#rjamboree and Google

The past couple of…OK, the past week, has been pretty crazy full of preparing for the second birthday of the pi, in which Alan runs a reasonably big event in Manchester called the jamboree.

Two day event, Manchester central, yadayadayada. Unlike last year where I kept to myself, did my talk which I’d done no preparation for, this year I spoke to the usual crowd plus a few extra who wanted help with wearable technology or people who quickly realised they wanted wearables after 5 minutes of talking to me :p I’m curious if I’ll ever go back to being “that girl who writes a blog”…

Aaaanyway for the Thursday the event was spread within the Education innovation conference, since the event is actually for teachers. I think some people fail to realise the aim is to educate and support people in teaching computing to others, and wanting to be a segregated little hacker conference just continues the idea that the pi has fallen into the wrong hands, so whilst it was more spread out, this meant people who’d come just for EICE got to learn a little of both.

The whole event was a mix of talks, workshops and staring avidly at the first dsi screen prototype the foundation have been busy with, as well as socialising with people, giving advice and explaining how I live in Bristol, I’m from Sheffield and I study at Hull university, which is a continuously confusing mix of cities.
My own talk went OK I think…nerves hit me but I got through and stole some of Amy’s chocolate afterwards :p

Towards the end of the event I’d signed myself up for a guru spot which is just standing at the OCR stand waiting for people to ambush you with questions – personally I didn’t prepare for this and didn’t know what to expect, but I spoke to Martyn who is from Sheffield and was curious about getting running with GEMMA and who I discussed a few bits I was hoping to do with my month back in Steel City.

I also met Claire, a hull based person working with Alan and curious when I would be back in Hull and what help I could offer toward doing a wearables workshop back there.
Stuff like this makes me sad I’m not everywhere at once – I posted one of my earrings up to Glasgow on Friday for a similar reason because I couldn’t post myself to Glasgow to help with an event happening on Monday, but I duely told both Martyn and Claire when I’d be back (and that I’ll be doing a lot in Hull with the support of the department) and that in the meantime I’d keep them posted with what I’m working on and any resources I could pass on. All I can really do!

Some great people I met from twitter – Carl monk, jarle teigland, jim Darby, Andrew Mulholland, matthew TB – meant both days were super awesome and that we did some naughty soldering mid conference…


The after party was fantastic and even included Amy Mather getting yet another award for being awesome from The IET:


Overall a great few days, and I look forward to getting home this arvie.

For anyone who missed me since I had to run off both evenings, if you need help tweet me @charwarz, I’ll be trying to get more troubleshooting blogs running and I’m hopefully going to compare how easy it is to use the four main wearable boards I know: GEMMA, FLORA, lilypad, and square wear, for my own benefit and for other educators.

Some footage of the pi party:

In other news, on Friday I got some really awesome news: I got a place on a training day at Google’s office in London, and they’re paying for me to get there. The day, from what I’ve gathered, is going to be lots of networking, application tips and interview training, as well as hearing from Google engineers about what life is like there and the opportunities open when I graduate. I’ve dreamed of Google for a long time but they’re so…prestigious that I never really thought I’d get anywhere toward a job there, but hopefully this should help and I’ll get a realistic picture of what Google is like.
AAAAAAH *excited scream*

[More photos to come when I edit this later]


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