Networking, Before and After meetup.com
May 08, 2018
Networking is hard, but important: It is important, because it connects you to others that share your interests or needs, and you can learn from them and with them.
It is hard, because you might be wasting your time, if you are not connecting to communities that match your interests. This is equally true for your professional and personal interests.
Since 2007, I enjoyed SPIN, the Software Process Improvement Network, here in Cape Town: I attended their events regularly. Particularly valuable was the crossover between technical and process oriented topics covered: One talk might have been about a brand new feature of the Ruby on Rails framework, the next talk about specific challenges when applying Agile methodologies to corporates.
Later I joined the committee, to help organize the events, and thereby give back to the community.
In 2015 it happened that more and more rather specific interest groups appeared in Cape Town, supported by the upcoming meetup.com platform: The platform allowed individuals to join many groups with little effort, to be notified about their events, and to pick and choose. For SPIN, it became harder and harder to find topics and speakers that didn’t overlap or conflict with those many meetup groups coming up. We also felt that the need for a networking group that spans tech and process topics may not that important any more.
As a consequence, we decided to close down SPIN.
Since then, meetup.com has been a rich source of connections for me, allowing me to connect to specific groups easily, and meet interesting people and topics. See my meetup.com profile here.
The image above is from SPIN’s 84th meeting in 2012.
Written by Chris Oloff who lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa, building useful things. You should follow him on Twitter