last days of eurucamp

The final day of eurucamp was a non-stop program of outstanding talks interspersed with outbursts of "this is the best conference ever!" and incredulous observations about the conference's wide range of diversity. Throughout the day the atmosphere was relaxed, and the talks inspiring. Over the course of the weekend it became clear that eurucamp is not just a tech conference, but a meeting place for those striving to better themselves and their community.

Frank Webber opened the last day in hall one with his talk entitled "Utils is a Junk Drawer!", a surprisingly beautiful presentation about supposedly unnecessary code, comparing it to his grandmother's junk collection. He asked us to consider the code of others, their thought process, and their state of mind while writing it, reminding us that "our code is a crystallized form of us at this moment".

Blithe Rocher, from the Big Nerd Ranch was next and spoke about her use of the scientific method during her PhD in physical chemistry and how it can be applied to programming. Her talk walked the audience through the method, from defining the problem, to analyzing the results. A major takeaway from her talk: "The most important part of troubleshooting is learning - if you fix the problem without learning from it, it's only a temporary fix."

Hardware hackers had their prayers answered when Tworit Kumar Dash took to the stage to talk about his atom bot, a mini-robot car we had all seen driving around outside the venue over the last few days. His robot, comprised in part of a raspberry pi and arduino, can be controlled using a browser client, and the technology has a real world use when it comes to smart houses and security.

Moving us away from our computers and back to paper, Såndra Wendebørn changed the tone by inspiring us all to make use of the elusive sketchbook, an endangered species that can do wonders for our memory. Såndra demonstrated ways to take notes using a technique called "visual note taking", made up of text, images, and structure.

Then, in the last talk before lunch, Sebastian Korfmann entertained the crowd with stories from his coding and user-group adventures in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Another delicious lunch from Knofi was followed by a talk from Jan Krutisch about the importance of decentralizing our services, and Grayson Wright, who live coded a social network for sharing gifs using service oriented architecture.

Local Rails Girls organizer, Ellen König then discussed why "Not being an asshole is not enough", suggesting ways to make one's community and workplace open to diversity as well as how to deal with bias.

The talks in hall one were concluded by André Cedik. He courageously revealed his battle with depression, his attempts at self-medication through excessive sport, and impostor syndrome, stating "70% of all people feel like fakes at one time or another." A big thanks to André for sharing this difficult and very personal story.

Following the talks, eurucamp visitors maintained the tradition of sprawling out on the lawn for the remainder of the day. A 45 minute fishbowl session covering topics such as "do you really need a computer science degree to program?" was the final event, before core organizer Alex Coles brought all the organizers on stage and thanked the community to huge rounds of applause.

However, in a sad turn of events, he revealed that himself, Florian Gilcher, and Dajana Günther will not be organizing next year's eurucamp, and asked the audience to pick up the torch.

I for one hope to attend more incredible conferences like this one and I can't wait to see what the community comes up with next year.

Thanks for an amazing weekend!