Tech events in Portugal

Portugal is not that poor in Tech events. Even today I informed a couple of people about WIDM 2007 (Lisbon, November 9), and others about OTM 2007 (Vilamoura, November 25-30). I, myself, am planning to attend to BarCamp Portugal 2007 (Coimbra, September 1-2), I Fórum de Software Livre de Lisboa (Lisbon, October 12-13), and SHiFT 2007 (Lisbon, date tba).

Yet, it allways felt that something was wrong in Portugal. But things in Portugal were awful for a big load of time. The best events were academic, the others were purely commercial. Things evolved over time, specially because we started seeing another kind of events happening, like Minho Campus Party, and people started to realize that we needed more relaxed events in Portugal, like the ones we were craving to go in other countries.

Things started changing, specially in the last year: we had our first BarCamp and SHiFT, both inspiring the first Tecnonov and the first Takeoff. There are also some regular meetings: both the Perl community and the Ruby comminity have them, for instance.

Today Vitor wrote about OpenCoffee in Lisbon. For those not knowing, the OpenCoffee Club is an idea somewhat simmilar to that of a BarCamp, but this time we're talking about a regular, open and informal meeting place for people involved in startups to meet. A first attempt was made, but the results weren't that good, because it wasn't good enough to beat the procrastination that fell over the organization, so what was supposed to be a weekly meeting never saw #2. Celso Pinto gave his oppinion about Vitor's comments, but I think we're missing the point here, we should instead think about what is failing, what needs to change, and how to do it. First, I think that there are lot's of interested people in this in Portugal, but not only in Lisbon. Changing OCL to OCP (OpenCoffee Portugal) would be a nice step. The other thing is that I don't think there's that much of an attraction for this kind of event to make it be weekly. I still think that monthly is good enough. There are already a number of monthly events I'm interested in, but usually I go to none of them: they're in a weekday. I know of others that think the same way. A solution is to make them during a friday or a saturday. Also, instead of the thipical rule of "every first week of a month", we should avoid conflit of events, with an allways changing week. But the most important thing, IMHO, instead of a rigid schedule we should have "date discussions" on the mailing list.

For now, my idea is that one issue of this meetings (maybe #2?) should happen in the upcoming BarCamp, where we would surely find lot's of interested people. There we could not only have "an OCLOCP meeting", but also discuss how could be make it work. It would be awsome to have more stuff like these happening...