BarCamp Portland: May 20 – 21

by Joey deVilla on May 17, 2011

BarCamp Portland is This Weekend!

BarCamp Portland logo

If you’re in the mood for some geeky activity this weekend in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon, you’ll want to hit BarCamp Portland 5! It’s taking place this weekend at the Eliot Center (1226 SW Salmon Street)…

Eliot Center, as seen from the street

…on these days:

  • Friday, May 20th: The Opening Social, which starts at 6:30 p.m. and runs until 9:00 p.m.. The idea behind this evening is to get everyone primed for the main event on the following day.
  • Saturday, May 21st: The Main Event: the actual unconference, with the big scheduling scrum happening at 9:00 a.m. and the sessions running from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m..

The BarCamp Tour

I’ll be there, because I’m representing Shopify, one of five startups that make up the…

Barcamp tour logo

…BarCamp Tour! Along with our friends BatchBlue, Grasshopper, Mailchimp and Wufoo, we’re sponsoring BarCamps across North America, and not in the typical way, either! Yes, we’re each throwing in money to help BarCamp organizers hold their events, but we’re also there at the conference, actively participating, joining in the discussions, providing food and drinks, and even helping carry stuff or clean up. We’re also there to promote our companies, but not in a hard-sell way — we’re there to meet people who want to use our software and services, have questions and get to know the creative, inventive, ambitious people who attend BarCamps!

Register!

Register! (Finger pressing space bar on a computer keyboard)

Best of all, BarCamp is free-as-in-beer to attend. That’s right, it’ll cost you no money to come and participate. We do ask that you register at BarCamp Portland 5′s EventBrite page, and if you do fee like throwing in a little money to help cover the costs, you can do that too.

What is BarCamp?

BarCamp is an unconference: a gathering that turns the usual notion of a conference on its ear. There is no set agenda, no topics are pre-set and no speakers are pre-ordained: you, the attendees determine all that! On the start of the unconference day, people will propose session topics and set up a schedule, after which the unconferencing will begin. We’re expecting geeks of every sort to show up: not just the hackers, but artists, engineers, hobbyists, writers and poets, jokers and journalists, entrepreneurs, cooks and bakers, people who till the land or help neighbourhoods take shape, and anyone else who likes create.

As the BarCamp Portland site puts it:

Bring a demo or an idea and you will find people to talk about it with, but think of it less as a presentation and more as a conversation. Rest assured that you will exchange a lot of knowledge about your topic and many others with a lot of interesting people and come away thinking big thoughts.

If you’d like to get a little more background about the origins of BarCamp, check out an article of mine from 2006 titled BarCamp Explained. You might also want to watch the BarCamp San Francisco 2006 video below  to get a feel for what BarCamps are like (note: some salty language at the end; it might not be suitable for your workplace):

See you at BarCamp!

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