‘Camp’ tech events merge, widen scope

TAMPA —BarCamp and Code Camp, two major gatherings for members of the Tampa Bay technology industry, are merging into one larger event.

Roughly 1,000 attendees are expected at BarCamp/Code Camp Tampa 2012, a daylong, free event scheduled at the University of South Florida on Oct. 13.

Together the events will provide a forum for networking that organizers said will provide introductions, spur innovation and boost the region’s technology industry.

Details of merger

The merger brings together two events that have similar, but distinct crowds.

Code Camp is focused on the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) developer community, with information about the Microsoft .NET software framework and related technologies. The older of the two events, Code Camp is now in its seventh year.

BarCamp, meanwhile, is geared toward a range of technology and “new media” professionals. The event, which began in 2008, is built around an “un-conference” model with an open format.

The decision to merge was based on feedback from attendees, said Keith Fredriksen, business manager of VisualGov Solutions LLC, a software development company specializing in government-related programs, and co-chairman of BarCamp/Code Camp.

“Some go to BarCamp, some go to Code Camp,” Fredriksen said. “There was recognition that we could put together a combined event.”

Fredriksen views the merged event as a win for programmers, who have the opportunity to network and develop; for sponsors that have the opportunity to influence software purchasers; and for major employers whose staff can learn about new technology by attending.