Democamp 15 took place last Monday (Oct 29) at the Great Hall of the University of Toronto’s Hart House, and I went with high expectations after hearing all that good stuff about the previous Democamp. Sadly, I had to leave early –and rather unsatisfied– before the Ignite presentations, which I was looking forward to.
My dissatisfaction came from two issues. First, although the Great Hall is one of my most beloved places in all of Toronto, it didn’t click with the Torcamp community. It felt too solemn for a more “open mic night” crowd, which led to demos that at points almost felt like lectures; and it strained to provide the infrastructure to support A/V requirements that are taken for granted by computer geeks.
Second, some of the demos lacked soul, passion. Others lacked substance. These are the two things that keep drawing me back to the Democamp nights –talented people unassumingly presenting cool new stuff they obviously care deeply about–, and they were largely absent from the demos. (Perhaps if I sticked around for the second half I would’ve seen it, but then I won’t ever learn the guitar if I keep skipping my lessons.)
(OK, my dissatisfaction came from three issues really. Why did nobody from U of T took advantage of the opportunity and presented a cool demo in our own turf?)
However, for the last demo of the day we had the folks from ConceptShare, and they’ve grown ever more impressive. ConceptShare –a web-based service for discussing graphic designs and websites, and for leaving a trace of these discussions documented– is beautiful, slick, and professional. The company is clearly passionate about their work. And as I wrote before, their service can clearly be used for requirements elicitation and prototyping.
ConceptShare wasn’t the only great thing about the night. We had Joey de Villa and his accordion saving the show through one of its A/V glitches with a geek treatment of Radiohead’s “Creep”; and I had the opportunity to meet and talk to very smart, interesting people. Hope to catch the Ignite presentations next time around.