Well it looks like our first meetup was a success! Four people showed up. While it may seem small, this seems like a great start to me!
CoLab's TechWorking Event
I started the night off at the Grandin Colab's TechWorking event, which was geared towards the tech scene in Blacksburg and Roanoke. At the last minute, I moved the location of our meetup from Salem to Grandin because I had a feeling that I'd network at TechWorkers and could rally some troops there who were interested in Ruby and AngularJS.
Turns out, I was right!
What is a Star.rb meetup like?
So after some engaging conversation at TechWorkers, our meetup met at CUPS at 7:00pm. We spent the time getting to know each other, trading tips and tricks of the trade.
Chase discussed the similarities and differences between Rails and PHP frameworks. I talked about using Ember on my current project for work and overcoming some common issues with ember-data. I also spoke briefly about using Lineman on an Angular project. Sean, who I met at TechWorking, discussed how using Grunt to automate frontend tasks has saved him a lot of time. Habeeb, a sharp young guy who drove all the way out from Bedford, wowwed us all with his Tmux configuration.
We have a grand plan!
Our first few informal meetups will combine Star.rb and ng-star and this will continue until each group has their first official meetup. We're calling these small meetups Sidechannels, because they're small events on the side. Also, a sidechannel is a bit of cryptography trivia, for those in the know.
Our meetup group encourages members to host Sidechannels of their own. These events will be sanctioned and advertised on Meetup.com. This should help us grow. There are several areas within an hour of Roanoke that are just too small to develop large meetup groups of their own: Lynchburg, Staunton, etc. Blacksburg has an very active tech community. But an hour may be too far for some to travel, so having these small events on the side encourages members to stay active and further involvement in their area. It should also help us identify the untitled leaders in our meetup group.