Bath Digital Festival saw the return of a favourite event of the techies of Bath and the surrounding region, the BathCamp meetup. If you are interested in tech and how it works, and want to meet others who are also interested in the same thing, then BathCamp is for you!

“One BathCamp might be about robots or AI, the next might be on security or the internet of things”

 

paul leader bathcampTo find out more about the event, and the plans the organisers have for its future, we caught up with one of the people behind BathCamp’s return, Paul Leader (pictured right): “BathCamp is a bi-monthly tech meetup with no limits to the topics we cover,” he explains. “For each BathCamp we pick a topic and then get about three speakers to give talks or demos on something related. So one BathCamp might be about robots or AI, the next might be on security or the internet of things.

“We aim to leave plenty of time between and after the talks for people to socialise and grab a drink, and then we slope off to the pub. It’s a kind of micro-conference mixed with a meetup. We aim for a relaxed evening that’s interesting and informative while giving everyone the chance to relax and socialise.”

How to control a dinosaur with a Raspberry Pi

It’s a great format, as TechSPARK discovered, when we popped along to last week’s Bathcamp, held as part of the Bath Digital Festival.

bathcamp-dinosaurs

Testing the dino tech: Tweet “Roar” to @BathCamp, and these Raspberry Pi controlled model dinosaurs do just that!

It was great to see some enthusiastic techies sharing their experiences of how they brought models of dinosaurs to life on the Isle of Wight using Raspberry Pi computers, or how they are exploring new uses for the rather ancient MIDI standard, or how they can create new kinds of music by using a guitar to control a synthesizer. It was also great to chat to others over some free beers (provided by sponsor Storm).

“It’s a great way to learn about things you might not otherwise encounter and meet people you wouldn’t normally have contact with in the tech industry”

 

As you can see from the range of topics on just this night, Bathcamp really is a great way to learn new things. As Paul says: “Most tech meetups are focused around a specific technology or sector, but because BathCamp covers anything it’s a great way to learn about things you might not otherwise encounter and meet people you wouldn’t normally have contact with in the tech industry.”

Back for good

So why are Paul and the team bringing BathCamp back? “BathCamp filled a pretty unique niche in the tech scene in the area,” explains Paul, “and its absence was often commented on. BathCamps were always interesting and informative, and frequently fun, and we missed the opportunity to get together, so we thought it was about time we took it on.”

And the feedback so far has been really good. As Paul says: “People enjoyed the range of talks at our first event, and the change of venue to The Guild Coworking hub worked really well.”

Speakers wanted

BathCamp are also on the look out for guest speakers, so if you have a pet tech project, or have been involved with building something fun, they want to hear from you. As Paul says, it’s a great place to show off what you do with an appreciative audience. He adds: “The relaxed atmosphere means it’s a great place to get some experience speaking in public, or to try out a new idea for a talk.”

Interested in getting involved? The best place to start is by joining the BathCamp Meetup group. You can also follow them on Twitter @bathcamp. The next BathCamp is on 28th April and we are currently soliciting ideas for a subject and speakers, so if you have ideas, join the discussions on Meetup or contact me direct.

Jamie Middleton