Yesterday, I attended iPhone Camp Atlanta 2009, a conference for iPhone developers and others interested in iPhone development (business/marketing people). At the same time and in the same venue, Mobile Camp Atlanta 2009 was taking place, targeting developers for Blackberry, Android, Palm Pre, and Windows Mobile.
The conference was organized as a "BarCamp-style event." I had no idea what that meant. It means that on the day of the conference, attendees who want to give presentations sign up and give them. There were five presentation rooms, and nine half-hour time slots, which meant that 45 sessions could have taken place. The actual number of sessions was about half that, because there just weren't that many people who came prepared to give presentations.
Each session was scheduled to be 30 minutes long. In reality, each session was only about 20 minutes, due to in-between-session movement and other logistics. I would have liked to have seen some longer sessions with more detail, but the short-session format did keep things from dragging.
I enjoyed the sessions I attended. I sat in on a few iPhone development sessions, related to use of Google Toolkit for iPhone, XML parsing, and Core Data. I also sat in on a couple of business-oriented sessions.
As with most conferences, the real reason to attend is not to learn material in the sessions, but to network with other people. Unfortunately, I'm not a great networker, so I wasn't able to take advantage of that aspect.
The organizers did a great job. I'll go again next year. Maybe I'll even work up the courage to give a presentation myself.