Barcamp Singapore

In case anyone doesn’t know what Barcamp is, check out their wiki here. One was organized on November 21, 2009 at IDA Singapore, Suntec Tower 3 between 9AM to 6PM. Before I start, I would like to thank IDA for providing the location and the awesome food for the participants who attended.

Here are some of the talks that I attended:

Quickest Way to Learn

The talk was conducted by Guyi Shen on how to learn something quickly. The most important point to take note when learning is to “constantly push yourself to fail”.

Why do that?

We humans all have a self-image of ourselves. We all refuse to fail because we do not want to tarnish that self-image of ours. We like to feel good and almighty but take note, without getting that ego checked, we will not be able to learn.

To add on to that, overpraising is destructive to learning.  Example, if a child scored well for his/her exam, do praise the child with “well done, you’ve done great” instead of “you’re the smartest ever!”. This helps them improve instead of the latter where they will know that they are the best hence, not seeing the need to do better.

How to Explain Difficult Concepts to Lesser beings

The talk was conducted by Metacole on how to complex concepts to people who does not have a clue oh what you are talking about.

The three key points are:

    • Watch the curse of knowledge

      People tend to think that having a great idea is enough, and they think the communication part will come naturally. We are in deep denial about the difficulty of getting a thought out of our own heads and into the heads of others.

        • Use analogy

          By rephrasing the idea into something that the person is interested in; i.e. motorcycle analogy to a motorcyclist, people will have a better idea of what you are talking about.

            • Oversimplify first

              Lie to people first. Always, always keep it simple first before explaining everything to someone. For example, a primary school child is taught that humans are made up of matter but a secondary school teenager is taught that humans are made up of cells, while a college student is taught that cells are made out atoms and the list goes on.

              The idea is to feed people with bite size information prior to moving on to a bigger piece of the pie so as to help them get what you are trying to explain.

              The rest of the talks that I attended were “How to hack your own travel channel life” by SkinnyLatte, “Design thinking and find true love” by Metacole, “Why your movie sucks!” by ChrisGomez and “Be broke and change the world” by DwightTurner.


              I have to admit that it was a nerve-wrecking experience to be surrounded by so many people that I do not know in such a small area, thank goodness I had a few friends who came along with me to the event.

              However, I did manage to talk to 2 other people that were outside my circle of friends, namely groovygenie and dwightturner. Awesome people to talk to with interesting stories to share, I must say.

              The talks that I attended sure did open my eyes to the various things that I have failed to see and that will benefit me in the long run. I totally enjoyed the learning process but the interaction bit could be worked on even more.

              It could have been a lot more but hey at least it is something for a start isn’t it? Maybe the next Barcamp, it will be a totally different story.


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