BarCamp Philly 4 is Saturday October 22nd at Huntsman Hall at The Wharton School. Register now!



BarcampPhilly Highlight Video from Less Films!

Fantastic recap video from our friends at LessFilms You should hire these guys to do YOUR company’s video work!




Thank you thank you!

Ah, another BarCamp Philly has come and gone. Connections were made, knowledge was shared, coffee was decimated, and lifelong dreams of drinking beer on a school bus were fulfilled. We had a gorgeous new venue, a delicious new caterer, and the largest attendance yet!

You’re the best. We want to thank everyone who came, who contributed, and especially who volunteered their time and efforts to make the event the resounding success that it was. Our sponsors this year supported us in amazing ways, and we hope you’ll check them out and give them some props.

Check out the hashtag on Twitter (#bcphilly) and keep an eye on our Twitter account in the coming weeks for links to the event photos, courtesy of the talented Kevin Monko.

So long, farewell…

The story of BarCamp Philly begins with JP Toto and Roz Duffy. Nerds of incredible drive and capability, they made the decision to forge the first-ever BarCamp event in Philadelphia. Even in its first year, the meticulous organization, creativity, attendance and participation of the community made it an astounding success.

In the second year, they added Kelani Nichole as a third organizer. Kelani brought a flare and energy that added dynamically to the event, and BarCamp Philly 2 reaped what it had sown: an event on fire with passion from techs and artists and entrepreneurs and creators from all up and down the east coast. It started to be recognized as a flagship BarCamp, setting the bar for smooth organization, attention to detail, cool toys, and amazing participation.

In the third year, the team brought on a fourth organizer to shepherd the rapidly growing event. Sarah Feidt came to the team as a seasoned organizer of area adventure outings, and added some crazy thinking and even more detail-wrangling skills to the mix. BarCamp Philly 3 exploded with record attendees, eager sponsors, unprecedented session variety, and took the tradition of epic parties to a whole new level.

The organizers at BarCamp Philly 3

The organizers at BarCamp Philly 3

This year, BarCamp Philly 4, our beloved fall classic saw some amazing changes. We moved from UArts to a gorgeous dedicated floor at Wharton with drool-worthy A/V support and a beautiful outdoor plaza all to ourselves. We upped the ante on noms, bringing on talented professional caterers to keep us fed and caffeinated throughout the day. Our beloved mobile schedule and #ohai apps were in full swing, and sessions ranged from 3D printing to Ruby development to small business legal concerns to food swapping to blog monetization to free community wireless projects. We had more attendees than ever, coming from as far away as Florida, and the coveted event t-shirts (as well as the morning coffee!) disappeared in record time.

Next year, as you might have heard, there will be even more changes. Specifically, founders Roz and JP, along with the intrepid Kelani, have decided to step down from full-time organizer capacity. It has been a labor of love and passion, and they will absolutely continue to be involved with the event and the community it catalyzes. But they are going to step back, take a deep breath, and let Sarah and others take it from here.

Me! Me!

We would like to ask that people don’t flood Sarah with requests to be organizers! BarCamp Philly is in its off season for a little bit, and once the dust settles, we’ll be investigating our options for next year. If there’s a broad call for candidates, we’ll let you know via Twitter.

Thank you JP, Roz, and Kelani for all your hard work and your amazing ability to bring a community together. We love you!




Here we go!

Oh boy, it’s almost time for BarCamp Philly, and we are SOLD OUT!

Here’s what you need to know:

The space

The SpaceCheck out the floorplan. Each of these rooms (240-270) is a 78-seat tiered classroom with full A/V capabilities. Swank, right? We’ve got seven of them, and eight 45-minute sessions slots to fill them with. That means 56 amazing sessions in full multimedia glory!

Room 280 is a study room with individual corrals, like in a library. This may be full of students studying, so please be respectful if it is! We have the classrooms booked, but the public areas are still open to Wharton students.

There is also, as you can see, quite a bit of other space. That space has lots of potential for what we’re calling ad hoc sessions. If you don’t need multimedia support, you’ll be free to scope out a chunk of space in the lounge, by the lockers, outside in the plaza, pretty much anywhere that you think would work! (We do not recommend selecting the bathroom for your ad hoc space.) We’ll have a special place on the schedule board for sessions like this, so keep your eyes peeled and your map handy!

You’ll also note the “Need help?” spots on the floorplan. In one (or two or all) of those spots will be a friendly volunteer with a sign offering assistance. If you’ve got any questions throughout the day, they’re a great resource! (And if you’d like to be one of those helpful peeps, let us know!)

The schedule board will be in the Lounge area, with the morning coffee, tea, and noms. That’s where you’ll head after you check in!

