Last week I attended the South-West mobile meetup night talk in Bristol. Interesting topics, interesting people and pizza and coke for free guaranteed a great experience.
“What is a meetup?”
A meetup is a fancy word for meeting people that are interested in the same topics and talk about them. In this special case the meetup was organized via meetup.com, a social network that makes it easy to find and attend such meetings in your area. Of course there are others way to find each other, just search for “usergroup”.
“And did you like it?”
Absolutely. I attended only one meetup in Germany before and thought that the talks may be to fast to understand for a non-native-speaker or that all people already know each other and I am the only outsider, but that was not at all the case. The “SWmobile talk night on Prototyping & Rapid Application Development” was a great way to spend an evening in Bristol, where I am currently working.
The meetup started at 7 pm in the rooms of cloudant, a database outsourcing provider, who also provided beer and pizza for the attendants. Great!
There were a little less than 40 people and the room was quite full, so the talks started fast to enable a timeslot for a little break after the first two talks.
The topics of the talks varied between user experience testing, game design methods and the actual implementation of prototypes.
One presentation by gavd is also available as a blogpost. During his presentation he mentioned his book “Deal with it – Attitude for Coders” which I took for a joke, but it exists and is now next on my reading list.
After the talks with took about 10 minutes each the most interesting part started: Visiting the pub. “The Hatchet Inn” was chosen, arguably the oldest pub in Bristol. I knew and liked it after some visits with my colleagues and the atmosphere in which goths, elder people, metalheads and students meet is really nice.
Everyone ordered a cider, a beer or something else and talked about the newest developments regarding mobile operating systems, specific implementation problems, the newest spare-time project or the company one was working for. Everyone had a story to tell, be it the Android game that is in development since 12 months, the move to Berlin to take part in a Accelerator program or the working conditions as a freelancer. It was a wild mix of professionals and amateurs, developers and designers, people working 30 years in the industry and newbies.
I really would encourage everyone to take a look at usergroups or meetups in their area. A great way to learn to know new people and new stuff.