In April 2019, I've moved from a medium-sized city in Poland to London, one of the biggest cities in Europe, with really big front-end community.
One of the first things that I've started to explore, was attending front-end meetups. Recently I started to wonder what is it about meetups, that makes me still want to attend?
I'll try to write down a few reasons. I'm really curious what are your reasons for attending meetups or what keeps you away from attending them?
I'm obviously joking, as it's the least important part, but it's always nice to treat yourself with a complimentary slice of pizza and drink. It truly helps to gather people in one space and start a bit of networking (I'll get back to networking a bit later though).
It may sound weird but I'm not looking for new knowledge there. I look for inspiration. People have great ideas, they are passioned about what they do. It gives you a kick of positive energy to explore new things, to try harder, to find new ways of enjoying it.
Attending local meetups can help you understand current trends and what's popular at the moment (React Hooks were on the list of almost every single meetup I attended in last few months, so were PWAs last year). Thanks to that, you can try to follow the new technologies and stay up to date
If you ever thought about public speaking, the first step can be to attend local meetups and observe the speakers. How do they talk? What's their body language? How does their slide deck look like? When the crowd seems to be more interested? What tricks do they use to engage people? What mistakes did they make?
It's just something different, then watching Netflix, going to the pub with friends or playing sports. It doesn't require any effort from you and it doesn't cost you a dime. Might come handy when the payday is far away and you already spent your budget for entertainment that month.
Surprise your work friends with some cool new thing you've seen on meetup and gain those RESPECT POINTS.
I promised to get back to that topic, and I purposely haven't put number 7 next to the title. Networking is something that you can try to do during meetups, but I find it surprisingly difficult. Part of the problem is definitely that I'm a massive introvert and I find it uncomfortable and stressful to speak to people I don't know. If there's one pro tip that I can give people like me is, try to come to the conference a few minutes after the doors are open. There will be most likely only a couple of people, not too many so it's easier to start talking to someone, but at the same time, you won't be sitting there alone waiting for other people to come.
There are few meetups that I genuinely like and I think people who organise them are doing a great job, so if you are currently living in London, I highly recommend those meetups:
What are your reasons [to attend]/[not to attend] local meetups?
What are your favourite meetups in your town?