what are code meetups?


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28 slides designed for 20 seconds each presentation to a mostly female audience about code meetups (what are they, how to get maximum benefit, why to go to them) with a focus on what is available in Chicago. Purpose: convince people to go to them!

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  • “ I hate when people make something pink and think that it appeals to women. It’s even worse when it’s something programming-related. But it’s useful if you want to keep the boys out. Today I’ll be talking about when programmers of all geners get together to talk craftsmanship, code, languages…”
  • Attendees usually number between 20 and 60 ppl. It’s usually held deep in the population density center, in the offices of a company, in Chicago most of them have security similar to that at the Aon and you’ll be on a list at the door.
  • Every city has meetups- they even exist in Bangalore! Although I didn’t end up going to any when I was at TWU. Most of the ones Chicago are easy to reach by public transportation or cab. Some are in the suburbs. There are many in Los Angeles and surrounding ares…
  • Monthly per group for stable groups. Sometimes on an ad hoc basis. You can suggest your own. Grow organically. They try to not overlap with other meetups. Some people go to many of them, and you see them three weeks in a row! Any day of the week after work, although usually avoiding Fridays.
  • Meetups generally have the same % of women as the rest of IT, perhaps a little less. Which is odd, because this is the most social tech activity I’ve ever been in! I have never had a male comment on my femaleness (at the lecture).
  • Geeks come in all flavors. Geeks respect that geeks don’t always want to communicate. Even if you don’t understand what’s going on, no one can see inside your brain. They are not out to get you. You don’t have to talk. If you talk, they’re not allowed to make fun of you. The group is only as good as it treats its members, or they will leave. There is no “club” that you are trying to break into.
  • Exercise your brain, think new things, meet new people. I get antsy if I work in the same mindspace for too long- whether that is a technology, a project, or a group of people. So meetups make me happier by showing me new concepts! And I can tell people on my team about it and get them excited, too.
  • There are other people working on the same problems that you are working on, and they may be solving them in different ways… ways that you can get hints of from reading forums, but there’s nothing like talking face to face, of course leaving out client names and details as appropriate.
  • College students or looking for job – usually free food, since usually overlaps with dinner. Usually pizza or indian food, which makes me happy. There is sometimes free beer. Geeks are highly motivated by free food. Sometimes there is also other swag, like WindyCityGo stickers, or Puppet tshirts.
  • Reputation – your company, stuff you do, technical conversation, establishing credibility through tech conversation. If I have an intelligent conversation about something technical, and the other person learns that I’m from ThoughtWorks, TW just gained a reputation point with my conversation partner. “Oh, how is the place that you work?” “Amazing! There are free drinks and fancy chairs and my coworkers are awesome.” that person has now tagged TW as “people like working there” in their head where before there was a “?”
  • Ways to choose your favorite: wase of access by transit, topic of the night, cultural fit, see new location (i.e the offices of another company), new technology that you want to learn, how bored are you that day…
  • There are a lot of meetups in Chicago, although not as many as in New York, Silicon Valley, other tech-heavy locations.
  • Writing for hackers, photography review code review, Obtivan, game with artists/messengers/specifiers
  • One-day conference, cosponsored partially by TW, also by groupon. Talks included iOS, iPad visual design, mobile web (rather than apps), .NET on Android…
  • New to chicago, started in New York with much success. Just starting in Philadelphia. 46 past meetups! Might be hosted at TW soon. Turnout at first meeting was good, northside bar.
  • 28 past meetups, recordings online at http://javascriptchicago.com/
  • More hardware-ish. Very excellent, people who love to make things and learn things. Upper north side off the blue line at Damen.
  • They tend to do Saturday mornings at Morningstar. They are really excellent. I need more to say about this.
  • Also, Chicago Scala.
  • Listen! Google what they’re talking about while they’re talking. Maybe also install what they’ re talking about before you get there, for maximum benefit. Follow the speaker on their social media of choice and give them feedback via that.
  • Social media is a way to be outgoing, to participate, to answer people’s questions. And you can search the relevant tags in order to see what other people are saying! At conferences you can recognize people based on hashtags. At GHC I sometimes switched sessions based on what people were saying about the one they were in…
  • Chat about other people’s companies, trials and tribulations, software stuff. Blow off steam, hear fun stories, meet people and run into them next time!
  • A talk at Google Chicago about HTML5, surprise you all have new laptops. Gimmick for Cr48 and HTML5: he showed up, said “I just got off a plane, here is a brand new laptop still in the box.” Opened it, turned it on, connected it to the wireless, went to the URL of his presentation, gave the presentation (it crashed once on a drawing section of the talk- crashed the whole laptop and he restarted it in seconds and continued.)
  • This was at a stackoverflow meetup. Recruiters are useful some of the time but they usually can’ t talk about code in an interesting way and must pay the penalty. Obviously this is a job market which has a large amount of demand and perhaps not enough qualified supply… Is this scotch thing misogynistic? Depends on whether women like scotch. Should we make recruiters bring chocolate?
  • Are you the very first? Post on the meetup wall that it’s okay for women- you can just say “I enjoyed this meetup, everyone was very nice” There ARE female lurkers, waiting for some hint that coming in isn’t scary. I am one of them.
  • Has this group un/consciously chased off other females? TELL them so, in writing, perhaps publically, or on their mailing list of they have one… with DETAILS (meetup wall, mailing group) <- do it electronically, do it promptly, do it with good spelling, and do it for the next poor lady who is going to try to go where angels fear to tread- she may be of more delicate temperament than we are.
  • This is my favorite document, and very applicable to everything, not just linux. Questions?
  • what are code meetups?

    1. 1. code meetups
    2. 2. short lecture/s or workshop followed by drinking
    3. 3. wherever the people are
    4. 4. outside business hours
    5. 5. reversed %
    6. 6. not
    7. 7. what is the point?
    8. 8. meet the people in the next hole over
    9. 9. for geeks who need it
    10. 10. credibility/reputation
    11. 11. pick your favorites
    12. 12. the Chicago scene
    13. 13. @ChicagoRuby at ThoughtWorks, monthly
    14. 14. Chicago Software Craftsmanship (ChiSC)
    15. 15. WindyCityGo (mobile app dev conference)
    16. 16. @girldevelopit HTML/CSS/PHP/JS/MySQL
    17. 17. javascriptchicago.com best practices, awesome hacks
    18. 18. epic hackerspace
    19. 19. they really love Puppet
    20. 20. lots more
    21. 21. ok, so I’m here…
    22. 22. participate
    23. 23. the most useful part
    24. 24. the time I scored a free Cr48
    25. 25. “ recruiters must bring scotch.”
    26. 26. tell the lurkers it’s safe
    27. 27. are they doing it wrong?
    28. 28. http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Encourage-Women-Linux-HOWTO/ Pictures used: