DemoCamp

DemoCamp Toronto 27: Wednesday, October 6th

by Joey deVilla on September 24, 2010

Number 27 already?

DemoCamp is “show and tell” for the bright lights of the local tech and startup scene, where they get to talk about their current projects in front of a group of their peers. Although its format has undergone many changes through the years, the spirit remains the same:

  • An emphasis on demos rather than marketing pitches
  • A preference for showing working projects in action over slides
  • The idea that it’s important to build a sense of community among local techies and entrepreneurs

fred wilson

Special Guest: Not Just a VC, but “A VC”

There’s a big-name guest coming to this DemoCamp: New York City-based venture capitalist Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. You might have read his blog, A VC. (In light of the recent tech media kerfuffle called AngelGate, this should make for a very interesting Q&A session.)

Here are the details of DemoCamp 27:

  • The Date: Wednesday, October 6
  • The Time: 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Eastern
  • The Location: To be determined
  • The Price: $15

The idea behind DemoCamp has always been to make it as inexpensive as possible and to charge only enough money to be able to recoup costs such as paying for the venue. $15 is a steal.

For more information and to register for the event, see this entry in the DemoCamp blog.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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David Crow Answers 5 Questions and Visits Vancouver

by Joey deVilla on August 14, 2010

Who is David Crow?

David Crow

David Crow is probably the most recognizable face in the Toronto startup tech scene, and rightfully so. Without the effort he’s put into events like DemoCamp and other gatherings where techies, entrepreneurs, social media types and anyone else who wants to build “World 2.0”, we wouldn’t have anywhere near as active or as interesting a tech scene as we do (and not just in Toronto, but across Canada as well).

Collage of DemoCamp photos: "Without David, none of this would've happened."

My current job at Microsoft, as well as the previous two, grew out of opportunities created by David’s hard work, either directly or indirectly. I suppose I owe him a couple of drinks!

5 Questions

TechVibes logoDavid is my coworker at Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team and also one of the Windows Phone 7 Champs. Karim Kanji caught up with him and did a quick “5 Questions” interview, featuring these questions:

  1. What motivates you to do what you do on a daily basis?
  2. Do you have any success start-up tips for people wanting to create a name for themselves in your industry?
  3. In your opinion why is Toronto a hotbed for cool tech start-ups?
  4. What’s your favourite tech toy and social media site and why?
  5. Who would you say are Toronto’s social media/tech stars and why?

Check out the article at TechVibes!

David’s in Vancouver This Coming Week

Vancouver: Downtown Vancouver as seen from the Granville Street Bridge

grow2010-logoDavid’s going to be in Vancouver from Monday, August 16th, through Friday, August 20th to attend the Grow Conference on Thursday and Friday, which is aimed at startup techies, entrepreneurs, idea people and investors. “If you’re a startup, an investor or a service provider in Canada,” wrote David, “you should be at this event.”

bootup labsHe’s going to be in the downtown area and available to meet up in the earlier part of the week. If you want to find out more about BizSpark, pick his brain about startups and product/market fit, you can catch up with him at Bootup Labs (where he’ll be working from). To find out more his trip to Vancouver and how to catch up with him, check out this blog entry.

Vancouver photo taken by JamesZ_Flickr and licenced under Creative Commons.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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DemoCamp in Ottawa: Wednesday, December 9th

by Joey deVilla on November 28, 2009

democamp ottawa

Mark Wednesday, December 9th on your calendars: that’s when Ottawa’s having it’s next DemoCamp! This one’s a special edition, with the space provided by Microsoft (it’s the venue for the Techdays Ottawa conference, which isn’t being used in the evening) and the presentations gathered by both Ottawa IT Community.ca and Startup Ottawa.

This DemoCamp will take place at the Hampton Inn and Conference Centre (100 Coventry Road) on Wednesday, December 9th at 7:00 p.m. and running until around 8:30. Attendance is free-as-in-beer, and there are plans to do some holiday celebrating once the demos have finished.

There will be two kinds of presentations at this DemoCamp:

  • Demos: These are straight-up, five-minute demonstrations of the presenters’ current projects. The only thing you’re allowed to show on the big screen is your project in action – no slides allowed! The idea is for the audience to see working products explained by the people who helped build them, not pitches by marketers.
  • Ignite Presentations: When something won’t work as a demo – say, an explanation about a specific technology or idea – it’s time for an Ignite presentation. These are slide-assisted presentations with a twist: you;re allowed only 20 slides, and they must auto-advance every 15 seconds for a grand total of 5 minutes. It’s a test of your knowledge of the topic and your presentation skills!

