Over the Air 2011 – September 30th & October 1st

The 4th annual Over the Air was held on Friday the 30th of September and Saturday the 1st of October at Bletchley Park – for two days we were be based at Station X, hacking in the shadows of the WWII Enigma & Lorenz code-breakers, and hanging out at the home of Colossus the world’s first programmable computer….geek heaven!

Over the Air is a unique tech-agnostic event for and by the developer community,  featuring technical workshops where attendees can roll up their sleeves and tinker with new platforms, operating systems, APIs & SDKs; and tutorial sessions that feature real business cases, new insights and a healthy dollop of inspiration. Attendees are invited to stay overnight so that they can work on ideas, apps and hacks on the fly – to be entered into the various hack-athon competition categories and demo’ed on the second day. It’s a great vibe of bean bags, gadgets, knowledge sharing, hacking & lots of good geekery.

Stay on top of the latest plans by following us on Twitter: @overtheair

Friday night Ignite Bletchley Park talks:

In 2011 we introduced an exciting new element to the programme on Friday evening:

Ignite is a global event, organized by volunteers, where participants are given five minutes to speak about their ideas and personal or professional passions, accompanied by 20 slides. Each slide is displayed for 15 seconds, and slides are automatically advanced. The Ignite format is similar to Pecha Kucha, which features 20 slides displayed for 20 seconds each. The presentations are meant to “ignite” the audience on a subject, i.e. to generate awareness and to stimulate thought and action on the subjects- Wikipedia

The event-within-an-event was organised by Ignite Cardiff’s  very own Claire Scantlebury. The rule is – you can’t talk about yourself or your job (so no blatant self-promotion is allowed), but instead something you’re passionate about.

Venue – Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park

The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB

The venue at Bletchley Park is a stunning Victorian mansion with modern conferencing facilities. There are 7 main rooms within the mansion, a Marquis tent outside, and other buildings to spill out into if needed.

This year we asked all attendees to donate a small  £5  (or more if feeling generous!) towards the ongoing repair & upkeep of  Bletchley Park. This historic location has been sadly neglected over the years, and we can make a real difference to the salvage of a Hut or the repair of a roof….

Some stayed in hotels nearby on the Friday night , but many brought their tents to camp right on the grounds, or rolled out their sleeping bags in the Marquee tent.

At first glance, even second glance, Bletchley Park could easily be just another beautiful British building deserving of some loving care and attention. But for many years its walls guarded one of the best kept secrets of the 20th Century. During the Second World War it was the top secret home to the cryptanalysts, mathematicians and military personnel later credited with shortening the war by at least two years and saving millions of lives by breaking the secret ciphers used in Nazi communications. Read more on Gizmag

Check out the video that our very own Matthew Cashmore made in 2010 (when the event was at Imperial College London) explaining what Over the Air is all about: