Lindsay Does a Meetup

Being someone who has always found value in surrounding themselves with clever and creative individuals, I'm generally keen on attending local community Meetup groups. These deal with a fairly wide range of development topics, from languages I'd only heard about to 'passion topics' of mine, such as front end development languages.

After attending Meetups for a good year or so, I began considering the idea of being a speaker myself. But - that would mean I'd have to speak! I'd been around enough to know there are some very high calibre speakers out there - how would I stack up?

Thus began a period of procrastionation, like someone waiting to jump in on a game of skip-rope – then the moment presented itself, and I jumped.

Being a fairly regular twitter user (@lindsay_jopson) I had made friends with quite a few people in the meetup community. One of them suggested my city had the need for a CSS meetup and "@lindsay_jopson this should be you". I quickly replied with this piece of poetry:

“I could do one...."

Then came
“Do it."

So, I did.

I jumped onto www.meetup.com, started the CSS group and tweeted out to the twittersphere.

After two days there were just over 50 members of the group. People were obviously keen to get involved. 

I set up an event date (around two months away) and started looking for speakers.

I never really went into this thinking I’d definitely speak myself. I knew I could, and probably would at some stage, however I felt the main goal of the group should be to provide a platform for local, like-minded people to share and be shown alternative or new ways to do the thing they are passionate about.

Working in web development, it’s clear that technologies are changing with lightning speed.  So, how do we know we’re doing the right thing, and how do we keep up?

Part of the answer is … talk to people. Blogs and websites will go so far to provide information, but put me infront of a passionate developer who has personal experience in a technology and I’ll soak it up.

But, back to the Meetup.

The basics were covered: fundamentals by Terabyte (venue / beer / pizza) and we had three confirmed speakers: Kevin Isom(@kev_nz), Jessica Alouette (@JessicaAlouette) & myself.

On the day, we had a full house (35 was all we could realistically fit) but the group had a member count of 160+ people.

It was a 6:30pm kickoff - after a quick meet and greet everyone proceeded to catch up, mingle, work the room, whatever it’s called.  It was great to see.

“So”, I thought. “This is a thing now”.

There were talks, there were laughs and there was cricket to be watched (World Cup Semi Finals, anyone?).

Kevin Isom talked about using NPM & CSS. An interesting take on the ability to use NPM as a way to pull in your CSS - like you do with other code, like Javascript. His slides can be seen here

Jessica Alouette gave us a great hands-on demo using Sass to compile her CSS which sparked a large amount of interest and certainly an opportunity to expand on in future meetups. 

I spoke about CSS transitions and their varying impacts on browsers when using different transition methods - slides are available here.

Having planned my first Meetup group, and been a speaker at the event, I can honestly say it’s a fantastic way to meet passionate, fun and amazing people in your industry. This was my first experience of speaking and organising and I’m most definitely doing more.

Watch this space!