NёrdCamp, an outdoor weekend for young scientists and entrepreneurs, programmers and thought leaders, was organized by Game|Changers for the fifth time. The camp had three modes: co-working, co-learning and co-resting.

NёrdCamp is a 3-days platform for activities related to education, work, networking and entertainment with IT being a uniting theme. The word "Camp" refers to barcamps, foo camps. Besides, it is a real camp — the venue is located in a countryside but the environment is more comfortable (cottages and meals) as it is usually hosted by a recreation center. This time it was Country Club "Orekh".

About Participants

NёrdCamp was attended by young representatives from various IT companies such as JetBrains, Yandex, i-Free, Intermedia, OpenWay. The fifth NёrdCamp is also associated with a range of IT-related startups and departments, such as EarlyDays, Stepic, iBinom, DM Labs, Bioinformatics Department of BIOCAD, Fab Lab Politech — as their leaders visited NёrdCamp too. The researchers from European University made an introduction on Russian IT diaspora abroad and Ukrainian software development industry.

Co-learning

Co-learning program was diverse enough. Here is a list of several topics that were covered:

  • Sergey Dmitriev, co-founder at Game|Changers Pavel Votchitsev, an entrepreneur, presented the results of their research on Organization Design in Agile Companies. You can see a short description of it here.
  • Mikhail Vink, Product Marketing Manager at JetBrains, shared his experience of establishing three different businesses and in the conclusion of his presentation he explained why working in a large stable IT-company was the best choice for him. Later he elaborated on this idea talking about workflow of product marketing and development at JetBrains.
  • Yuriy Lifshits, CEO at Earlydays, involved the аudience into the discussion of the desired skills which the participants are planning to master in the nearest future and did a short survey about how much time and money it requires.
  • Sergey Gumerov, Head of Business Consulting Services in North-West region IBM, described the methodologies used to solve urban problems on the example of the socio-economic development of historic centre of Saint Petersburg and well-fashioned style of its citizens.
  • Pavel Yakovlev, Head of Bioinformatics Department at BIOCAD, introduced the topic of new immunoglobulins development and shortly described the role of IT in this process. He also explained the difference between “the largest biomedical company” and “the largest biomedical company by the number of clinical trials”. In the first case it's enough to copy foreign medicines without creating anything new.

Co-working

Co-working program consisted of three workshops:

  • Igor Asonov, Director of Center for Technical Creativity of the Youth, Fab Lab Polytech, introduced us to the history of Fab labs in Russia and abroad and ways of their interaction. He also initiated a discussion about the prospects of Fablab’s synergy. Later he held workshop during wich the participants built a Lego Mindstorms robot which was capable of writing an abbreviation of NёrdCamp — NC.
  • Denis Domansky, active member of "Velosipedisatciya SPb”, a city-wide initiative aimed at popularizing bicycle as a type of public transportation. He presented the current situation with bike lanes in the world, in Russia and in Saint-Petersburg, in particular, talked about how IT-community can contribute to the development of the bike lanes in Saint-Petersburg. You can see slides here
  • Alexey Natekin, CEO/CTA at Data Mining Labs, showed a live demo of how visual tools can be used to represent open social network data in a meaningful way.

Co-resting

Co-resting program is also an important part of NёrdCamp.

Every morning started with different types of morning exercises: from classical ones to yoga and chinese morning gymnastics. The place was located in a pine-tree forest with a picturesque lake nearby, which all the participants took advantage of by playing volleyball and frisbee and simply wandering around between the trees.

The key event at the BBQ party was a Jeopardy style game (aka "Svoya igra") by Ilya Onskul.

Products and meat were thoroughly picked at a local market and prepared according to home recipes. Making a BBQ is a traditional NerdCamp activity that involves and unites all nerdcampers.

While eating BBQ everybody had a chance to play boardgames, discuss hackathon and lynch startup ideas.

Thanks to all the participants for being part of the fifth NёrdCamp. It is possible that the next NёrdCamp will be held earlier than in a year. Stay tuned!

Stay nerdy :)

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