided into four areas: Innovation, Digital Leisure, Science and Creativity. Each one has sub-areas like Developers, Open Source Software, Photography, Modding, Astronomy, Open source software, CampusBot… just get into www.campus-party.es and take a look.
The other great thing about CP is that all the contents are streamed live at Campus Party TV, and then all is uploaded to Youtube. So you can watch all the conferences as well as other events on their Youtube channel.
I guess I´m probably a kind of “freak among freaks” as I didn´t play a game all over CP. There´s always time for a quick match on CP no matter if you are a developer or bot lover or whatever area you are into… but I just was overwhelmed with all the incredible conferences that took place on this 13th edition. Take a look to the Youtube channel if you have some time, there are some interesting conferences there.
My two favourite conferences were the one of David Del Val about entrepreneurship, (you can download the mindmap he used on the conference on this post of the blog that Telefónica I+D made for the ocassion), and the one about pishing on emails, with live demos of how to cheat all the big ones: Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail; and explanations on how they could implement the security to defend over these cheats (in case you are interested, you will find the video on the CP Youtube channel, and here is a post of the blog of the speaker, explaining step by step the techniques showed on the conference). But there were other conferences really interesting about ethical hacking, cloud computing, eyeOS, developing widgets for Nokia and for Windows Mobile 6.5 and so on …
There were also several workshops, personally I made the Arduino workshop leaded by David Cuartielles, Arduino´s father. Arduino is a nice piece of Open Hardware, perfect to introduce students to the world of electronics. Visit David´s blog for read his thoughs of Campus Party and the workshop we made.
The other side of CP are the contests. One of the reasons for me to come this year to CP was that I came to the 11th edition two years ago, but I didn´d participate on any contest, and I felt I really wanted to. This year several competitions were organized, apart from the traditional videogames fast-programming contest (on 72 hours). One was Nokia´s Challenge for developing Widgets for Nokia N97. As a mobile software developer, I had interest on this one, specially because I´ve never developed nothing for any Nokia technologies. It was really hard because the challenge took place on 48 hours, but I finally won the second prize and the reward worth it: a Nokia N97!! (Stay tuned with us on the third week of August -when I came back from holidays- for a deep review of the N97!).
So, in conclusion, Campus Party is more than anything anyone could imagine before coming in. And I almost forget the human side… you will know very nice people sharing your motivations, personal and professional. Most are “campuseros” like me that came because we wanted to, others came with their companies like the people of Telefónica I+D, the bloggers of And.roid.es, or the boys from Noise Marketing… I bet I will see all them again on another Campus Party.
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