The weekend of 20th and 21st March saw the arrival of the 3rd Barcamp North East to come to Newcastle which also marked the end of Newcastle Science Fest, a ten day event which aims to increase the North East’s enthusiasm for science and to encourage the younger generation to consider a career in the science field.

Barcamp North East 3 was held in the Center of Life, Newcastle. A contemporary science and learning center just round the corner from Newcastle Central Station.


Sessions I attended on Saturday were (not in any particular order):

Paypal Hacking – Tim Nash
Tim Nash gave a talk on the PayPal API and how it can be used in your own projects.

Finding Creativity – James Rutherford
A discussion on how designers, developers and other creative types find creativity in the everyday world.

Scaling :: Scaling
A presentation on how could be upscaled for higher performance on the web.

Real Time Web or having a socket in the browser – Alex Kavanagh
Alex gave a talk about real-time updates on the web using Django, COMET, STOMP and Morbid Q and the issues that he has faced.

Alex Kavanagh talks about The Real Time Web

80s Video Games Anonymous – James Rutherford
A round circle discussion and quiz about 80s video games

The Modern Day Interview – Martin Cunningham
After being on the job hunt for 3 months now, I decided to give a session on the modern day interview and the ups and downs of job hunting. The main point of the presentation was to say that we need things like standard ways of doing things such as job application forms as one is never the same as the other and how interviews need to be brought down a notch and not be so formal.

How to impress the ladies with JQuery – Rich Quick
Rich quick gave a session about the basics of JQuery and where beginners can find resources to help them out. Rich’s slides for this presentation can be found over at

Pulling women with Jquery - Rich Quick

Dr Horrible’s Singalong – Everyone
A singalong to Dr Horrible’s Singalong blog which was created exclusivly for Internet distribution.

Powerpoint Karaoke – Dom Hodgson
A favourite session of mine as it is always so funny and yet so random. After volunteers have been chosen, they each must present an impromptu random presentation which they know nothing about. A very parody based session as it presents the absurdity that many business presentations are.

Usual Barcamp games such as Werewolf
A question I will never let down after this Barcamp: “Martin, are you the seer?”


Sessions I attended on Sunday were (not in any particular order):

Breakfast at Spoons
A few people including Dom, Tim, Leeky, Cristiano, Melinda, Carolyn, Heather and myself went for a breakfast to start the day in Wetherspoons not too far for the venue.

Stop taking photos – Chris Neale
Chris gave a talk on why cameras and laptops should be left back at home when attending conferences and events. The argument was that when you take technology to a conference it takes you away from the event and not as much enjoyment is to be had. Also the other side of the story was do the photos taken of an event really portray the day to other people.

Get off your arses, no exercise required – Tim Nash
In this talk, Tim explained some of the projects that he had worked on and how you can make money out of niche ideas.

Chat Roulette – Dom Hodgson
Dom held another round of chat roulette on Sunday afternoon. Following from what Dom had previously said to me on the Saturday, I had to go along to this session to see what it was all about!

Chatroullette with the Dinosaur

Daily Dragon, the upstart friend of Mr Duck – Caz Mockett
Following on from the Duck365 project that Alistair has worked on, Caz has decided to do a Dragon365 with a little purple dragon called Dai and it’s lion friend Leo. This talk was an introduction to the project and a show and tell of the pictures that the dragon is currently up to.

On the Sunday afternoon I hung around for a few drinks, then Caz, Alistair, Carolyn, Tim and I went for a Japanese meal, this was then followed my Tim, Carolyn and I heading back to the Head of Steam for a few more drinks before they travelled back down to Leeds with Dom and Heather.

Barcamp North East 3 was yet another awesome weekend. A big thank you should go to the people who helped out such as Yahoo Developer Network, Microsoft, Center of Life, Newcastle Science Fest, SuperMondays and of course Alistair who organised the whole thing.

A big shout out should also go to the attendees: Alex Kavanagh, Alistair McDonald, Brian Degger, Sarah Degger, Ian Simmons (Center of Life), Stewart (Center of Life), Carolyn Jones, Caz Mockett, Chris Neale, Cristiano Betta, Danni Matzk, David Batty, Dom Hodgson, Heather Burke, Eric Nelson, Harry Palmer, Ian Puncey, James Rutherford, Robert Lee Cann, Mick Cunningham, Melinda Seckington, Neil Crosby, Mr Duck, Dai the Dragon, Peter Bull, Rebecca Parker, Rich Quick, Richard Hyatt, and Tim Nash for making it such as great weekend.