A Plea for Tech-Meetups

Have you ever been asked by a colleague if you want to join a tech-meetup? How did you react? For many of us the idea of going to a networking event is rather unpleasant. For the next time I would like to give you 7 reasons why you should go.

In the last half year I was a regular visitor of the JS-Meetup in Dresden (organized by DresdenJS). My initial goal was to learn something new and exchange ideas with other JavaScript enthusiasts. In the meantime I realized that such a Meetup brings many more benefits. Even if you are not a developer but a project manager, product owner or managing director, it can be worthwhile to attend such a network event.

1. Meet nice people

Even if you are alone, you don't have to be shy to go to a Meetup. Everyone present knows what a Meetup is, so they're there to meet new people. Accordingly, everyone is open to new acquaintances and will not exclude newcomers. Usually, the agenda of such events also directly includes time slots for unofficial exchange, so that the conversations can also go away from JavaScript.

2. Gain practical experience

An important part of meetups are of course the talks on various topics. Frequently represented are presentations of solutions and approaches to solutions from everyday practice. In these the speakers talk about real cases, challenges and solutions. One example is the presentation by Sergey Ryzhov (@latviancoder), in which he shows how 3m5 implemented the Porsche Finder as a Large Scale React App. The most exciting parts of the presentation are the methods that were being used to reach the goal: Setbacks and wrong decisions are reported, so that you, as a listener, don't have to make the same mistakes if you ever find yourself in a similar situation. This way you can gain valuable experience that you can use in your projects. If you are very diligent, you can even make a note of the contact details of the speakers and contact them if you want to ask questions. Most of the speakers will be pleased about your interest, which will allow you to make new contacts directly (see point 1 😉).

Like this article? Follow me on Twitter so you don't miss new content.

3. Stay up-to-date

While the practical presentations deal with projects that have been running for some time or have even been completed, there are also presentations on current trends. Especially in the fast-moving world of the web, the discussion of innovations is enormously important. For example, Lucas Recknagel (@lucasrecknagel) explained which functions will be added to JavaScript in the coming years. Such presentations help the listener to make the right technology decisions when a new project or a refactor of an existing project is pending. Here it helps you to have a certain overview of the different options.

4. Get inspired

From time to time there are also lectures on topics that are (currently) less used in practice. The aim is to show what possibilities there are that you may never even have thought about before. This way, as a developer, you will also be taken out of your familiar environment and discover concepts that can be used in some projects for great added value. An example is the talk I gave about generators, iterators and itables in JavaScript, which was meant to demonstrate how to implement more generic interfaces with these components. This talk will soon be published in another blog article, so follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to make sure not to miss any new posts.

5. Find new talent

Hiring new talent is still a major problem in the IT industry. Meetups can be one way of doing this. Through the presentations and the exchange in casual conversations, companies have the opportunity to be present. On the one hand, companies can send employees as speakers to the Meetup, giving the community a brief introduction about the company. Of course, you have to be careful not to hold a promotional event here, as this is not very popular. On the other hand, contacts can be made in the discussions after the presentations, so that one can also get to know people who are currently looking for new offers.

6. Meeting employers

The advantage from 5. can of course be turned around. By getting involved in discussions or talks, companies can learn more about you directly, which can lead to valuable business contacts. By giving presentations, you can also directly show that you are committed and that you like to deal with current topics. This way you can get to know several potential employers directly without having to look around on various job exchanges first. My experience even shows that such contacts can in many cases make a real job interview with official application documents unnecessary.

7. Cooperate with companies

No matter if you are self-employed, trainer or employee, through the conversations and lectures it will often turn out that you have different experiences and knowledge than the other participants, so that starting points or cooperation possibilities will quickly arise. Through the exchange and cooperation with other developers and companies, you can balance capacity bottlenecks, gain expert knowledge at short notice or generate ideas for joint projects.

(8. Get in contact with me)

I hope I've convinced you of the benefits of Meetups, so that you might be there next time. I will also continue to be present at various Meetups and conferences in the future, so don't hesitate to contact me, I look forward to every conversation. I will also be posting presentations on this blog, so follow me so you don't miss any news.