Why I love this city, technology and what I do.

Last Thursday night I went to two different meetups – Code Crew and The Product Group.

Apart from meeting on the same night and obviously having Meetup.com in common, these two groups are thematically completely different, and although each has distinct goals, they both seem to exist in order to explore the human experience with respect to technology and the impact that this technology has on us as individuals as well as that specific group’s collective interests.

Also both meetups took place in midtown NYC, which by default establishes a diverse composition of people for these get-togethers; mix these ingredients with beer and pizza, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for some awesome sauce that evening.

To say the least I totally enjoyed both reunions for all of these reasons and helped determine the name of this post.

It was Code Crew’s maiden voyage so the air at the Empire Heartland Brewery seemed crispy and beer kept conversations lubricated and fluid, this general atmosphere made tails wag all the quicker.

I had great time chewing the fat with people who dig ruby, drupal, and some looking to check out python and several well versed tech-heads who were looking for a nerdy good time. In all honesty, quite fulfilling.

Overall it seems like this group will offer several options or paths to choose from, hopefully like some kind of bro-gramming madlibs, and with any luck, the like-mindedness I observed at this first meeting will translate into some fun projects.

In any case here is the Code Crew blog that is helping us get our ducks in order and I am terribly grateful for Jamal in putting this together.

My next date was The Product Group (TPG) and anyway you cut it, it is an ideal representation for any meetup: 200+ people, a huge conference room in a 42nd St. media company that rhymes with Sticker-load-neon, seating for 200+ people, pizza, stimulating topics of conversation in rapid-fire succession, and a consumate master of ceremonies, Jeremy Horn.

TPG’s meetup style is primarily focused around a product panel represented by the respective stakeholders as they discuss their situation – whatever it may be. This week’s panel was hosted by Advisoray.com who are in the business of helping startups by leveraging vetted professional networks who offer a variety of services and advice relevant to the startup space.

I was running a little late from Code Crew so I got there right before Advisoray started presenting. After their introduction that detailed their background, challenges and subsequent pivot they segued into opening the conversation to the group.  The room then became abuzz with 20-30 odd product people actively analyzing, evaluating, questioning, and intoning critiques, followed by the occasional head nod or elbow to their neighbor from the audience, validating the suggestion.

Listening to the various POV’s bouncing around the room was invigorating, like when your heart is pounding after a run, except this was caused by pure thoughts competing for psuedo-merit at the product-management track meet playing out in my head; good times.  Upon reflection, this is one of those times where it was totally worth being a fly on the wall, soaking in the rampant creativity, pragmatism, experience, and willingness to share that I witnessed.

The contrast between the wide-eyed, sophomoric excitement I noticed at Code Crew and the razor-sharp, surgically wielded expertise from TPG, compounded by their respective proximity in space and time, inspires me to no end.  Additionally this doesn’t even include how I feel about the learning that occurs at these gatherings, which is a major driving force behind my participation.

I acknowledge that since I work in the digital space here in NYC it gives me purpose to attend and participate in these events. Also I feel like I have something to offer to both groups, so this motivates me all the more.

Anyhow I look forward to seeing where these experiences take me, and I cross my fingers, hoping for when these paths may meet.

10. February 2013 by CSA
Categories: Digital Production, Social Media, Tech | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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