Cowork founders organize ‘barCamp’

On Aug. 20, more than 100 professionals representing the IT, marketing, engineering, graphic design and economic development industries gathered at UCA’s College of Business for an “un-conference” known simply as “BarCamp.” Co-organizer Dan Decker said the event got its start in the Conway Cowork office he shares with several other local web developers.

“We organized BarCamp out of a desire to promote community amongst tech-minded people in the central Arkansas area. We were very humbled by the response we received from the registrants/attendees and from our generous sponsors.”

The BarCamp agenda was set by attendees upon arrival. They chose from a number of topics volunteered by their colleagues. The topics were as diverse as the industries represented. Campers heard about the latest trends in geosocial applications, web development and tech start up financing.

This was the first event of its kind in central Arkansas, and Decker says it will not be the last. “We are currently discussing ideas how Conway Cowork can keep building community and promoting technical professionals in the area. Some of our ideas include holding monthly classes/seminars to provide technology education to the less technical folks in the area.”

The success of the 2010 BarCamp is proof that Conway and central Arkansas have a critical mass of much-needed technical talent, says Allison Nicholas, Team Leader of College Recruiting at Acxiom. “We are very fortunate to have such gifted groups of technical and creative minds in central Arkansas. I think BarCamp proves that there is need and purpose for a collaborative learning community that is informal and adaptable based on the needs and interests of the members.”