Its been awhile since I’ve written about a DemoCamp but DemoCampToronto15 was yesterday afternoon at Hart House in the University of Toronto campus. The University of Toronto did a great job organizing/hosting. DemoCamp was in the grand hall of the Hart House, which is awesome local for presentation and mingling. Unfortunately even with the time shift to late afternoon no University of Toronto demo’s were presented.
The Demo’s consisted of the following:
Jester JS by Pete Forde
Pete presented the Jester JS REST library which provides a lot of the same database abstraction that Ruby offers. I’ve never been a fan of abstracting SQL but that’s probably because I know SQL and I don’t want to invest in learning different abstracted methods. It’s a good demo and you immediately understand what Pete was presenting and trying to describe.
Mobile Currency Exchange Rates by Radu Negulescu
Even after the initial technical difficulties with the demo were solved, it was hard to follow the demo and the mobile device virtual machine was hard to see. Probably the most interesting aspect was the fact that the app runs on mobile but this also made it hard to demo.
OMESH Networks by Liang Song
This demo consisted mainly of power point slides because the actual demo was small wireless devices that search out each other the best available network source. It was a very hard demo to follow and power point slides didn’t really do it justice either. I’m not sure the best method to demo these type of physical/mobile devices, it would be better to use multiple people through out the space and show how the devices find the best network source.
Ogrant.com by Sachin Ghelanil and Saroop Bharwani
I met Sachin a few months ago so I was familiar with the Ogrant concept but I haven’t seen the live site before. I think the concept for Ogrant is great in that it uses social media to help connect people giving grants with qualified students. It also gives students more of a voice in the grant process through a voting system on grant applications. Overall a good demo of the site but it felt too short to cover the site functionality, it would have been good to go through some of the student/applicant videos and content.
ConceptShare by Bernie Aho, Will Pate and Scott Brooks
Conceptshare blew the doors off DemoCamp9 with the ability for multiple people to comment on different design concepts. I’ve actually used the site on different small projects and found much easier to use than their competition. In the last year Conceptshare has developed a great client list and recently added community guru, Will Pate to the team. The demo felt very rushed and I
again thought it was too short. It looks like Conceptshare has improved the process flow a lot and continues to add new features. I’d like to see an API so that I can bring content into the site easier.
The demos were anything but smooth last nite and David Crow talks about the some of the issues. I’m not really sure what to do to improve the demo process. I think it will be very hard to limit people switching PC, specially for non-web demos.
I think one thing that needs to improve is the time allotment, I’d be in favour of a flex system that guarantees a min of 5 min and allows up to 15 mins depending on the
quality of the demo. I understand this will be hard to enforce/judge but there were some demo’s last night that just needed more time and would have been better given more time.
The Ignite Presentations were as follows:
Little Geeks by Andy Walker
I first saw Andy Walker on Call for Help and was impressed
with his understanding of technology. His presentation was a little too evangelistic and I didn’t feel that he talked enough about the Little Geeks program and how people can get involved.
Shortcuts of OCE Funding by John MacRitchie
I recently met John through an OCE breakfast with Albert Lai and I was impressed with his commitment to involve the Torcamp community. His presentation covered the OCE funding process and how start-ups can into the process. His presentation was very smooth and well timed to the slides, I think
he did a good job of getting his message across.
Testing Tools by Michael Bolton
Not the horrible singer, or the Office Space character, Michael Bolton the testing expert focused on the advantages of using humans in the testing process. I think he has a great point in that most people view testing as a process that can be automated and are surprised when the testing doesn’t improve the software. His presentation was good and worked well with the Ignite process. I would have liked to see more questions with him about how to handle enormous software projects, like websites, and how automated tools could be included.
Raising money from Suits by Rick Segal
I really like Rick’s blog and I was keen to see his
presentation. Unfortunately it was largely a re-hash of his Mesh presentation but probably very appropriate for the UofT crowd. He provided a good
outline of the process of building business and raising funds. He did a good job of keeping to the presentation flow but I think it would have been better to have more Q&A with him.
Bruce Mau Design by Greg Judelman
I have no idea how this presentation applied to DemoCamp except that Bruce Mau appears to design interesting and beautiful things. The presentation focused on different aspects of Bruce Mau design, including buildings, store signs and websites. Greg did a good job but I was still struggling to connect Bruce Mau design with the DemoCamp group.
Community Networks by Alvin
Alvin’s presentation was a last minute addition but might have been the most interesting of the Ignite series. Alvin did a study on the Torcamp network and
how different people connect to each other. His presentation suffered from the lack of control that the Ignite system creates, where he couldn’t accelerate or slow down at different points. This created some problems for
his presentation. I would have loved to see more detail on his algorithm and how the formation of groups of 3 worked. Overall an interesting presentation though, just needed more time and control over his presentation.
When I heard about concept of the Ignite presentations I thought I’d hate them. In reality they aren’t too bad, mainly because they are never more than 5 mins. Unfortunately this means they rarely provided any interesting content or communication and often end-up being a 5 min rant. I think the key is having someone that can carry 5 min presentation with no slides, most of the good presentations would probably be fine without slides.