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May 10

Resumee Barcamp in Osnabrueck about OpenSource/Enterprise 2.0

Last Friday and Saturday was the first IT barcamp near my living town and my first, either. So I was a bit excited about which people to meet and what topics to discuss.

What is a barcamp?

A barcamp is like a conference about a special topic. But unlike a conference, where everyone listen and consume a barcamp is a more spontaneous. You participate, share your knowledge with others and define your topics together.
The name is a little wordplay. As a developer, you know that the variables foo and bar are imaginary words to describe any type of value which can be stored within. First camps in this style described above were kicked off by Tim O’Reilly and had the name foocamp which stands for Friends-of-O’Reilly camp.

First day

After some time to get in touch with other participants and a great breakfast, the first session started with a conflicting topic. It was about a company starting a community for fish keeping. A lot of questions has been talked about, but the most interesting part was, that a connection to Facebook won’t be thought about to do. In my opinion, it’s quite hard to success with this project without luring some users away from the hardest competitor. Or even from any other, well-established boards. The discussion continued until the end of this day, so one thing is clear: Feelings ran high and, in the absence of any comparable projects, are not conceivable to cool down.

Subsequent topic was about Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) and gave a huge overview of existing systems. I have to say I’m not very fit in this topic, so I’ve learned a lot. But after this session I can say, that there exists alternatives to proprietary software, not only for small business.

Lunch was, like breakfast before, very tasty. You could choose between “a meal for vegetarians and for normal”. ;)

Sessions continued with an exotic topic. Lilypond is Open Source software for music notations and shows refreshingly that Open Source isn’t a topic in IT scene only. This topic was also new for me (I can’t even read notes), but the potential of Lilypond is amazing. Actually the positioning of a single note is arranged clearly.

To proceed with a wide range of topics, I took part in a session about “Taxiteiler”. This is a new startup about cab sharing. The idea isn’t very new, and the concept was not really elaborated. To start a cab sharing program in big cities isn’t the right way, because in those cities the public transport is very well. Such a project is needed in smaller cities. This is the big problem, because in smaller cities are less users. No matter, where to start exactly – without a financing concept, this project will fail.

The last two topics can be summarized, because two ERP systems are demonstrated. One was openBravo, a Java-based product from Spain and conceptERP, a local company which wants to publish their ERP on Open Source license. Both sessions were interesting, but also not really my topic.

To conclude the event, about 20 participants brave the bad weather and meet outside with a beer and some fresh-grilled steak. The discussions there were some of the best, I had in the last time.

Second day

On Saturday were only about half as much participants as on Friday, sadly. At 11 o’clock we started with a discussion about how to consolidate Osnabrueck as IT location. A big point in this discussion was an improvement of the network between companies. For this purpose, some users have started planning an regularly meeting between all kinds of interested persons.

The next session about penetration testing using Open Source software wasn’t really new for me. A security expert talks about the importance of testing your company network and interactions with IT departments or company mangers.

OpenXchange was the topic for the next session. It’s an Open Source groupware solution and offers a lot of possibilities for small and middle business. In my opinion, it’s well-thought software with a lot of implemented concepts.

A nice concept was also an Open Storage solution to save up to multiple Petabytes on very small area. Sadly, the production of special boards is too expensive at the moment.

Some of the last topics were about the institute of cognitive science. Nearly their entire infrastructure is built on Open Source solutions, sounds really interesting but on a high level in administrating this network. Additionally some of their students talked about ZFS, a 128-bit file system developed by Sun. There are so many advantages of this file system, I can’t mention. It offers an internal versioning and verifies data with an checksum, just to refer to some of his content.
In the final discussion, the initiators get good feedback. I can’t remember anything negative, so the next barcamp in Osnabrueck is practically confirmed.


On this first barcamp I’ve met all kinds of IT interested people. Beginning with a student over freelancers to CEOs, you get a different view on a topic from each side. The main result is following: Open Source isn’t for free, but ripe to use in companies. Through access to the code, it’s highly customizable. And as some sessions proved, you can make money with Open Source software. ;)

I’m looking forward to participate the next camp, see you there.

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  1. Anonymous

    ERST Sprache meistern, DANN Artikel auf Englisch schreiben. Eine Vielzahl von Augenpaaren werden es Dir danken.

  2. icedwater

    You would be much easier to thank if you left a name, instead of commenting anonymously. I’m assuming since you were able to spot the errors, you at least believe your command of English is better than that of the author’s.

    Would have been nice then if you’d attended and bothered to write something instead of just criticising someone else’s effort at summarising an event in a more internationally-recognised language, wouldn’t it?

  3. Nina

    Hello Anonymous,
    I’m a bit disappointed that you don’t want to tell your name, this only by the way. My English isn’t the best, of course – but I don’t think it’s worse either. Native speakers, and maybe people on a level like you will recognize some weakness from my side. Therefrom it’s a pity you haven’t commented in English and maybe specify some sentences to be corrected, so I can do better the next post. ;)

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