I’ll post more details about the presentation once I get all the details – watch this space!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Career Demo Camp Montreal: Wednesday, December 2nd

by Joey deVilla on November 18, 2009

career demo camp montrealIf you’re a techie in Montreal, you want to attend Career Demo Camp on Wednesday, December 2nd at 6:30 p.m. in the Mont-Royal Centre! It’s part tech career guidance conference, part DemoCamp-style event, and an opportunity for developers and start-ups to get together and learn about the job market, see projects that Montreal-area techies are working on and get to know and network with your local nerds. It’s presented by the Confoo conference (taking place in March 2010) and PHUG and will be hosted by Yours Truly and Jean-Luc SansCartier.

Here’s the schedule:

  • 6:30 p.m.: Intro to Career Demo Camp
  • 7:00 p.m.: Alex Kovalenko – IT Headhunting and Recruiting
  • 7:30 p.m.: Joey deVilla; Better Living Through Blogging
  • 8:00 p.m.: DemoCamp Introduction
  • 8:15 p.m.: DemoCamp Presentations
  • 10:00 p.m.: Networking Session

oh yes its free

The event is free of charge! All you have to do to attend is sign up at Career Demo Camp’s Registration page.

Microsoft Canada’s providing the space – we booked the Mont-Royal Centre for TechDays Montreal for two days (December 2nd and 3rd) and we weren’t doing anything with the space on the evening of Day 1. We decided to offer the space for some kind of community event, and Confoo and PHUG put together Career Demo Camp. I love doing developer community events and was only too happy to co-host.

The DemoCamp portion of the evening needs people to do DemoCamp-style demos: 5 minutes of “Show and Tell” where you show your software, web application or project in action. It’s the only thing you’re allowed to show on the big screen — no slides allowed! The idea is for you to show off your technology in action and inspire us, not to do a sales pitch. Think you’ve got a demo in you? Contact Jean-Luc Sans Cartier or Yann Larrivee and let them know you want to demo at Career Demo Camp!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection and The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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Demo Ignite Camp: Vancouver, September 14th

by Joey deVilla on September 1, 2009

Demo Ignite Camp - Monday, September 14 - 7:00 p.m. - Vancouver Convention Centre

What Is Demo Ignite Camp?

Think of Demo Ignite Camp as an evening of “show and tell” where the bright lights of Vancouver’s high-tech and startup scene get together to present their projects and ideas. It’ll feature two kinds of presentations:

Demo icon (a toy robot) Demos: By “demo”, we mean a demonstration of your software, web application or project in action. It’s the only thing you’re allowed to show on the big screen — no slides allowed! The idea is for you to show off your technology in action and inspire us, not give us yet another marketing spiel.

 

ignite_icon

Ignites: An Ignite presentation on a tech-related topic with some constraints to make it interesting: you’re allowed only 20 slides, and they’re set to automatically advance every 15 seconds. It requires you to keep the text on your slides to a minimum and your presentation to be focused. It’s a true test of your presentation-fu.

Demo Ignite Camp will take place at Vancouver Convention Centre on Monday, September 14th at 7:00 p.m., a little bit after the first day of Microsoft’s TechDays Vancouver conference wraps up.

Demo Ignite Camp @ Vancouver Convention Centre

“Very Nice. How Much?”

Admission is free! As in beer, which we’ll be going out for after Demo Ignite Camp.

Want to Present at Demo Ignite Camp?

Have you got a project you’d like to show as a demo or an idea that you’d like to present as an Ignite? Drop me a line or leave a comment on Demo Ignite Camp’s event page!

Who’s Involved?

avi_bryant

So far, we’ve got Avi Bryant booked for one of Demo Ignite Camp’s 8 presentation slots. He’ll be doing a demo and we’re incredibly pleased – he works on some really cool projects, and we of the Toronto DemoCamp crew still consider his demo of DabbleDB to be one of the best demos in our 21-event history. We’re looking forward to seeing his presentation, which I suspect will be on Clamato, which is equal parts Smalltalk, JavaScript and the future.

Demo Ignite Camp wouldn’t even exist without the efforts of the Bee Man:

"Bumblebee Man" from "The Simpsons"

Actually, that’s @bmann, as in Boris Mann, blogger, technologist, entrepreneur and go-to guy for Vancouver’s tech scene:

boris_mann

He’s helping pull this event together in record time and playing the part of co-host, in spite of his very packed schedule.

microsoft_techdays_canada_2009

Microsoft played a part in making Demo Ignite Camp happen: they provided the venue and the AV system free of charge. The Vancouver leg of their conference, TechDays Canada 2009, takes place on Monday, September 14th and Tuesday, September 15th, which means that they had the facility on Monday night, during which nothing was scheduled. The TechDays organizers decided that they’d make the room available for some kind of community event.

I’ll be helping out as well. I’ll be co-hosting, and I was the guy who emailed Boris and said “Hey, dude, if you’ve got the camp, I’ve got the venue.”

Want to Know More?

There are more details on Demo Ignite Camp’s event page.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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My Statement on IE6

by Joey deVilla on July 30, 2009

Yes, I know that cats live longer, but I think the quip I made at DemoCamp 21 still makes a good point:

Picture of "Bill the Cat" from "Bloom County" captioned with "If you got a cat when IE6 came out, it's dead now."

