5th BarCamp Attracts Thousands of Technology Lovers

By San Yamin Aung 3 February 2014

RANGOON — The fifth BarCamp Yangon, a forum about technology and the Internet that encourages participant involvement, was held this weekend at Myanmar ICT Park on the campus of Hlaing University and attracted about 5,000 participants, the event’s organizer said.

Zaw Zaw Myo Lwin, a member of the BarCamp 2014 organizing team, said 4,442 participants had been registered, adding that if unregistered visitors are included the number of estimated visitors would rise above 5,000.

“We broke the world record for largest BarCamp again because we had the biggest numbers of participants this year, like the previous four versions of the event,” he said. “BarCamps in other countries normally have over 1,000 visitors at most.”

BarCamp is an international network of so-called “unconferences” that began as a meeting mainly of web developers in California’s Palo Alto. The user-generated events are primarily focused around technology and web, but take on other topics too.

Min Oo, a member of the BarCamp organizing team and joint secretary of Myanmar Computer Professionals Association, said about 160 topics were discussed in the fields such as technology, creativity and entrepreneurship.

“We had the BarCamp Fellowship Program for the first time in this year,” he said, adding that the fellowship taught 22 participants from different parts of the country how they can set up similar events in their hometowns.

Technicians from local and foreign countries, students, youths and around 15 international participants joined in this year’s BarCamp, he said.

BarCamps normally have between 100 and 800 attendees, but the first such event in Rangoon in 2010 drew about 3,000 people. The numbers have increased every year since, and the 2013 BarCamp in Burma’s former capital was attended by more than 6,300 people.

Nanj Nyi from Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (Mido), who volunteered in BarCamp Yangon organizing teams since 2010 said that this year most discussions were focused on IT and social networking.

“I discussed the topic ‘Facebook Security’ in this year’s BarCamp to share how to use Facebook safely and around 20 people, including Facebook users and some which are interested to use Facebook, joined in my discussion,” she said.