What does going to a tech user group meetup look like to you in 2024?

I’ve been reflecting on what it means to build community lately.

I think back to my earlier days when I used to go to a meetup in St.Louis called.
Code till dawn. I really missed this meetup,

But not because it:

  • had all the best presenters
  • it was only about a given tech stack
  • it was a tool to find employment
  • it was remote and online

No rather I miss this meetup because of how informal and casual and diverse it was.
At the end of the day it was just a group of nerds hanging out doing their own thing in pairs.
No egos, No grandiose presentation, No I need treat this like its a job.

This space created an environment that anyone could come and join and engage.
If you looked into this event what you seen was everyone engaged all the time, the whole time, until they had their fill and moved on.

I also miss the psychical world. These meetings normally had not been held at that time in some tech company but rather at a cafe or restaurant. I understand why this is not great for formal presentations but again that was never the issue at this given meetup. It could be loud and that was mostly due to the full level of engagement which is a good indication.

Now fast forward till today. Look at how stuffy we have become. Everyone can’t come to said location so everyone must be online remote, thus only one person is ever talking and its always soap boxing. No one else really gets to engage unless its solely in one direction.

Its also to hyper focused. "This is only ever about X, Y or Z, but never about A, B and C.

So what is all this ranting about you maybe wondering at this point?

Today I’m starting to re invision what it means to have a local tech community.
But I also want to support my local economy by going out and eating at different local spots.

So much of the tech flight that has left my city has also caused a great deal of harm to the local economy. Or own mayor is asking companies to make people come back to work so they spend their money at the local cafes, shops ect.

I think covid is still affecting us in a negative way and I hope coming back together in a local setting helps restore some of what we lost

So with that I’m starting a site today, https://tastybyte.org

I’m gonna hopefully build a platform for connecting local groups with local restaurants/cafes/pubs ect to host meetups.

I think 2024 need to be IRL again.

I would love to hear your likes and reservations about this idea. I’m still a long ways form my first event but I’m not gonna stop now :slight_smile:


Good luck!

I always wished I had these kind of meetings in my country, my development career was very lonely, as I can’t stand people with ego over their head, and I could never afford to go to any conferences abroad to meet any new interesting people.

If you manage to get it right maybe you will share the recipe with us, so we could try to do this too locally.


Well first and foremost everything I end up making is going under MIT license so all will be welcome to use. GitHub - tastybyte-org/tastybyte.org: TastyByte.org is a opensource tech user group meetup website with a focus on connecting local venues with informal tech usergroup meetups

Second: I’m working to figure out how to facilitate connecting with venues that can support said event and also is a good fit for the size of the expected party and hopefully set dates that work best for not just the venue but also the group.

Third: I’m not going to require any user registration to use the system at its basic level.
I want this to be as simple as just showing up and maybe making a small announcement via notifications.

Forth: I want it to be as informal as the group wants. The focus here is on community, networking and entertainment. Not so much academic or professional.

The first pass will likely look like Foursquare without all the tracking meets a very simplified version of meetup.com using OSM.

At the end of the day I want artists to show up, I want musicians to show up, I want devs of every kind to show up. I just want people not their job titles


One of the things we tried here at the Elixir.berlin meetup that was quite fun was the unconference format: What’s an Open Space UNconference and how will it work? « Agile Crete meets SoCraTes

We did it in person and had 4 streams and three time slots. It was really crowded loud and fun.

Also we usually do a summertime picnic in a beer garden which then typically leads to small groups of people talking.

This year we’re also trying an Elixir/Clojure crossover event to mingle with the other tech communities. Let’s see how that goes :slight_smile:

Still ~70% of our events are the typical “talk” format and I’m definitely curious about more ways of changing that ratio further. There might be an optimal balance somewhere.