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Attending My 1st Meetup

ryan_furrer profile image Ryan Furrer ・3 min read

What Is Meetup?

Meetup is self-described as “Meetup is a platform for finding and building local communities.” It’s a website where you can look for groups in your area that are full of people that share a similar interest with you. The groups tend to be themed such as sports, improv and acting, or in the case of the one I attended last night, JavaScript!

I joined the group Long Island JavaScript Group a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t wait to attend their monthly meeting. So, let’s talk more about it.

Meetup Agenda

While every meetup is different, they tend to stick to some sort of an agenda, from my understanding. The one I attended went from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm and contained two presentations – the first was on OWASP’s (Open Web Application Security Project) top ten security risks as of 2017. The second was a presentation of a current Bootcamp attendees 1st demo web app, a workout tracker using Ruby on Rails and JS.

What Was It Like?

While neither presentation was immediately useful to me, it was still a great experience. I got to meet real web developers – it was exciting for me to see web devs in the wild.

Networking is a huge reason to attend Meetups – 99% of the attendees last night were already working in the field which could help me in a couple of ways:

  1. Everyone there is a new source of knowledge I didn’t have before
  2. When it comes time to look for jobs it is going to be crucial to know people who may help me break into this brand-new industry…brand new for me, that is.

The networking alone is reason enough for you to start attending Meetups if you haven’t already. Depending on your skill level some of the content will likely be over your head, but that’s okay! There are multiple reasons one should attend something like this.

People were friendly and easy to talk to. Nobody was condescending in the slightest about me having done this for just a few months (at the time of writing). On the contrary, everyone was super supportive which was great!

Side note: If you are not already, please find parts of the coding community where you belong. The super arrogant & obnoxious 1% is exactly that – 1% of all the coders and developers out there. Everyone else is super helpful, supportive, and encouraging which is exactly what newbies need.

What’s next?

I am looking forward to more Meetups! I’ve found another local group called Developer Deep Dives which I am greatly looking forward to as well. If you are shy or socially anxious, do what you can to get out there and meet people! A great first step would just be attending one of these, even if you don’t speak to anyone – you can work on that for your 2nd one.

I eventually hope to speak at a Meetup. Being a former professional musician, performing (or speaking) in front of a crowd does not bother me. In fact, I perform better under that pressure, so I am very much looking forward to presenting something. Whether it be my portfolio and projects, a JS app I am working on, or talking about beginner topics I feel comfortable in.

In my short few months on this journey this community on Twitter, Discord, Meetups, and more have already given me so much that I can’t wait to give back.

Posted on by:

ryan_furrer profile

Ryan Furrer

@ryan_furrer

I am a Junior Front-End Web Developer looking for his first job in the field. I am learning and implementing the best practices in modern web development using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, and SASS.

Discussion

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Nice! I just went to my first meetup on Saturday here in Tucson and it was really fun. Besides the meetup organizer, all the attendees were first-timers, which was cool in a different way because we could all relate. Some (like me) were attempting the self-taught route, others had just completed boot camps, and some were just starting their programs. It was cool to see everyone answer each other's questions based on different tech we've encountered on our journeys so far.

 

That's awesome! Yeah there was a good mix of people at mine that had went to Bootcamps, were self-taught, or got a CS degree from college.

I'm glad you had a good time - how often does yours meet?

 

Once every couple months... but I'm hoping to find some time encourage my fellow newbies to get together for some study sessions.

If you ever want to get together over Discord I'm more than happy to study with you!

So long I know what you want to study 😂

 

So glad your first experience was as awesome as it sounds! As someone who is an awkward panda in these type of social situations, I am still trying to calm my nerves and plan to can attend my first one soon for women in tech. Next one is in September!

 

That's so exciting, Ann! September will be here before you know it :)
A lot of web devs struggle with social anxiety so just remember that you are not alone.

 

Ryan I felt really identified with your article.
My first meetup was actually a huge event held in Alicante (VUE day). I couldn't event catch a word. I was just starting.
But it was great to meet people and, as you say, find out that they always encourage newbies!

 

Hey Nadine,

That must've been something else - I'm glad you still enjoyed it!

I would love to go to a conference of some type!