(upbeat electronic music) - The interesting thing about meetups is first of all, they're very easy to start. I've started multiple meetups. I've run them for a while and either handed them off or just, you know, I've ended a few. But it's really a fantastic way to get together, find people who are either at your same level or learning the same things and getting together and, honestly, making learning fun.
And that's probably the biggest benefit of doing a meetup, or, you know, meeting people in your field. - So what I've noticed over time is if you come to a meetup that's very well organized, that's almost like a mini conference. You just show up, consume the information that's provided to you, talk to some people, go home. That's fine, right? But the majority of meetups, that's not what they are. The majority of meetups are just a group of people who are very interested in a topic who come together. The best way to get anything out of it is to actively take part.
So not just show up, but go to the organizer and say, hey how can I help? Because if you're going to a meetup, it's likely because you want to either make friends in your community or learn something new. And the best way to learn it is not just to sit there and talk about the specific topic that was brought up, but to actually learn to know other people and how they think about the same things you do. And from my experience, the best way of doing that is to put yourself into the organizing position. It sounds weird. It's like you go to a meetup and you become an organizer? That's not actually what I'm talking about.
The majority of meetups are volunteer-based, and being part of the meetup community could be proposing topics that should be discussed or proposing a location it should be at or actually presenting a topic or just starting something or bringing more people to it. Like, contribution comes in many different forms. The whole point is just to make yourself part of the community rather than just a person who shows up. And that can be done by anyone. There's no minimum requirement for being a contributor to any kind of meetup or open source or anything else.
Just taking a step that goes farther than being physically in the room is contributing. And understanding how you can value that and see yourself as a contributor will help you move further in. - When I went to my first meetup, I was actually invited to talk about Swift programming. And I was a bit scared, because usually I only talked at my workplace, and I taught technical topics.
Still it was totally different to talk in front of people which I've never seen before. Still it turned out well and I loved it. I was invited multiple times. And I really liked it, and I received a lot of positive feedback. Those people were mostly students, not really experts or programmers who had a lot of experience. And they kept coming to me and asking me all kinds of questions.
And that was probably the best part of it. - So to support other developers, some of the suggestions that I have include sharing your knowledge and collaborating and getting to know the other developers more. So some examples of that in terms of sharing knowledge, that would include like going out to meetups or going onto GitHub and contributing and submitting pull requests.
- I don't think going to meetups is a replacement for having technical coworkers. I would say, kind of, the resources on the internet are more of a replacement. You know, if you're working by yourself, you're the only web person or the only tech person, sometimes, you know, you'll have an idea. You'll have a question about something. You need to run it by somebody. We're so lucky that on the internet right now there's so many websites where you can go to and ask questions and people will answer them. (upbeat electronic music)