A capacity crowd of 350 nerds and geeks and coders converged on downtown Philadelphia this past weekend for something called BarCamp Philly 2010. Monetate was proud to be a sponsor of the event and, based on the Twitter traffic bearing the #bcphilly tag, it was a big success.
But what exactly is a BarCamp? Well, it doesn’t have much to do with camping and all bar-related activity is confined to the Friday night kick-off party and the Saturday night after-party. You might call BarCamp “an organic, free-form, self-organizing, WiFi-enabled, knowledge-sharing, techno-happening.”
But then you’d probably want to put that to a vote and get some feedback. That’s because the whole idea of BarCamp is to decide, democratically, on-site, on the day, what topics and speakers are of most interest, assign them to the larger rooms, then let people vote with their feet.
As I monitored the tweet-stream from afar it looked like sessions on app development, game development, and open data were also big hits. For an objective view of the event from someone who attended, you might want to read this cool blog post by Philadelphia area tech professional Ken Rimple.
So why did Monetate sponsor, in the form of large amounts of caffeinated beverages from Old City Coffee, this particular event?
Well, our intentions were not entirely altruistic. It is no secret that Monetate is hiring right now, seeking out the very best engineers and eMarketers to fuel our expansion.
But we also saw BarCamp Philly as a chance to help the Philadelphia area showcase its thriving tech community.
Despite a cooler climate than somewhere like Silicon Valley , Philadelphia is a veritable hot-house of startups, fueled by great talent from excellent schools and a very active venture capital community. Now, for all we know, some of that talent could be building the next Facebook or Twitter, or even a competitor to Monetate. And we’re fine with that. Competition is healthy! And in the world of software development and bright ideas, Philadelphia is very competitive indeed.