Hi, I'm Ryan. I help organize the Toronto Ruby Brigade, and run hack nights and some other events for them. I wanted to talk to you today about how local user groups are awesome, and why you should help organize yours. So I'm going to give you 7 reasons why you should go home tomorrow and start planning a local user group event.
The first reason, and the reason I started helping out with the Toronto Ruby brigade, is that participating exposes you to way more interesting people in your local Ruby community. It's an awesome feeling going to a pub night and having a ton of smart, interesting people to catch up with.
No. 2 - If you're hiring, recruitment is WAY easier if you have a reputation in your local community through events. Most people in here are working for companies that are looking for developers. My company hired 4 out of 5 developers through running events like Hack nights.
This one was theoretical until about 2 and half minutes ago, but I can totally confirm this is true. Doing talks in your local community is a great way to dip your toes into doing public speaking without it needing to be to a whole room of people.
RailsConf and RubyConf is awesome, but not everyone can go to them It's great to have local content that's cheap and accessible for people who want to improve their skills and learn things. Think about doing a talk about what you learned at RailsConf.
Planning something like a Hack night isn't that difficult. You don't need to be an expert. I had 6 months of Ruby or Rails experience when I started running Hack nights. I was still a beginner, and it worked out great. And the planning isn't as hard as you may think either.
There's so many benfits to living in a city with a strong dev community. But strong communities don't just happen, they take time and effort to create. You can make a measurable difference in how great your community is with just a bit of effort.
There’s probably a lot of people in your city who are stuck developing in PHP or Java, really want to learn about Rails, but don’t know where to start. About 25% of the people who come to our hack nights have either never used Rails, or have less than 1 month of experience. That's awesome. Every single month, we get 5-10 new people started using Rails.
So what can you do? Talk at a talk night, go to or run a pub night, a hack night, or consider a teaching event. Look to other cities to see what they do, and emulate what sounds cool to you.
Thanks very much!
7 reasons you should volunteer for your local user group
7 reasons you should help organize your local user group. @ryanbrunner @torontorb