Let’s upgrade to compliant up-to-date browsers, shall we? IE8, or even that hippie browser, if you must.

Credit where credit is due: The “cat’s dead now” line is my remix of a line from a review of the Guns ‘N’ Roses concert that took place here in Toronto a couple of years back. The original line went something like “If you got a cat when Appetite for Destruction came out, it’s dead now.”

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A Busy Week

by Joey deVilla on July 27, 2009

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

It’s gonna be a busy week for me — there’s a lot going on!

Damian Conway

Monday: Damian Conway and The Missing Link

On Monday evening, I’ll be catching Damian Conway’s presentation, The Missing Link. There’s nothing quite like a Damian Conway presentation – they’re equal parts computer science, mathematical digression, history lesson, physics lecture, pop-culture observation, Perl module code walkthrough and stand-up comedy routine.

If you’re up for an entertaining and enlightening presentation by one of the bright lights of the open source world and you’re going to be in Toronto tonight, you should catch this one. There’s no charge for admission and no registration process – just show up at University of Toronto’s Bahen Centre for Information Technology (40 St. George Street, west side, just north of College) at 7:00 p.m. and head to room 1160 (the big lecture theatre near the back of the first floor).

Map picture

Tuesday: DemoCamp 21 with Special Guest John Udell

DemoCamp Toronto 21: Tuesday, July 28th Tuesday evening brings the 21st edition of DemoCamp, which I like to describe as “show and tell for the bright lights of the Toronto-area tech community”. It’s a chance for people, from hobbyists working on a pet project to enterprise software developers building something globe-spanning to show their peers their projects in action or share an idea. It’s put together by my fellow Microsoftie David Crow (who’s also in Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism group); I cost-host the event with Jay Goldman.

This one’s going to be a special one for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this will be the first DemoCamp held at the Rogers Theatre. Second, Jon Udell, Microsoft Tech Evangelist extraordinaire, will be there.

The presentations on the schedule are:

  • You can’t pick your neighbours, but you can pick your neighbourhood!
    Saul Colt, Zoocasa
  • ArtAnywhere : Where Lost artwork meets Empty walls
    Christine Renaud, ArtAnywhere
  • Bringing Social Media to Contractors
    Brian Sharwood, HomeStars
  • Create a BlackBerry/iPhone Mobile App in 5 Minutes
    Alan Lysne, Cascada Mobile
  • Stories Told Together – Introducing Social Cards
    Shaun, MacDonald, MashupArts
  • WeGoWeGo.com: semantic search for city events
    Dan Wood, WeGoWeGo.com
  • Guestlist – online event management
    Ben Vinegar, Guestlist
  • guiGoog: Advanced Visual Power Search
    Jason Roks, GuiGoog

Alas, this event is sold out. I’ll take notes and post them on this blog.

Wednesday: Science 2.0

what_we_need_more_of_is_science

The Science 2.0 conference takes place on Wednesday afternoon. Its topic: how the web and computers can radically change and improve science. It takes place at the MaRS Centre and the presentations are:

  • Choosing Infrastructure and Testing Tools for Scientific Software Projects
    Titus Brown
  • A Web Native Research Record: Applying the Best of the Web to the Lab Notebook
    Cameron Neylon
  • Doing Science in the Open: How Online Tools are Changing Scientific Discovery
    Michael Nielsen
  • Using “Desktop” Languages for Big Problems
    David Rich
  • How Computational Science is Changing the Scientific Method
    Victoria Stodden
  • Collaborative Curation of Public Events
    Jon Udell

As with DemoCamp, this event is a popular one and is sold out. I’ll take notes and blog the conference.

Thursday: Windows 7 Blogger Event

I’ll be helping out at a gathering of Toronto bloggers on Thursday, where we’ll be showing them Windows 7.

Friday: Coffee and Code

coffee-and-code-2 If it’s Friday, it must be time for Toronto Coffee and Code! It’s the day when I set up shop at a cafe – usually the Dark Horse – and work from there, making myself available to answer questions, hear your opinions and comments and chat. I’ll talk about Microsoft, our tools and tech, the industry in general, whatever!

This Friday’s Toronto Coffee and Code will take place at the Dark Horse Cafe (215 Spadina) from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.. Feel free to drop by!

Map picture

Other Stuff Going On This Week

techdays_canada_2009_logo

  • Along with the other people on the team, I’m helping out with the preparatory work on the TechDays conference, which will be taking place in seven cities across Canada this fall.
  • I’m also working on ongoing series of articles covering stuff like coding fundamentals, ASP.NET MVC, mobile and some other stuff that I have to keep on the down-low for the time being.
  • And it’s not too late for me to start working on the ASP.NET MVC presentation that I’m doing with ObjectSharp’s Barry Gervin at the Toronto edition of Stack Overflow’s DevDays conference in October.

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