This is going to be one of those blog posts that warrants a disclaimer. I am not a developer. I know next to nothing about Ruby (except that my husband is a wizard with it.) My expertise is more in design and illustration, with a small dash of front-end dev.

But this past Saturday, April 23rd, I had the chance to attend my first BarCamp Orlando.

At first, I didn't know exactly what to expect. The talks are not revealed until the day of the event, when people sign up to give their presentation, so there was no schedule for me to check beforehand -- I would have to show up and be surprised.

And surprised I was.

It's Not All Tech

One of my fears was that I would find every talk too "techie", and that the entire day would go over my head. As I mentioned, I have a stronger interest in design than I do back-end programming.

But, surprisingly, very few talks were actually about technologies. In fact, a lot of it focused more on how to think when you're in an industry of creativity, and how to navigate issues that could apply to much more than just the tech industry.

The most interesting talk for me was Gregg Pollack's talk about how to give effective guidance. Everyone in a position where others depend on their guidance -- teachers, managers, mentors -- could benefit from the topics Gregg covered in his talk.

There's Fun To Be Had

The next talk that stood out to me was a workshop on creating unique characters, with Paige Lavoie. This workshop highlighted why the creative process shouldn't always be a solo one, and I got the opportunity to work on different areas of different characters, and collaborate on something that was the sum of our creativity.

Networking and Learning

BarCamp Orlando 2016 was one of the best events I've attended in the Orlando community. There were many other great talks, in addition to the two I highlighted. There was also plenty of opportunities to network, meet new friends, and check out some great companies and products.

This was a great experience, and I'll definitely be on the lookout for an announcement on BarCamp 2017.