By Samantha Murphy:
For technology lovers, sharing their latest ideas and developments with others in a casual, fun environment sounds like a dream. Toss in some beer and food and that dream becomes reality with Buffalo BarCamp.
Buffalo BarCamp is a small, casual conference where people meet to present their ideas and discuss the latest technologies. According to Dan Magnuszewski, one of the founders of Buffalo BarCamp, it has a very informal style, where anyone can just sign up and give a talk about almost anything.
Magnuszewski said, “It’s a very open thing. We really encourage everyone to talk even if they aren’t a hardcore technology person. Last time we even had a guy talk about how to win every time at rock, paper, scissors.”
The name can be misleading though. While the conference it titled, “Buffalo BarCamp,” it is not always hosted at a bar. Magnuszewski explains, “BarCamp in the technology world is not an actual drinking bar. It’s a variation of the word “foobar” which is like a slang term.”
BarCamp is not just a local conference, it’s actually international. It began as an alternative to “Foo Camp,” which was hosted by Tim O’Reilly and attendance was by invitation only. Many others liked the idea but decided that the conference should be open to the public.
The creators of Buffalo BarCamp liked this idea as well. They changed some things around to make it fit locally. “We have a shorter weeknight format,” Magnuszewski said. “Ideally, everyone gives about a ten minute presentation. It usually runs from about 6 to 11 pm.”
There have been two Buffalo BarCamps this year, one in March at the Pearl Street Grill and the other in June at the Main Washington Exchange. Both were very successful, with over 100 people in attendance at the second conference.
For those still looking to participate, there will be another Buffalo BarCamp in the early fall. The date is yet to be determined. However, unlike the other meetings this one may be held on a weekend and last an entire day.