GiveCamp Memphis to shine spotlight on local tech scene

Even though GiveCamp Memphis won’t take place until February, organizers of the third annual event hope that getting the word out before folks enter the holiday overload zone will result in the biggest registration yet for the technology-related event.

The last couple years have seen a growing enthusiasm in the Memphis tech community, with an ever-increasing number of meetup groups dedicated to different technology segments. And GiveCamp Memphis, which runs from Feb. 7 to 9, will bring many of those diverse groups together for a technology extravaganza.

Organized as a forum for technology professionals to showcase and share their expertise, GiveCamp provides a structured environment where professionals donate their talents to area nonprofits. Tech types who make things run and know how to solve issues — including database administrators, designers, developers and Web strategists — will be on hand offer free services to participating organizations.

Similar in structure to startup weekends, the schedule allows folks to arrive on Friday night to get acquainted and discuss tech issues. Nonprofit reps are paired with tech pros and on Saturday the groups work on projects, which they’ll demonstrate before the entire assembly on Sunday afternoon. The program is being coordinated by Cowork Memphis and sponsors include Rackspace and Robert Half Technology.

Brian Swanson, who’s involved in numerous local tech groups and is a co-founder of GiveCamp, described the motivation behind the gathering this way: “While we’ve always had a great turnout in the past, the tech community in Memphis has really started to jell in the past year. We’re happy to provide an outlet for not only doing good for area nonprofits, but to also give the ‘memtech’ community an event to come together and hang out for a weekend doing what they love.”

There’s no cost to participate, for tech pros or nonprofit attendees, but registration is requested and now’s a great time to go ahead and check that off your “To Do” list. To learn more, visit givecampemphis.org or contact Swanson atbswanson@givecampmemphis.org.

Keeping with the tech thread, the Memphis Python users group will gather at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Cowork Memphis, 902 S. Cooper. There’s no charge to attend, but organizers want to get an accurate head count so visit meetup.com/memphis-technology-user-groups to add your name to the list.

On Tuesday, “Rapid Application Development with CakePHP “will be held at the MidSouthMakers headquarters, 2804 Bartlett Road, Suite 2. The free program is an introduction to CakePHP and key presenter Brad Montgomery will demonstrate how to build an application from start to finish in an hour. Check out meetup.com/memphis-technology-user-groups to sign up.

And if you want to hang out and talk tech with other folks just like you, drop by Panera Bread at 4530 Poplar at 11:30 on Wednesday for the MemTech Lunch. It’s a Dutch treat event, so stop by for as long as you’re able and meet some new friends who inhabit the local technology community.

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