Leanne Robinson principal account manager at DB Systel UK Limited tells us why you should attend tech meetups…even if you’re not technical!
Over the past few years technical meetups have appeared everywhere and Sheffield is no exception. In Sheffield we have meetups covering a diverse range of technical topics and they’re definitely not all about coding. We have meetups covering Cloud Computing, Machine Learning and Digital Leadership to name just a few. They’re usually free or low cost to attend and are organised for the mutual benefit and learning of those who want to attend.
Those who attend meetups are there on their own time and come from a range of different backgrounds, all having different experiences. What’s more, is that everyone is there because they want to participate in the community, learn and share their knowledge.
A typical meetup usually consists of two or three presentations on topics that are of interest to the group. Speakers range from those who are speaking for the first time to those who are very experienced but they’re all passionate about the topic they’re presenting. There is always time set aside for informal networking with other attendees as well.
You don’t have to come from a technical background or be in a technical role to benefit from attending a meetup. Neither do you have to be an expert in any field. Meetups bring together people of all experience levels and those who are subject matter experts are usually happy to help those who are less experienced develop.
Networking is a great opportunity to learn about what others are doing, how they’re using the technology in the real world and how they’re innovating in their organisation. You may leave having heard different perspectives and take away new ideas and inspirations. If you don’t, you’ll come away knowing a bit more about a technology and have an expanded network of contacts.
Be prepared to speak about your business challenges and the problems that you’ve been unable to solve. Also think about what you can contribute to the community and how you can help others to get a leg up. It can be difficult to attend an event for the first time, especially if you’re attending alone and don’t yet have connections to the other attendees. If you’re not comfortable attending alone lookout for buddying schemes where an experienced meetup attendee will take you under their wing and introduce you to the community.
Of course, while there are meetups established for many technologies there might not yet be one for the technology that you want to learn about, so why not start it yourself. All you need a space to meet and a few people who want to talk about the same subject.