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Friday, August 10, 2007

Lightning Talks at BCB4

We decided to have a session of lightning talks at the Python hall at BCB4. A lightning talk is a quick 5 minute talk. Usually there are a number of lightning talks one after another. The idea of the lightning talk is to give a quick introduction to a topic that might be new for the audience, with the discussions taken after the session.

It went of pretty well, one of the more fun sessions. It's really nice to see ideas bouncing off every five minutes, and with Kausik keeping strict time, the session flow was good.

After seeing it work nicely at the Python hall, I converted my Speed Geeking session into a lightning talk session. The reason was that there were about 20 people in the audience, which is too small for a speed geek, but good for lightning talks.

In this post I'll summarise the topics from the two lightning talk sessions. Click the links for more information on the topic.
  • Code like a Pythonista: Brad Allen from the Dallas Python User Group talked about David Goodger's tutorial, Code like a Pythonista.
  • Printing badges with Python: This was my session on how I used a python script to create attendee badges for If you attended Proto, you would have seen those badges. They were generated using a Python script.
  • Restructured Text: Restructured Text is another variant of text markup languages like Textile and Markdown. It is the standard markup language used in docstrings in Python.
  • Sudoku Solver: Anand had a talk on writing a sudoku solver. Very nice little program that uses a backtracking algorithm to solve sudoku puzzles.
  • pygoogle: pygoogle is a python interface to the Google web search API. This session showed how you can use it for search engine optimization.
  • Demonstation of a quick web app written using the lightweight framework. powers sites like Reddit and Open Library.
  • Wicket and JTrac: Peter Thomas gave a talk on his open source project, JTrac, which uses the Apache Wicket framework.
  • Agile Software Development: Agile software development explained in a few minutes!
  • Second Life: An intro to Second Life, with an emphasis on the Second Life economy.
  • Creative Commons: An intro to the CC philosophy.
  • ShowMeDo: ShowMeDo is a site for the sharing of technical material through the medium of screencasting.
  • Tempostand: Tempostand is a platform for independent artists to share their music under a Creative Commons license
Two sessions of thirty minutes each for a total of one hour of lightning talks. That one hour threw up these twelve topics. Good ideas and technologies to investigate in more detail. If you are going to be taking a session at an unconference, try out the lightning talk format.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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