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Last Saturday I attended BathCamp near Bath and Tues through Thursday I attended Software Architect 2009 in London. I loved both conferences yet they are so very different. Hence (in a blokey way) I thought it would be interesting to summarise and compare.

I was an invited speaker for Software Architect (my sessions) and proposed and had a session accepted on the day at BathCamp.

  BathCamp Software Architect Comment
Price £20 £1000ish  
Location A field behind a pub near Bath! Many folks camped overnight. Royal College of Physicians in London Both great venues for totally different reasons
Number of days 1.5 (On a weekend) 3  (Weekdays)  
Number of tracks 3 5  
Attendees 50+ 200ish  
Sessions Pretty much on anything “geeky”. From “Kung Fu for IT people” to “365 days in the life of a rubber duck” Architecture and development, typically but not exclusively on .NET BathCamp sessions were great fun but at times difficult to find “code stuff”. Quality was variable. SA delivered high quality sessions throughout.
Learning style Listen and Talk Listen lots and ask a little  
Organiser The attendees Bearpark (VSJ publisher)  
Attendees A real mix. Developers, contractors/freelancers, web designers, scientists, publishers etc. Majority of dev types were PHP and Apple.
Average age… hmmm… under 30
Architects and developers, majority .NET. Average age is over 30. Both are small enough to “recognise everyone” by the end.
Speakers The attendees are the speakers! You propose sessions on the day Lots of well respected names in the industry SA attracts some of the best speakers – entertaining and knowledgeable.
Agenda Made up on the day Published in advance SA gives predictability and high quality. But BathCamp gave some great surprises and treats
Food Attendees made it! (you made your own sandwiches from the stuff provided) Standard conference food – nice shepherds pie! The hacked lunch at Bathcamp was a great idea
Evening Band, BBQ etc “Standard” free drinks reception Bathcamp wins on this one by a long way. Very social.
Giveaways A tin cup and a chair! Nice bag with sponsor bits Tin cup rocks!
Fun 10/10 7/10  
Content 6/10 10/10  
Relevance to job 2/10 10/10  
Recommend? Darn right! Absolutely!  

Which to me proves that there is room for both extremes. I also think there is room to do a hybrid  - and no doubt they exist! www.microsoft.com

And finally, some piccies.

BathCamp

SNC00141 SNC00145

 SNC00148 SNC00153

 SNC00156 SNC00157

Software Architect

SNC00158 SNC00159

Posted on Friday, October 2, 2009 1:05 PM Events/Training , UK | Back to top


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