So, I found myself at a local dev meetup last night.
I was hesitant to attend, to say the least.
I didn't want to sit through some useless talk just to learn something I didn't care about or already knew. I really cared more about connecting with people in a similar spot who could share how they overcame a particular problem.
When I arrived (after a 45 minute drive), I was pleasantly surprised by good parking, a spread of food, and beer on tap. Thanks to business.com for being great hosts.
I wasn't sold yet though.
As I sat in a room with 25-30 other people and the first presentation started, I was half-expecting a nasally voice would rudely interject at any moment and say "No no no. That is all wrong. You should be passing the third parameter as a Boolean, you idiot." or a similar statement.
It didn't happen though. There were only humble interjections with helpful tips welcomed by the presenters. There were five "lightning talks" and all the topics were actually pretty good.
There were only humble interjections with helpful tips welcomed by the presenters
This particular meetup was the SDPHP meetup. They meet twice a month (once in Downtown and once in North County). It was started about a year and a half ago by John Congdon (@johncongdon) and he has done a great job creating an enjoyable group that is welcoming and helpful. I will definitely be coming back to this group.
While, coding is only a part of the battle when building products, having good resources (like a strong dev community) is still important. Personally, the value I got out of this event was more about the connections and just getting a better feel for the pulse of the local PHP dev community. I'm not just talking about some forum somewhere. There are people that I feel like I can actually reach out to and get a good advice and vice versa (even if it is just in #sdphp on freenode).
This meetup is just further evidence of the thriving and growing tech community in San Diego.