Over the last few years I’ve contributed to, organized, worked with, and been in the audience of hundreds of user groups throughout Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Vancouver BC. By far, this area of North America has the most active, resilient, and density of thought leaders in the technology world. There is something missing however and I’d like to start working toward filling this gap. What’s missing you ask?
Problem: People often get together and talk about tech, but rarely get together and do something about tech.
The vast majority of user meetups end up as presentations. I must sadly say, often boring presentations that don’t really teach or demo all that much. Attendees often just come to talk afterwards or otherwise socialize, which is hugely important to the community. However there has to be a way more could be done. A better outcome would be to create a two way conversation, instead of the one way presentation, and to involve ourselves in creating solutions, new technology, and idea. In a few rare situations I have found groups that do something about this void. What’s their solution?
Solution: They actually get together, implement code, pair, and work together on problems. Kind of like a Hackathon, but way more often.
That’s what I’d like to create. To start off with, I’d like a group that is technology agnostic, is fairly skilled yet willing to pair and bring others up to speed, and simply gets together at least once per month to implement a specific project or effort that is predetermined by group submission and conversation (i.e. we’ll use a google group, e-mail list, or such). I think, and feel like there is enough support to get something like this started in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco (especially here), and Vancouver BC. My question is though, would you be interested in helping out, coordinating with me, and otherwise uniting coders to do more, learn more, and better themselves?
If you are interested, please leave a comment and help me out by answering a few questions:
- Is “Coders United” a good name for the group? What ideas do you have?
- Do you have a project or three or four that may be of interest for a group to get together and work on?
- This type of group would probably need to meet for more than an hour, would you be able to meet for 3-4 hours, maybe even on a weekend to implement a full project?
- What’s your preferred method of contact (e-mail, twitter, facebook, text message?) and how should I get in touch with you?