This week is going to be a week unlike any other in the Toronto technology scene: a week of events created not by municipal groups, large techno-conglomerates or industry think tanks, but by small groups of passionate individuals who enjoys working with both people and technology.
These events don’t have the benefit of major sponsorship or media coverage, nor will they be lining their organizers’ wallets. They’re events put together by amateurs in the original sense of the word: people who do it not for profit, but for their love of their craft, in the hope that both the attendees and even the field itself will be advanced from insights, understanding and knowledge gained by gathering together and exchanging ideas.
It’ll be a busy week for me. I’ll not only be attending these events, but I’ll also be MCing two of them as well. I’ll be posting reports from these gatherings here — keep watching this blog!
DemoCamp 18: Tuesday July 15th, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at Supermarket
DemoCamp 18 is the eighteenth gathering of the bright lights in Toronto’s software development community where we show each other our projects in action. DemoCamp has grown from a gathering of a couple dozen in late 2005 to a meetup of hundreds at locations like the MaRS Centre and the Toronto Board of Trade and was voted “Toronto’s Best Unconference” earlier this year by BlogTO. It’s given many local software people the chance to showcase their work, meet other people in their field, make connections, get jobs and even get venture capitalist funding (that’s what happened to b5media, for whom I work).
I’m one of DemoCamp’s stewards and will be co-MCing DemoCamp.
You can see the schedule of events for DemoCamp 18 at the DemoCamp.info site. This event’s tickets — a good number of which were free, the remainder going for five or ten dollars — got snapped up within hours of becoming available.
Damian Conway: Wednesday, July 16th, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the Bahen Centre, U of T
The Perl programming language has been given the nickname “the duct tape of the internet” because of its importance in the development of the early web. Damian Conway is its most eloquent spokesperson and a speaker who can turn the dryest of academic lectures into a brain-tickling comic monologue that delivers both laughs and technical insight.
On Wednesday, Toronto will play host to the world premiere of his new talk, titled Temporally Quaquaversal Virtual Nanomachine Programming in Multiple Topologically Connected Quantum-Relativistic Parallel Timespaces… Made Easy. The event will be held at the Bahen Centre at the University of Toronto and it will be free of charge. For more details, see its Upcoming page.
FAILCamp: Friday July 18th, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at The Rhino
I’ll let the FAILCamp creators, Amy Hoy and Thomas Fuchs do the talking:
“My reputation grows with every failure,” wrote George Bernard Shaw in a letter to fellow author Frank Harris. A healthy attitude towards the natural state of humanity, if you ask us.
We all know failure: public, private, large, small, free or costly, embarrassing or funny or poignant (or all of the above). We have all experienced what our friend Patrick has called “the beautiful rainbow of Fail.” And we tend to stuff it in the closet, keep it under wraps, don’t-ask-don’t-tell or any other number of hidey clichés that poor, beautiful rainbows should not be subject to. We believe that it’s time to give our personal fail some tough love and talk it out over beer!
Join us for a brief, rousing introduction followed by comraderie, beer, and Show and Tell. We’ll present a little about failure through the ages, mining your personal suck, maybe some science, pithy quotes from people you may or may not respect, and share some failure stories of our own.
Then it’ll be your turn. If all goes to plan, you may even win in our friendly “race to the bottom” for the most public, most expensive, or most ridiculous Story of Fail.
Also, did we mention beer?
For more details, see FAILCamp’s event page on Facebook.
RubyFringe: Friday July 18th – Sunday July 20th at the Metropolitan Toronto Hotel
Finally, the upcoming weekend belongs to RubyFringe, the “deep nerd tech with punk rock spirit conference”.
“RubyFringe,” says its site, “RubyFringe is an avant-garde conference for developers that are excited about emerging Ruby projects and technologies. We’re mounting a unique and eccentric gathering of the people and projects that are driving things forward in our community.”
I’ll be MCing the opening night’s events at the Amsterdam Brewery. Alas, tickets are sold out!