Rule #1 of DemoCamp: Talk about DemoCamp

in DemoCamp

DemoCampGuelph9 is only a couple weeks away, so I thought I would write up a quick post with my thoughts on the role that DemoCamp has played in helping to foster a thriving, passionate tech community here in Guelph, Ontario.

democampguelphFor the uninitiated, you can explore the origins of DemoCamp by reading the following post by David Crow.  As far as I can tell, this is the post started it all.  To quote David’s post, DemoCamp is “a light-weight, easy to assemble event with content that let’s you show off the things you’ve been working on.”  It’s quite an excellent post, and well worth reading if you haven’t yet.  The driving force behind the Guelph events is a fellow named Brydon Gilliss (of Brainpark and Band of Coders fame).  His tireless devotion to the tech community here in Guelph sets an important example for the rest of us!

I can’t recall offhand, but I *think* my first encounter with DemoCamp was in July 2007 at DemoCampGuelph2.  At the time, most of the people I knew in the local tech space were affiliated in some way with Geosign Corporation.  In May 2007, the company imploded under the weight of it’s own success and dozens of us found ourselves out of work and eager to make new connections.  Needless to say, we were nothing short of thrilled to discover the thriving tech community that was flourishing right in our backyard.

Initially, I thought DemoCamp was geared mainly towards the development community.  I was also operating on the assumption that attendees were required to demo the products they were working on.  In both instances, my assumptions were incorrect.  I have attended most of the events over the past couple years, and I’ve yet to demo anything.  That said, I’ve certainly been inspired by the stuff I’ve seen at previous events, and I look forward demoing some of my own stuff in the coming months.

It’s been interesting to witness the evolution of DemoCamp here in Guelph, too.  As far as I know, most of the events have been held at The Albion Hotel.  DemoCampGuelph9, however, is being held at the E-Bar (located above The Bookshelf; Canada’s oldest independent bookstore).  In addition to a new choice of venue, it would appear that DemoCampGuelph is rebranding under the name GuelphCamp.

As stated on the wiki, GuelphCamp “is a community of designers, developers, marketers, PR people, executives, testers, quality assurance specialists, consultants, recruiters, network administrators, business developers, venture capitalists, angel investors, policy analysts, etc. The goal is to build an open community of individuals and companies, and to provide open events to inspire and instill a sense of community in the Guelph technology scene.”

While I’ve made a number of professional contacts via DemoCamp, I’ve also been fortunate enough to develop some great friendships too.  If you are in the Guelph area on Wednesday, May 13, 2009, please consider joining us.  You can sign-up for the event via Eventbrite, and if you are interested in demoing something you are working on feel free to contact Brydon directly.  Regardless, it’s always fun to meet up with like-minded people and geek out over a few pints!  Ciao for now folks, and we hope to see you there :)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Collin Grasley 04.29.09 at 10:48

Greetings Bentley,
I too am greatful for DemoCamp Guelph and I am Looking forward to putting some Twitter Aliases to faces this time around. See you at the shelf…. Should someone bring a good microphone? #Albionsoundfail

anonybrydon 04.29.09 at 12:40

Good idea Collin but I’m confident that Jordan and the ebar staff will hook us up for sound. I’m still working on possibly having a band for after we’re done but no promises…

Blake Stevenson 04.30.09 at 05:39

Hey Brydon, if you need a band to play after the event I might be able to help. I am in a band but the only thing is I am already playing in guelph on May 9th… but check it out: http://www.myspace.com/inneswilson

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