Last Saturday, I attended the Open Data Exchange 2013 mini-conference, organized by Naomi Kincler and Ted Strauss. After the International Open Data Day, in February, where I was a volunteer, this was my second conference on open data and it was great to see again many familiar faces.
While the Sauvé House proved to be a bit tight for us, the panel format of the presentations was an excellent choice.
In the past, I participated at many tech conferences where a person would talk for an hour, than another one for another hour and so on. Unless they were outstanding public speakers, the presentations become really fast boring and often frustrating to the point that I would just leave early.
This time I stayed till the last minute and a bit after.
Watching a panel was really enjoyable, we had four people that had 5 minutes to talk and than the questions came. It was a great opportunity to get different views on a subjects, not just from the panel but from the audience too.
The cherry on the top of the cake came at the end of the conference, where more than 10 lightning talks made sure we go home filled with ideas and enthusiasm.
While hackatons are great events to get together people with different backgrounds, interested in open data, they are all organized around data sets, applications and other techie stuff that might scare away certain people. At ODX13, even those that had no programming or data analyst background, could fully enjoy and benefit from the event.
I’m sure, bringing together this many outstanding speakers, some of whom came from distant cities, was not an easy task for the organizers. Thanks a lot for this fantastic Saturday!