Flashing at BarCampLondon

Aral Balkan's Agile Development and Usability presenation at BarCampLondon.

BarCampLondon was a blast! Over the course of a weekend, I got to meet some amazing people, catch up with friends, learn some great stuff (including a new game called Werewolf) and get inspired. Big thank-yous to Ben Metcalf, Ian Forrester, Murray Rowan, and Paul Hammond for organizing the event and for your tireless omnipresence throughout the weekend. Similarly, thank-yous to Yahoo! UK, eBay, BBC Backstage, TechChrunch, Chinwag, and Belkin for sponsoring the event with food, drinks and network cables! And, of course, thank-you to everyone who attended for making the event what it was, for sharing and for lynching me so early in the game -- I wasn't a werewolf dammit! :)

My first session was titled Agile Development and Usability. It was a one-slide presentation in which I talked about the three big problems I see our field faced with today. Namely, a lack of understanding of development process, of the importance of the user and of application architecture. I followed this up with a high-level overview of solutions to these problems, including the use of Agile Development (with examples from eXtreme Programming/XP), User-Centered Development and usability patterns and pattern-based architecture. I ended the half-hour session with a brief glimpse into how these solutions can be implemented in projects for the Flash Platform using Flex 2, Arp and open source tools.

After my first session, I got a couple of requests for more information on Flex 2 and decided to hold a separate talk on just that subject on the second day. In that talk, I gave an overview of the Flash Platform, Flex 2 SDK and Flex Builder 2, using my Flex 2 Quick Starts for the examples.

In addition to presenting, I also got to attend quite a few presentations by other people. You can find notes from those sessions in the BarCampLondon category. Without fail, the sessions I attended were all highly engaging and informative. I can only surmise that the quality of the attendees and the BarCamp format had a great role to play in this.

You can find links to other media from the event on the BarCampLondon What Happened wiki page.

So, when are we going to have the next one? :)