For those familiar with Code Camps, BarCamps are similar in that they’re free and organized by the community, but the schedule is more fluid/dynamic and participatory, following the “unconference” style:
“BarCamp is an unConference, organized on the fly by attendees, for attendees. There is no registration fee, but you don't just attend a BarCamp -- you can participate in discussions, demo your projects, or join into another cooperative event.”
It’s a great way to learn about what’s new and meet others in the area developer community. Take a look at last year’s BarCamp Boston 3 session grid for an idea of the kind of topics you might see.