A couple notes on logistics:

The Preparty

If you’ve RSVP’d for the preparty at IndyHall on Friday, then join us there from 6-8pm! Our volunteers will be checking you in at the door, so make sure you’ve RSVP’d!

If you didn’t, there’s still time, but not much! Go go go!

The Day Of

  • When you get to Huntsman Hall, look for BarCamp signs to identify which entrance we’ll be using. You’ll be greeted by registration tables when you reach the second floor level.
  • Save some trees: Don’t bother printing any tickets or confirmations out, just give your name at the registration table and our awesome volunteers will check you in!
  • When you check in, you’ll receive your badge, your covet-worthy t-shirt, your personal wifi password, and your handy-dandy event flyer to have and to hold. It’s got important things like maps, official hashtags, reminders, and a space to write down your personal schedule for the day. Hold on to it!
  • If you don’t have a session to post, make sure you arrive before 10am so you have time to register before opening remarks. The earlier the better!
  • The first session is at 10:15am. There are four sessions, then lunch, then four more sessions. At 2:30, check the food tables for fresh coffee, tea, and some hot apple cider. At 5:30 we’ve got closing remarks, a bit of cleanup, and then PARTY.

The Afterparty

  • There will be PARTY BUSES, courtesy of our awesome sponsor BarCamp Tour, to take folks from the event to the afterparty. Look for orange school buses with the BarCamp Tour logo on them. Jump onboard, grab a beer (yes, seriously!), and settle down for the most fun you’ve ever had traversing 3 miles.
  • WEAR YOUR BADGE. We’ve got badgeholder-only stuff throughout the night, so keep it handy!
  • Drinks: Our sponsor is buying you rounds! When you arrive, you’ll be directed to the BarCamp Tour folks who will meet, greet, and give you drink tickets. Did we mention they’re awesome?
  • Food: We’re buying you apps! There’ll be some noms scattered throughout the room, so keep an eye out and grab ‘em when you see ‘em. The kitchen will be open in case you want to order anything on your own.
  • Music: It’s a TURNTABLE.FM THROWDOWN! We’ll have DJ stations set up for you and your crew to show us how it’s done. Bring your best rivalries to the stage! Who’s got better tunes, PC or Mac? Drupal or WordPress? Python or Rails? It’s a user-generated dance-off, DJ-style. May the best nerd win.

Are you ready for this? Of course you are. See you Saturday.




George Purkins, Data Jockey, Microscopy Hack

George PurkinsWhat do you do?

I work at Thomas Jefferson University for two labs. For one, I build microscopes and write the software to drive them. For the other, I analyze large biological datasets from sequencers and microarrays. My daily work involves dangerously high voltages, lasers, and gigabytes of data.

What do you wish you did?

Wrote more software, analyzed bigger datasets, and/or used bigger lasers.

Have you ever been to a BarCamp before? If so, which one(s)?

Nope, this will be my first.

If you were to lead a session, what would it be about?

Getting started with public scientific datasets. Data used by scientists to do cutting edge research is available to high school kids. Contemporary science publishing is changing for better or worse, and open data is a result of both collaboration and regulation.
Ever wonder where CSI gets all those pretty spinning molecules?

Give us one interesting fact about yourself!

I never lived more than 4 years in one place as a kid.

Got a website or blog?

Not at the moment.


Don’t have one.




Bob Lannon, Natural Language Wrangler

Bob LannonWhat do you do?

I work for a company called Verilogue, which collects and transcribes the in-office dialogues between physicians and patients. There’s a lot of discussion today about the healthcare system, but the goal of Verilogue’s research is to provide a more realistic idea of what the relationship between physicians and their patients is REALLY like.

Tech/data-wise, the challenge is this: We have over 65,000 recordings and transcripts, and it’s my job to make all of that unstructured data meaningful for our analysts, without them having to read through hundreds of conversations to get at some topic that they want to investigate. Towards that the team and I have designed various advanced searching tools, data visualization and semantically-aware indexes all with the goal of serving up quality results to our users searches.

What do you wish you did?

Everything, just like any other crazy creative person.

But actually, as a matter of fact, I’m going to get my chance to do one thing that I’m very interested in doing: contribute to anthropological and linguistics research. I’m in the planning stages of developing a research-oriented clone of Verilogue’s database, which will make it possible for this one collection of transcriptions and recordings to be annotated by research teams from fields as far flung as ethnography, healthcare outcomes research, formal syntax, discourse analysis, psychology, phonology, automatic speech recognition, and voice synthesis.

Have you ever been to a BarCamp before? If so, which one(s)?


If you were to lead a session, what would it be about?

Text clustering algorithms in Python, statistical computing in R or maybe leveraging Lucene indexes with the semanticvectors package.

Give us one interesting fact about yourself!

I’m painted on the side of the Philadelphia International Airport, as part of the mural “How Philly Moves,” because, you know….I move.



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