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Cover image for Introducing a New Initiative: IRL.DEV
The DEV Team

Introducing a New Initiative: IRL.DEV

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・2 min read

As was discussed in this post yesterday, meeting up irl is awesome.

No, we aren't (yet) announcing a first conference, but we are introducing an initiative to help our community members organize and bridge the online-offline gap.

The such community-led event actually happened last night in New York City, with support from DEV staff but not officially run by us. Some of us were in attendance and it was absolutely awesome. It got us really excited about this going forward.

We had speakers we recognized from the community, and lots of familiar faces. We also had new faces who were being introduced to DEV for the first time. (Speakers are absolutely not necessary for a great meetup by the way, feel free to organize less structured gatherings).

If you would be interested in organizing a meetup in your city, visit our new website:

✨ IRL.DEV ✨

We expect organizers to be able to commit to managing their meetups on an ongoing basis and being in touch with us to help enriching, inclusive events.

This new website is an open source project, and because it is separate from our main mothership, contribution should be fairly low-barrier. As of now it is mostly designed for accepting applications to organize events, but we can evolve it together to be a hub for information about how the community is organizing itself.

Bridging the online-offline gap in creative ways will be a fun project all in all. 😄

GitHub logo thepracticaldev / IRL.DEV

There's nothing better than meeting your internet friends, IRL.

There's nothing more awesome than meeting your internet friends, IRL

About the Project

IRL.DEV is a site that features real-life events from volunteer members of the DEV Community.

It is built with Gatsby and Airtable.

Installation

Install Gatsby

npm install -g gatsby-cli

Clone the repository

git clone git@github.com:thepracticaldev/IRL.DEV.git

Change into the project

cd IRL.DEV

Install the dependencies

npm i

Set up a link to your development database. Here is the database, click the copy base button.

If you haven't generated you API key already go to https://airtable.com/account and generate your Airtable API key now.

Then, go to your copied base and look at its API documentation. If you go to the help button on the top right, and click on API documentation. Go to the node.js or JavaScript tab. You should see a line of code that looks like this:

const base = require("airtable")
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

It's a Gatsby site, which is an experiment in a different approach for our team and it should be a lot of fun to see where this goes. @aspittel lead the way in making this happen.

Discussion

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_bigblind profile image
Frederik 👨‍💻➡️🌐 Creemers

Would it be possible to use this site to gauge interest?

For example, I could enter that I live in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and I'd be willing to travel up to 100km. Then, someone wanting to organize a meetup can see how many people are interested in a meetup in that area, or if they're close to several cities, can think about which cities make sense to have a meetup.

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katieadamsdev profile image
Katie Adams

Second this idea; it's a good'un.

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taillogs profile image
Ryland G

Great idea! I might be interested in organizing some events (live on sunnyvale/cupertino border). Are you guys open to having another company run some events (for example my startup might be interested)?

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Yep. Yesterday's event was run by TheSkimm, and they gave a spiel before things started about who they were and why you might want to come work there, etc.

That seems like a great pattern for this kind of thing. I'll add that to the site right away.

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taillogs profile image
Ryland G

Very cool. Think there would be a lot of interest in my area. I'll talk to my team and we'll be in touch :)

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peter profile image
Peter Kim Frank

Yeah, to echo Ben, we feel like having companies involved with these events is very natural and mutually beneficial. After all, businesses have established access to space (especially after regular working hours), they'll oftentimes be in a position to sponsor food/drink, and they can benefit from a tasteful "pitch" during the event.

As the project evolves, we'll be outlining more guides and best-practices, but my Connect Inbox is also open if you'd like to chat before then.

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taillogs profile image
Ryland G

Makes a ton of sense. I think my team would love to support a community event like this. We'll talk soon :)

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sarahjanemorris profile image
Sarah-Jane Morris

OMG I love this! Boom - hey hey to fellow Montreal dev.to members! I'm waiting till September so we can really make this as awesome as possible.
eventbrite.com/e/dev-irl-montreal-...

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Awesome! I don't think I'll be able to come even though I've been meaning to go to Montreal (I have two siblings who live there).

September 18th is my birthday 😄

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Thanks to @dangolant for hosting the first irl.dev event at The Skimm btw. Awesome stuff!!

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dangolant profile image
Daniel Golant

our pleasure!!! Thanks for letting us try out the first one :)

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Ben Sinclair

I think it's a good idea, but I have a few comments.

First off, I know it's early days, but it's unclear from the site whether it's about:

  • specifically creating events in the name of dev.to
  • organising other events and listing them if they may be of interest to dev.to members
  • cataloguing externally-organised events that may be of interest to dev.to members
  • something related to development in general but not specificaly dev.to

We have existing projects sharing open data, like open tech calendar for example. Is there likely to be data fed to and from dev.irl in some standard(ish) way that other services supply or consume, or is it going to be about members curating their own events?

What's the purpose of it being on a separate URL? That adds to my confusion, as a naive visitor, as to whether it's intended to be a separate entity.

The word "dev" is very general, and (like you can see with things like the comments on the D&D alignment tweet from a few days ago) it doesn't have the recognition of names like Reddit or SO, which might muddy the waters a little if people think it's a generic site when it's actually tied.

Is it going to be fed back into the main dev.to site as part of people's feeds?

