This 8-year-old led a session on iPad movie production at BarCamp

She wasn't the only kid who participated in a session. Plus: We asked BarCampers what their favorite sessions were.

Kids stole the show at BarCamp Philly this year.

At the annual unconference — where anyone can give a talk on just about anything — there was the four-year-old who talked about Philly schools and the eight-year-old who led a session on iPad movie production.

That eight-year-old was Comcast engineer Karl Martino’s daughter. Here’s the back story, as told by Martino via email.

She got the idea to do the talk just a couple days before, when I mentioned to my manager (who also happens to be one of BarCamp Philly’s organizers, Joe Campbell) that I had bought her a ticket, but she didn’t want to go, she thought the probable lack of other kids there was going to make it boring.

He suggested she give a talk on being an eight year old, and knowing her, I knew she would say yes.

She did, but with a few conditions of her own: she wanted to talk about making movies on her iPad, with iMovie, and she wanted to show a couple that she had already made, and maybe even produce one live.

On the day of BarCamp, we were late and almost didn’t make signup. There was traffic along the way, we needed gas, and then there was the the adapter we needed for her iPad I had forgotten. Small obstacles to someone older, but to an eight year old they seemed huge and she burst out in tears at one point. There were many folks, like Amanda [Clark], one of the organizers, who found ways to help, they were fantastic. Then, during the minutes before the talk, the room was ominously empty, and she was afraid. Not of giving the talk, but of no one showing up! Then the room started to fill!


We spoke to a bunch of other BarCampers to find out what their favorite sessions were. See their answers below. See the full schedule of sessions here.


ryan donahue anil george

(Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Anil George (left) and Ryan Donahue used to work at ZigZag Net, the now-shuttered Navy Yard-based web dev firm that was struck by tragedy in 2007. BarCamp was a reunion of sorts for them.

Donahue, who works at Center City mobile backend startup Cloudmine, said his favorite session was one on heuristic storytelling by David Fiorito. (See the slides here.) He said he learned that storytelling is all about context.

George, who works at Experian, liked Abby Fretz and Sloan Miller’s session on project managers and the work they need to do to gather and maintain project requirements. Also notable: the net neutrality talk by Think Brownstone’s Kimberly Blessing, which “opened my mind,” George said. It clearly outlined both sides of the argument and he said he’s now “neutral” on the issue.

bonnie aumann

(Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Dante Piombino (right), a freelance web consultant, said this was the most diverse BarCamp he had ever attended, in terms of session topics and attendees. “It was a really good representation of people in the city,” he said. “Before, it was like a man’s show.”

Bonnie Aumann (left), Arcweb’s director of agile practice, put up a board that encouraged people to post what they learned. Check it out below.

Mel Sims and Clay Zug at BarCamp 2014.

(Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Mel Simms gave a talk about urban exploring and pointed out that in the schools shut down by the School District last year there are hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars worth of school supplies left behind. Textbooks, microscopes, you name it. She liked Love Park Robotics’ Tom Panzarella’s “Let’s Talk about Schools” discussion, which featured his young daughter, and centered around how Philadelphians can educate their children without leaving the city.

Clay Zug, a developer in West Chester whose latest app was just featured on Product Hunt, liked developer Michael Raber’s popular talk about the future of mobile UX.

andrew larkin

(Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Andrew Larkin came to Philly for BarCamp. The former Comcast technical lead who worked on Comcast’s new talking TV guide and Philadelphia Accessibility Meetup founder moved to Chicago at the end of the summer for a new job at Sears. He shouted out Corey Leigh Latislaw’s talk on conference speaking 101. (Here’s Latislaw on who inspired her to give a talk and how hers went.)

Larkin said he’s given conference talks before but enjoyed breaking out into small groups during Latislaw’s session and getting perspectives from lots of different kinds of people, not just tech people.

Check out Geekadelphia’s BarCamp recap here.

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