Network Effects

Cross-posted from

Jen Dodd wrote to the attendees of SciBarCamp 2008 to ask “… what has happened for you because of SciBarCamp. New business contacts or opportunities? New research projects? New artistic collaborations? New directions in your work or education?” Well, for me the impact of SciBarCamp was pretty huge.

At the time of SciBarCamp I was telecommuting as a developer for a company based in Chicago, and I was feeling pretty cut of from technology people in Toronto and the GTA. I read on Reg Braithwaite’s blog that he was attending, and given that Lee Smolin (whom I had seen speak at the University of Chicago) would also be there, I decided to attend.

I did get to talk to both Reg and Lee. Reg and I got a cool introduction to the University of Toronto Solar Car project as they took it out for a spin. But the best part of the weekend was meeting Jamie McQuay. I met Jamie the first night of SciBarCamp in his capacity as “Wal-Mart Greeter” and then throughout the weekend. It was clear that we share similar opinions on science, software and the business of software, and after a few longer meetings over the course of this summer, the end of the story is that I’ve accepted a role here at Scimatic as a partner. I don’t think I would have anticipated that going to SciBarCamp would have had that type of effect on my career or life when I signed up.

So the moral is; Get out there! Here in Toronto there are lots of opportunities:

to name but a few. Who knows what will come of it? Maybe a whole new direction to your life.