BarCamp DC 2

BarcampDC 2
[Photo by Ed Welker]

The second BarCamp DC was this past Saturday, and after waiting nervously once again on the waiting list, I got an email from Peter Corbett that I’m in. First of all, Thanks to the organizers Justin, Peter and especially CDIA for providing such a perfect space for this event (for free at that). My first session of the day was with Adam Boalt about startups surviving in this lousy economy. He talked about how he started up RushMyPassport.com and all the effort he put into making the site usable and findable, optimizing CPA. What really blew me away was that he made $30,000 on his first day (after having done all the testing and optimization). Overall, was a very inspiring talk, certainly opened my mind to keep my eye open for a wider range of opportunities.

Next presentation was by sunlightlabs.com which is a pilot project of the Sunlight Foundation. They are taking the various data sources that the government puts out and making the cleaned up data available via web apis. They’ve written the apis in Django and have open sourced the code. They’re really doing all this so that others can do various types of analysis and keep the government as transparent and as accountable as is currently possible. Some interesting site they’ve put together:

  • readthebillfirst.org

  • transparencyjobs.org

  • theopenhouseproject.org

  • letourcongresstweet.org

  • watchdog.net – An interesting site, it is an aggregation of congressional data, and can be viewed in several ways, has RSS data feeds. Both the data and the website are all open source.

After lunch (which was 150 pizzas for the whole conference), the last couple presentations were on:

  • Git – It was well done, but unfortunately covered too much ground to follow the whole way through without having ever used Git before.

  • Outsourcing – Again, well done. Presenter talked about his experiences and what to look out for, then turned it into a conversation with the group that ended up being even more informative.

Overall a great experience; I got to talk to a lot of interesting people from the area, and hopefully many will be there again for theSocialDevCamp East on Nov. 1. See you there.

 

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