NY Latino Tech Beginnings
Wednesday night I went to the first NY Latino Tech Meetup (NYTLM). Honestly, I feel that this meetup’s creation was long over due; and I say this with 2+ years of being in the NYC meetup scene and with 50+ meetups attended in this time. From this you can probably deduce that I like to network and I ♥ Meetup.com.
Anyhow, last night was enjoyable because I got to meet w/ a lot of NEW, like-minded individuals that all had in common a love for tech, living close to NYC and being hispanic. And as peculiar as it may sound, since we live in a metropolis with almost 3.5 million hispanics, this does not happen everyday.
Why not? Good question and I wish I had an answer but what I can tell you is that last night this trend bucked, since a group of twelve professionals, eleven caballeros and one dama, met and discussed with each other a varying spectrum of topics. Our conversations ranged from personal interests to professional goals, idealistic desires, social precepts and everything else; although for the most part the theme was wanting to know more about tech, our personal experiences with tech and tech’s impact on our heritages.
Even the topic of why this group hadn’t been created earlier came up and we all looked at each other wondering why hadn’t the categories of Tech, which is one of meetup.com’s biggest segments and Latino/Hispanic, another formidable onsite demographic, had not intersected. In any case we can thank <a href=”https://twitter.com/ricooyola” target=”_blank”>Rico Oyola</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/noneck” target=”_blank”>Noel Hidalgo</a> for their inspiration and effort to make this happen and organizing this meetup.
Also as a side note, the hosting space ThoughtWorks are impeccable examples of giving back and making a difference. As with so many gems that this magical city has to offer, finding gracious companies and organizations that provide space to startup groups and grassroot movements are paragons of the tech industry. Moreover ThoughtWorks define themselves as “a community of passionate individuals whose purpose is to revolutionize software design, creation and delivery, while advocating for positive social change“. Man… I can dig it and look forward to seeing how I can participate in their outlook – providing a positive social and productive solution using technology – on second thought, I don’t dig it; I Love It. Additionally interacting with their onsite team was nothing less than pleasant, so kudos to them and for all their magic.
Another aspect of last night’s meetup that I really enjoyed was the observation from a late-coming member that we were moving past the standard ‘meet-up’ format to becoming a ‘do-up’ since we began had a considerable list of Haves & Wants that included homework for us to reconvene on. My understanding of our goals thus far are to create an identity for NYLTM and begin brainstorming on what we could potentially build together as team. Hopefully ideas for both are probably on simmer across everyone’s minds, I know its been renting out space in my head.
So much so, that reflecting on the group’s composition and between everyone’s skillsets, I believe this group has the necessary resources to startup a tech company. There was a nice smattering of production skills (i.e. programming and app development) and key business components (i.e PM’ing, sales, outreach) to make a well balanced team – a couple designers and some product/marketing peeps and I get the impression that we could be off to the races. Although from my perspective, the races is us against time and coming up with an idea or project that would be supported unanimously and less about making a product or dolla-dolla-bills-ya’ll. Sincerely even the effort of trying to capture this kind of synchronicity blows my mind and makes me feel like this could be the beginning of another great adventure.
Anyway I am excited and will begin to contribute my expertise through interpretive dance and WordPress – so I look forward to posting the NYTLM websites once it’s ready for the world. It’s always exciting to start a new project and I can’t wait to see what comes out of this one.