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Discover and become a part of your local tech community with DemoCamp

August 25th, 2007

I’m often asked for advice from people who are just starting to work in technology or who want to take their career to the next level and prepare to become an independent contractor or consultant.

Invariably my number one recommendation is that they begin to build a network of contacts in their local technology community. More often than not, they have no idea how to get started.

In the Toronto area, we’re fortunate to have a vibrant tech community. It wasn’t always so – it has grown significantly in the past couple of years largely due to David Crow’s importation of the BarCamp unconference, an event held a few times a year, generally over a weekend, where people interested in internet technology get together to collaborate.

Even more significant to the growth of Toronto’s tech community was the Toronto birth of DemoCamp, a more lightweight gathering featuring demonstrations from players in the local (and sometimes wider) tech community. Since it takes place in a single evening and is preceded and followed by informal mixing and discussion, it has become a fantastic venue to come out and observe the electricity and creativity of the community and even insert yourself into the fray.

Bootstrapped by the community and now gaining limited corporate support, DemoCamp is growing but still maintains its most important feature – an atmosphere where everyone has the opportunity to contribute and participate.

If there isn’t already a DemoCamp in your community, I strongly encourage you to take the initiative to start one. If you’re in the Toronto area, I hope to see you at Toronto DemoCamp 14 on September 17th, 2007.

My first DemoCamp was DemoCampToronto3, where I demoed BlogChat, an Ajax chat app I developed in early 2002. I have been to almost every subsequent DemoCamp and have witnessed its phenominal growth, as well as the various BarCamp offshoots such as DrupalCamp, EnterpriseCamp and a host of others. I’ve even participated at Geeks and Guitars, playing drums and bass with Joey DeVilla and James Walker.

It has been my pleasure to meet literally hundreds of local people who are passionate about technology, and to collaborate with some of the core people who continue to make DemoCamp a success. This month, I’ve personally pledged $200 to help towards the venue and I encourage others to find ways to lend their support.

The Toronto community also has a “Toronto Global Swarm” Skype channel that is open 24/7 and allows people to come and go and communicate with one another. You can get an invitation from anyone who is already in the chat.

So now you know the not-so-well-kept secret of how to get involved in your local tech community. Spread it around!

Update: David Crow has some details of the presentations lined up for DemoCampToronto14

2 comments to “Discover and become a part of your local tech community with DemoCamp”

  1. [...] YouTube Discover and become a part of your local tech community with DemoCamp » This Summary is from an article posted at brentashley on Saturday, August 25, 2007 I’m often asked for advice from people who are just starting to work in technology or who want to take their career to the next level and prepare to … , 2007. My first DemoCamp was DemoCampToronto3, where I demoed BlogChat, an Ajax chat app I developed in early Summary Provided by Technorati.comView Original Article at brentashley » 10 Most Recent News Articles About AJAX [...]


  2. Have to completely agree on that one. I’ve just gone all freelance after 7 years of agency life to find the going alot easier than I expected soley down to already knowing everyone in the local community and having set up some events previously.

    We’re on with organising a barcamp for next year and will hopefully have a local OpenCoffee (http://www.opencoffeeclub.org/) event kicking off in the next couple of weeks. Now pondering a DemoCamp as well.