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BarCamp, github and brewing history

So, yesterday was BarCamp Buffalo. Now, that might be slightly misleading: yes, it has bar in the title, and it’s being discussed on the blog of a brewery. But it’s not a camp about bars, or a camping trip where you stay overnight at a bar (though doesn’t that sound fun?). No, BarCamp is a series of conferences where a bunch of creative/computery folk get together and give presentations to each other on various topics that interest them.

I did, as it happens give a talk on CBW, nanobrewing and the process of opening a brewery. Elizabeth from KegWorks gave a great talk on writing content that will rank well in Google but not seem too spammy. Also, there was a keg of Flying Bison’s Rusty Chain that we devoured like a cow in a piraña infested river. So, perhaps BarCamp wasn’t as much of a misnomer as it could have been. It was a great time, and the subjects ranged wildly: from an intro to programming to command line tools to run tasks in parallel to how to win at rock, paper, scissors to a guy in Joker makeup giving presentation advice from The Dark Knight. No, seriously.

This makes sense in context, I swear

I’d like to thank everyone who stayed for my talk, which I titled “Fun & Excitement While Opening a Brewery.” The title didn’t have a witty play on words like I’d wanted, but at least it was fairly long. If you’re interested, I’ve posted it on Slideshare. Many of the other talks are being linked to on the BarCamp Buffalo Facebook page, so if you haven’t already you should join the group. There should be another in the fall, and I encourage you all to attend.

But, wait, did someone say Facebook? (Yes, I did, but shut up you’re ruining the segue) Today we reached 1,100 fans on Facebook! That’s absolutely incredible. Thank you, everyone. As I said last night: it’s astounding that we have such a following when we aren’t even producing any beer yet. It’s a testament to how thirsty this town is, and we hope we can be the brewery Buffalo deserves. Er, sorry, that’s the Joker guy coming through again.

One of the things that a few presentations through the night stressed is that people need to develop code and submit it to github. Get it noticed, get feedback on it. Contribute. Don’t be afraid if it’s not perfect. I’ve been meaning to release the code for the progress thermometer plugin displayed above, but hadn’t because there’s still a bug with a certain number of options. So, to hell with that, I say! I put it on github today, so if you think you can use it — it’s been suggested that it might have uses for libraries and nonprofits tracking renovations, fundraisers, etc — have at it. Let me know if you like it!

Finally, the first installment of the Buffalo. For Real TV web series was released today, and it deals with the beer culture and history of Buffalo. It’s a great video, and we look forward to joining in on this tradition. Embeer Buffalo.