My last article, “Taking Software Social in Minnesota“, covered local groups banding together to connect and collaborate over software. How are these groups driven and what is it like to lead one of these groups?
Chris Meyer (TCG): What draws members to a group?
A commonality between the two groups is focus. People are drawn to these groups because they seek to gain knowledge in a particular skillset.
Joel Miller: AngularMN meetings consistently contain discussions about Angular hot topics and members have the opportunity to share their Angular projects. Members can bring burning questions to the meetup and there’s always someone with a creative answer or solution. On top of all that, we always have a great time.
TCG: How have members benefited from being a part of the group?
Arguably, the greatest benefits of being a member of one of these groups is personal growth and networking. Members benefit by hearing experienced speakers discuss topics directly related to their field, as well as network with other members of the technology community. Joel noted that meetings give members an opportunity to hone their presenting skills and get valuable feedback on their work.
TCG: How have members given back to a group?
The members are the lifeblood of every group. They give back by being contributing members of the community; giving lightning talks, providing discussions through forums or mailing lists, and helping others solve coding problems they have brought to the group.
TCG: What is the typical interaction style of a group?
TCG: Do groups host or participate in community events?
Some groups have extended beyond their regular meetings.
Kevin: The group and TJ (Node project lead) was instrumental to the Cities for that rare opportunity. We also had Bert Belder of the Node core team present at one of our meetings, giving people in the community a chance to interact with these open source leaders. I think this is a solid service we’ve provided as a group.
TCG: Where do the speakers for sessions come from?
TCG: What if I can’t make it in person?
Making it to meetings can be difficult, if not impossible, for some. Thankfully, some groups provide a live feed so members can participate remotely.
TCG: What does the future look like for these groups?
Joel and Kevin indicated that their groups will continue to move forward, providing great content, insightful speakers, an inviting atmosphere and friendly people.
If you’ve found this inspiring but haven’t found a group that fits you, then you may want to consider starting one of your own. There’s a good chance that you’ll attract some like-minded locals who would love to be a part of it.