So, I just arrived in Sydney 4 days ago, on a fateful Tuesday morning. Since then, I've moved into an apartment with a fellow Googler), learned how to hang laundry out to dry, hung out with the Sys-Ops crew in the office until 3 am after getting kicked out of the Bungalow8 bar, and today, participated in BarCamp Sydney.
BarCamp Sydney started off with a debate about rolling your own CMS versus modifying a pre-existing one, which is really the eternal debate about rolling your own anything versus using pre-existing anythings, so it triggered a lot of discussion and a counter-session later. This was a good indication of the sessions to come: a technical topic with an opinionated audience.
The least technical session was also the one that went on the longest - "Mind Hacking." A professional stage hypnotist came to demonstrate how easily people can be suggested things via marketing and advertising, and she attempted to prove it through stage hypnosis. I desperately wanted to be hypnotized, with the hopes of obliviously quacking like a chicken on stage, so I was one of the 6 volunteers in chairs at the front of the room. Unfortunately, it appears that I'm too immature or rebellious to be hypnotized - every time I was meant to fall into a deep sleep, I ended up in a fit of giggles. It certainly didn't help when an enterprising man in the audience yelled "Take it off!"... ;)
I myself gave two different sessions during the day. The first was a code walkthrough of a simple App Engine app, showing off the various features of GAE (and I might have thrown in a few <blink> tags). You can download that code in a ZIP, or just read through it in the "Getting Started" documentation.
The second was a brief description of HTML5 with as many demos as I could fit in 20 minutes (just got through video and forms), and it was based on the talk I gave at FOSSmy last weekend. You can see the slides here, and download the demos here. Both talks seemed to go well, and I got a few compliments on presentation style after. As far as I've figured out, my presentation style is high energy plus demo plus explanation (= keep them awake, wow them, teach them).
After all the talks, we all enjoyed free drinks in a bar just for us, and then a bunch of us went to dinner at a nearby Italian place. There, I experienced the amazingness that is oysters+bacon and oyster+cheese. Omg, I never thought to put oysters plus melty cheese and white sauce together, but it is a cheesy seafood heaven in your mouth. We finished the meal by drawing naughty doodles on the tablemat and surrounding them with HTML tags (my use of <table> tags was finally justified).
I must admit; my motivations in attending BarCamp Sydney were twofold: 1) find an excuse to talk about Google/web technology, and 2) find some friends. Someone at the after-party actually told me (drunkenly) "I'd like to be your friend", and I replied honestly, "well, actually, I don't have any yet, so that'd be great". He was kinda taken aback, but hey, it's the truth. And I actually think maybe I did make a couple friends today, and I'm thrilled about that. I'm hoping that today will be a precursor to much fun + geeky times in Sydney, and I thank all of you who welcomed me here today :)
All pics here were taken by Halans, one of the unorganizers of the conference.