Last week I wrote a blog entry on… “Keeping your Developer Skills & Team Strong” read it here at http://scn.sap.com/blogs/ithain/2014/02/13/keeping-your-developer-skills-team-strong
This week I want to share my thoughts of how Developers could, in their own time keep the faith alive, keep fresh and have a bit of fun as well. To make you interested, most of the time what I’m talking about is free, social and is easy to find out!
The subject is Meet Ups! These are planned gatherings of like minded folks, all wanting to share & learn from each other. Nearly all take place in the evening, leaving you enough time to get out of work into the location. Two places you can check about such events are Meetup.com and Lanyrd.com. Both of these sites allow you to drill down geographically and within a radius, as well as the subject matter for each event. Then you can register or join the wait list, if the meet up is oversubscribed already. Take it from me, for the really exciting and popular meet ups you have to get in quick, or there will be a wait list!
I have tried it out and I am hooked!!!
My experiences over the last few weeks have been very positive. I joined two meet ups in London. The first a Google glass and Wearable Tech meet up (Heads Up London) and the second an Internet of Things meet up (@IoTLondon). Both of these were extremely well run by their respective managers, who had arranged for three interesting talks in each. Thoughts and facts were shared by all presenters and sometimes a shout out for collaborative work. Some attendees come along with actual physical tech to show you and are happy to explain how they have built or developed for it. I guess it is the closest to what the Homebrew Computer Club would have been like, all those many years ago in Silicon Valley!
What I found so far is meet ups tend to last for about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours maximum. They usually happen in spaces that have been generously donated by sponsors or supporters of the meet up. There is time for socialising and networking at the start and especially at the end. I have been really lucky to meet some very interesting folks that I wouldn’t have met on a normal day, as well as being introduced to new technologies.
Basically meet ups are like having your own mini conference that happens again and again and it’s right on your doorstep! The ability to attend many, mix-and-match is awesome and is only limited by your time and your dedication.
So my advice to you… get out there, expand your mind and keep your Developer Mojo strong. What is your excuse not to?
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