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Myanmar's First Barcamp in Yangon

Barcamp Yangon Logo

Barcamp Yangon Logo

Barcamp Yangon 2010, the first barcamp to be held in Myanmar was a very successful event, with a turnout of more than 2700 people for the two day event.

Barcampers on the first day

Barcampers at the Opening Ceremony

The event was from January 23 to 24, and held at Myanmar Info-tech, a software park in Yangon.

According to planet.com.mm,

The number of people who have registered at the website to attend barcamp was over 3000. It has been said that this is the largest amount of attendees among barcamps convening around the world. One of the attendee commented that even though this was the first barcamp to be held in Myanmar, many professionals and enthusiasts has attended, making it a very successful event.

Wi-fi internet access was provided at the venue, so people were able to blog, update their Facebook status, and tweet about the events live.

List of Workshops for the First Day

List of Workshops for the First Day

A few bloggers who have attended barcamp wrote about their experience there. Such as Zaw Zaw, who posted up photos of the event.

Madyjune also wrote about her two-day experience at the barcamp volunteering as a translator.

During the barcamp, six rooms are provided for the barcampers and he/she is given an hour for the presentation and discussions. For the first period, I was sitting in Hall 1 listening to U Ye Myat Thu explaining about how to convert from Win Myanmar font to Unicode without losing format and the original English texts being changed into Myanmar words, but during the middle of the presentation, I had to go to Room 101 where a presentation was given about Podcasting. I had heard about Podcasting before, but I have never really tried it before since I thought it requires high speed internet connection. The presenter said that one of the best ways to look for podcasts is to use iTune software. Too bad I can’t install any software at cybercafés. Otherwise, I could check it out even thought the connection isn’t that good most of the times.

Also, rmlowe, a foreigner who had participated in the event wrote about his experience at the barcamp, and in Yangon, and his impression on Myanmar IT sector.

At one point I asked how many people were actively involved in creating or maintaining Web sites or Web-based applications. Only three people raised their hands. Later I asked how many knew what XML was, and only one hand was raised. In both cases I found the number of affirmative responses shockingly low. My impression was that there were a number of factors that make it hard for Burmese to get involved in Web development (at least on a personal level rather than as an employee of a company or government organisation), including unreliable and filtered Internet access, and difficulty in registering Internet domain names.

A couple of the examples in my presentation used examples that involved e-commerce (although there’s nothing in SAML that’s specific to e-commerce scenarios). Belatedly I realized how inappropriate those examples were. E-commerce doesn’t exist in Burma. Neither do credit cards.

Barcamp Yangon was organized by Myanmar Computer Association and barcamp organizers who are from IT field.

During the barcamp, six rooms are provided for the barcampers and he/she is given an hour for the presentation and discussions. For the first period, I was sitting in Hall 1 listening to U Ye Myat Thu explaining about how to convert from Win Myanmar font to Unicode without losing format and the original English texts being changed into Myanmar words, but during the middle of the presentation, I had to go to Room 101 where a presentation was given about Podcasting. I had heard about Podcasting before, but I have never really tried it before since I thought it requires high speed internet connection. The presenter said that one of the best ways to look for podcasts is to use iTune software. Too bad I can’t install any software at cybercafés. Otherwise, I could check it out even thought the connection isn’t that good most of the times.

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