Meetups. Community development way
Recently a lot of new technologies in web-development have been appearing. Some of them look promising. However, when you choose either one of them for commercial development you automatically face such issues:
- Constant changing of architecture and work principles of technology;
- Lack of documentation;
- Lack of use-cases;
- Lack of programmers-followers, articles etc.
You have two options:
- Try to figure out all the pitfalls of new technology Yourselves and to wait until the technology “flies” and the number of innovators generating a lot of content grows (this will substantially save your time and nerves).
- Participate and develop a community of innovators of this technology and take advantage of the growth in the number of like-minded people.
And there are a lot of advantages in developed community around the technology. They are, for example:
- an opportunity to consult with a large number of developers;
- using written open-source packages, facilitating the development;
- availability of developers to implement projects, and hence which leads to potential employers.
Such circulation creates an even greater number of projects in this technology and further develops it.
When, in the end of summer of 2015, we needed reinforcement to our projects in Meteor, there just weren’t people who had had an experience working with it to be found in Lviv. Many people have heard about it, but never used it. The reason — the lack of successful use-cases and understanding of the benefits of this technology.
We sorted it out in ethical way. We have started advancing Meteor developers community in Ukraine. We had put interests of developers on the first place, and company benefits were left as a side effect.
It was keen approach. Programmers have joined the community not as an initiative of a particular company, they have joined their “buddies”.
First meetup was held in September 2015 in its native city of Lviv. Topic of the report had been announced (our CTO was the speaker), we ordered pizza, made stickers, set up a meeting on Meetup.com. Almost 50% of the 22 registered showed up. Facebook served as a main advertisement.
A few days later we organised Lviv cell of world’s famous hackathon on our technology. Unfortunately the turnout was below 20%. We concluded from this particular experience that meetings with speakers work more effectively.
The third meetup’s top theme was connected with Meteor and React native. About 100 people registered and the community made considerable leap in growth. I’ll note that this time we had advertised in all sorts of social groups and thematic mailing lists. The most effective was DOU’s mailing list.
Our group (besides Meetup service, we are on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube) initially was started in English. It attracts foreign programmers and customers who desire to hire cool programmers. CEO and CTO of Chicago startup, who came to Lviv to look for a team of developers, took part in our fourth meetup.
In spring, we conducted the expansion to the capital. Kyiv Community was dormant so we took the organisation of the meetup into our own hands. In March of this year, Kyiv meetup was held.
During the six month period of community development based on 5 meetups, we derived 5 key components of success:
- One meetup each couple of months
- hot topic with good speaker
- good announcement
- pizza afterwards
Because of holding technological meetups, the community around the technology has increased significantly and is growing at a steady pace. Programmers see use-cases at those meetups, talk to more experienced colleagues and they are able to find work with most interesting employers. Well-held meetups generate new speakers and even more followers of the new technology.