Why do or don't you go to meet ups?

(Chris) #21

Why I Go

  • To meet people who already agree with me so I can have a good time and feel like part of a group
  • To meet up with people I already know and respect
  • To put a proper person behind a blogger or twitter account
  • To explore new ideas and keep somewhat up to date with what other people might be doing.
  • To solve problems - sometimes I bring a problem I have and ask for something to help me solve it or a new way of approaching the problem.
  • Because I’m supposed to, in the eyes of my peers and future employers.

Why I Don’t Go

  • I find them hard to get to because I generally don’t drive
  • I don’t have a lot of spare time when you factor in my commute
  • Because I have a depression spell or panic attack or both.
  • Because I don’t know the people there and I’m not good with new groups
  • Because I do know the people there and I hate them or owe them money or something
  • It’s just a bunch of people in a room agreeing with each other with beer and ultimately has no value to my testing or the industry as a whole
  • Any talks etc are aimed at a newbie testing audience and I don’t get anything from them
  • I don’t like crowds
  • I don’t like noise
  • I don’t like catering food
  • Overwatch is having an event and there’s a Mercy skin I want, besides Total War: Warhammer 2 just came out, are you seriously suggesting I go sit in a pub?
  • Because I’m supposed to, in the eyes of my peers and future employers.

(conrad) #22
  • Because I do know the people there and I hate them or owe them money or something

Do you owe that many people money Chris? Finding that hard to believe.

(conrad) #23

Why I go

  • To network, and make contact with other testers who might help me change jobs at some future point
  • To find out which books, blogs and twitter accounts to check out
  • My local chapter meets at 8am, if I can still make it back to the office by teatime, I will go
  • Meet new testers, encourage them. And get guidance from old testers as we share through asking questions

Why I don’t go

  • I don’t like travelling too far for anything
  • I don’t much go to meetings in the evening due to Family Time, although am easily persuaded to join for beer/pizza

Puzzled why none of my co-workers go to local meetups, I think I scare them away… or they struggle with some of the issues above, most people I speak to have transport/location issues.

(Heather) #24

(Chris) #25

Look, man, like I said, you’re my top priority as soon as I get paid.

(Robert) #26

I never knew about meetups until I joined my current employer about a year ago. I found that one of my new colleagues was active in the testing community and he basically organised our going, added to which the employer actively supports and encourages us to participate. (This is unusual, I know.)

Why I go
I’ve enjoyed meeting other testers and finding out that there really is a testing community out there. It might have helped me earlier (when I was freelancing, not very successfully in terms of walking from one contract to another) but I suspect that most of the meetups are fairly new so perhaps they weren’t out there.

Being based in the Midlands, there is the question of distance, though I’m fortunate in that I drive, so time and distance aren’t such a problem for me. Plus not having family commitments helps. But when I was between roles, distance might have been more of a problem - benefits don’t really cover fuel costs and keeping a car on the road (the assumption is that you will work a short bus ride from home). But that’s an argument for another time.

Meetings have been important for meeting other testers and giving me ideas (sometimes even ones about testing!) and just generally exchanging information of all sorts.

Why I don’t go
From time to time, the meetups clash with other commitments of long standing; and they have to take priority. And as I have a fairly long commute (like so many others in IT generally), there have been times when I really haven’t felt like it. But those times have been fairly rare.

(Deborah) #27

I’ll go if the topic sounds interesting to my current interests/role, if i know someone going (preferably who I can arrive with), if the location is do-able and if it fits with my schedule of nights off, seeing friends, seeing family etc.

I like the Software Testing Clinic because it gives me a chance to learn, whilst also practising mentoring and giving back to the community. The free pizza and drink might help but is not enough alone to get me to go anywhere. I still prefer to go when I have a buddy, and timing wise I know it means I’m still home for 10pm :slight_smile:

I think some people think free food and booze is enough but not for me. (Also I don’t drink much and have a gluten intolerance).

(Robert) #28

There is one other reason why I do go to meetups.

The people who organise the Midlands meetups do it out of their own personal sense of involvement and belief in the tester community generally. They volunteer and give their own time to arrange it, in amongst all their other commitments to the Day Job and their families, etc. The same goes for the speakers who come to share their knowledge and experience.

The least I can do is actually turn up on the night, to acknowledge the time and effort that’s gone into organising not just that particular meetup but the whole ongoing series of events. I’ve helped organise events of various sorts in the past, so I know how gratifying it is to arrange a thing and have people turn up for it.

(David) #29

I would love to go to a meetup but most of them are a little to far away.

There used to be one in sunny Bournemouth but that stopped quite a while ago. I only went to a couple but we had Rob Lambert, Danny Dainton and John Stevenson turn up. I learnt a lot from those couple of meet ups.

I would go for the following reasons:

  1. I will meet meet like minded people
  2. I get to learn from others
  3. I can hopefully help others with my experiences
  4. We may end up in the pub :slight_smile:

Maybe I should start one in Bournemouth… :slight_smile:

(Andy) #30

I haven’t been to a meetup for a very long time. Primarily for me personally it comes down to available time. Additionally all need travel as the general technology scene is lacking in Fareham / Portsmouth area.

I also haven’t ever been to a testing event like for example TestBash…for me this comes down to cost as well as available time. I have been to developer expos in the past when I was still actively coding.

(Danny) #31

I remember that meetup - Seems like a life time ago. Rob wrote a blog about it (Some awkward photos of us both in there too :slight_smile: ) http://thesocialtester.co.uk/test-retreat-bournemouth/

(Michelangelo van Dam) #32

Hey Kim,

As a community leader, professional and business owner I go to meetups with a triple agenda:

  • As community leader: I need to stay in touch with the community, learn about their wishes and concerns and get to know new members to the community.
  • As professional: I like to learn new concepts, ideas and tools presented at meetups and meet other professionals with whom I can exchange contact information for those moments you need specific expertise.
  • As business owner: I need to know where the industry is heading to, what problems are current and how our own business can offer services to these businesses solving those problems.

Not only I go to the “local” meetups, but because of my role in the community I can go anywhere in the world and speak at their event. Often when I travel for business, I reach out to the community in that area so I know when their meetups are taking place to match my travel schedule.

Unfortunately the people you see at meetups (and conferences) are only 1% of all professionals out there, which I feel is a missed opportunity for many, but this is purely my personal view.