Posted on: 06 February 2014
Two days to go to the next meetup, the first after we’ve set up a group on Meetup.com (and these pages!). While 11 is not such a big number, it is more people participating than at previous meetings. Also, the range of backgrounds is more diverse than before.
This has prompted me to write down some thoughts, perhaps as a starting point to develop some guidelines. I believe there will need to be some structure to make it all work.
Each session will run from 10am to 2pm and we’ve agreed to have one or more workshops per session. The workshops are unlikely to take the full 3 or 4 hours and, once they are over, people are free to stay on to work on something, or just to chat - or both!
The workshop themselves could be of many different types: Working through a script with help from a coach or coaches, Coding Dojo, a talk explaining concepts with a challenge afterwards, a “surgery” with questions from the audience..
A certain level of coding/programming skill will be necessary to get something out of these sessions, but everybody is welcome to attend. Moreover, everybody whatever their skill or experience level is, should feel encouraged to share their knowledge, and give a presentation.
We are planning to write some documentation for every session. Ideally this documentation would come from the people presenting, but it should not be a prerequisite for somebody doing a workshop.
Working together on a project?
Our original aim was to work together on a project, and learn new techniques that way. But for various reasons this turned out to be quite challenging:
a, It took a relatively long (but enjoyable) brain-storming session to come up with a project
b, In the next phase, we found that we had different idea how to approach things. It can be difficult making decisions as a team, it’s easier if you have a manager (or a client!)
c, Simple time constraints. Clients waiting and looming deadlines meant that not everybody could devote enough time to keep working on it.
Saying that, we have not given up on this idea, and I’d be interested to hear from people who have experience with something similar, for example from working on an Open Source project.