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

I think this is all valid feedback and we'll try to take it all into account.

specifically creating events in the name of dev.to

This is the closest to what we intend. Less in the name of but more for those people specifically involved in our community. We will have more tie in with dev.to itself as we flesh this out but we felt like standing up a new website would help this initiative have its own special kind of weight which wouldn't be hampered by needing to fit it into the main product right now. We will be looking to create more interesting integrations as we make these work but have to start somewhere and we didn't want to be too top heavy.

The choice of the other domain is as much an experiment as anything. If we are able to create an ecosystem of fun, healthy events one way or another we have accomplished the goal. In terms of the difficulties with DEV, dev.to and naming this thing in general we're still trying to find the right answers there.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I think it's going to be cool.

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Matteo Joliveau

Awesome! We at Mikamai already foster a lot of community-led events, providing the location and logistical support communities need in order to organize successful meetups. I already got in touch with my colleagues over at community support in order to try and organize an Italian chapter here in Milan, it would be a great opportunity for everyone!

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owen profile image
owen

That sounds awesome, maybe one day I'll organize a conference on my campus :)

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Awesome! Maybe start by doing a meetup 😉

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owen profile image
owen

Yeah, I'd certainly start with that ! :)

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Awesome, submit the form on irl.dev and we'll get going!

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owen profile image
owen

Okay, I'll talk about it around me to organize it, then when it's done I can fill out the form with all the necessary informations :). Or can we become an organizer without necessarily providing all the requested informations (date, Link to event page, ...)?

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Amara Graham

Love taking this community IRL!

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Mehdi Vasigh

I've been interested in organizing some type of Meetup sponsored by my workplace in Houston, TX and this seems like good timing! I am very interested in being an organizer in the city and will go to my manager to gauge their interest in sponsoring and possibly hosting.

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thefern profile image
Fernando B 🚀

I am in Houston too. I too wonder if my company would let me use our conference rooms on the weekend lol we got a whole building to ourselves.

The main auditorium can hold quite a few. I'll ask around, and see what is the proper way to go about it.

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Katie Adams

Is this just happening in the US/Canada at the moment, or can friends across the pond participate too? Thinking it would be great if my university knew about this great site and these sort of opportunities. :)

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jefferyhus profile image
El Housseine Jaafari

Is this possible in other countries? If yes I would love to set-up an event.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Yes, all countries.

In fact, that’s probably the biggest reason we want this to be community-driven and not necessarily top-down organized by us. There are so many community members all over the world and we don’t want this to be restricted geographically in any way.

Just fill out the form on irl.dev so we can be aware and help out however we can.

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jefferyhus profile image
El Housseine Jaafari

Definitely will organize a meetup, workshop or an event soon. Thanks for the work guys and really appreciate your efforts.

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binarydigit profile image
Liz Rodriguez

YAYAY thank you for this! Great idea :)

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ben profile image
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Bruno Paz

Great initiative!

Might try to organize something in Porto, Portugal. Need to get some ideas first ;)

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Maniflames

This is super cool! If anyone happens to be located in the Netherlands, let's try this 😄

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Fill out the form and we can help you get started and find other organizers if you’re not up for it yourself. 😊

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maniflames profile image
Maniflames

Definitely!

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bigj1m profile image
Jim Plourde

I swear one day I'll come right from Canada down to NYC and spend an awesome night with the crème de la crème people from dev.to

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sarahjanemorris profile image
Sarah-Jane Morris

If you're in Montreal or nearby Jim, I'm planning this one for September! eventbrite.com/e/dev-irl-montreal-...

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bigj1m profile image
Jim Plourde

Yes, I'm very close to Montreal (somewhere in the woods but still). I'll consider it really. Is there a facebook post to follow up later ? The only downfall is it's in the middle of the week and there is some hours involved to get to mtl. During the semester if there is something early the next day, it's harder. I'll try

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El Housseine Jaafari

One day I will come to canada :D

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John Pham

Any interest for a meet up in Seattle?

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

That would be great!

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu

Exciting News!

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daveskull81 profile image
dAVE Inden

I love this idea! This is a great idea. I will definitely keep an eye on the project. I'd love to help and contribute to the project. :)

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Hugo Torzuoli

Thinking about bringing it in France.. 👌

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Omri Gabay

Are we encouraged to organize meetups within our workplaces?

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Aaron Powell

Ooo nifty team!

If someone in Sydney (Australia, not Canada 😝) looks to start one up drop me a line as I'd be happy to help but I'm not in a position to run it myself. ☹

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Stephanie Handsteiner

Nice one, if someone in the Cologne area, Germany, wants to get something going drop me a line. I’d be happy to help. 👌

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Mikhail Korolev

That sounds amazing! I love the stack, having something as Airtable to back it all up is a great idea. Also, excited to fill up the first issue 🐛

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ben profile image
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Bárbara Perdigão

Can I feel out the form even though I don't have specific ideas for events yet? I'd love to organize a meetup group in my city (Belo Horizonte, Brazil), but I still have to think about the details.

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Desi

This is great! I'd love to run/be part of a Chicago group!

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Bhupesh Varshney 👾

Can we organise it as a Local Chapter ?
(We are thinking to make a github organisation for this)