For the love of code
As a software developer for almost 8 years, I have had the experience of working at both, a product based and a services based company. At both these companies, I worked with technologies, such as Ruby on Rails and Blockchain, which were not very common in the local market so the only way for me to get support was through online communities.
In my experience, online communities are great for common problems that other people have faced before, but for one-off problems you cannot always get a response in time. I have always found it much easier to pick up the phone and call someone you know as compared to posting a question online. Hence it has always been of very high importance for me to know the right people in the local community.
And it’s not simple.
Over the last two years, I have been a part of several major business, technology and industry events such as:
While all of the above are doing a great job at focusing on things such as Ideas, Inspiration, Creativity, Digital Skills, Digital Awareness, Product / Business Development, Policy Making, Civic Innovation and Entrepreneurship — I have been unable to find one community that:
- meets regularly and not just once or twice a year
- talks about code, except code.org — but that’s mostly for schools and at a basic level
- talks about software development — development not just as a service but as a dynamic, never-ending process
- talks about software developers —developers as creatives who don’t only write code, but solve complex problems — what is best for them, what skills should they focus on to make the most of their time, how can they manage their work-life balance.
So, Inspired by Nida Salman’s Islamabad chapter of CreativeMornings, a breakfast lecture series for the creative community, Motivated by Adrian Bridgwater’s article about how to build a happy developer community, and driven by my own personal desire to strengthen the software development community, I present to you DEVENINGS (short for developer evenings)
A casual monthly gathering for all local software developers irrespective of the tools, technologies and products they work on. Devenings aims to have regular local community meetups with:
- a monthly theme.
- open access for anyone to attend, irrespective of the tools & technologies they work with. Anyone who loves to code, or appreciates good elegant code can join!
- open access to developers in other cities around the world to register, create their own chapter and host a monthly event based on the monthly theme.
Some of the key benefits are listed below:
- Face to face connections — Because we believe it is still the best way for understanding people and connecting with them.
- Build confidence, communication and problem solving skills — With help of ice breaker activities, networking sessions and panel discussions
- Learn about local trends and problems — What projects, programming languages and tools are trending locally, top emerging technologies, what are the top local problems to be solved.
- Grow together — By sharing knowledge and helping each other.
However, the real reward from a community cannot be quantified as Abhinav Asthana, CEO of Postman says:
“This ‘real response’ factor can be priceless for both the programmers and the organizers of the community. As an organizer, providing immediate gratification to and from community members creates a consistent flow of communication that brings awareness to bugs, suggestions for better tools and features that can help everyone become better developers”
and in Adrian Bridgwater’s words
Asthana insists that people-to-people knowledge is key. He says that fostering a spontaneous community provides developers with a platform to connect with each other as both individuals and as groups. The goal here is the creation of a meaningful network of [human] connections where the sharing of knowledge is both impulsive and instinctive.
Beyond Community Meetups
In addition to regular local community meetups, we also aim to organize and curate hands-on workshops and trainings for emerging technologies as well as any need based technical training for developers based on the needs of their local tech industry that will enable them to grow and achieve more!
With the help of local partners and sponsors, my supercharged tea and I successfully launched Devenings in January 2019 in Islamabad and we are now all set to launch devenings in other cities around the world.
May the force be with us all!
Your friendly neighborhood developer,
And become an active member of your local developer community!