Last night I went with Mike Triunfo to Utah Geek Dinner #2. The idea is to bring together all the programmers and technologists from around Utah to network and brainstorm. I also went to the 1st meeting and enjoyed both. Here are a few points from the meeting last night:
- What happens at Geek Dinner stays at Geek Dinner. I.e., people at these gatherings should feel comfortable enough to talk about work and professional challenges without worrying their boss will be tipped off to a problem.
- Phil Burns, COO of Provo Labs, brought up the idea of building a “geek community center”. It would have wireless internet access, tons of whiteboards and collaboration areas, a food court, a game room, business offices, and even office space for rent for as little as an hour or a day or a week (for startups.)
- Utah Geek Dinners should be (technically) non-denominational. Open source people can intermingle with Microsofties, etc.
- It was clear from the meeting that Utah has many talented technologists and cool companies.
- These gatherings can be a great place for business owners and entrepreneurs to find programmers and for programmers to find jobs.
- Everyone interested should put “devutah” in their list of Groups and Associations on Linkedin.com
- Geek Dinners are intended to supplement not supplant user group meetings. Each user group was given time to make announcements, recruit people, and talk about upcoming meetings.
One of the sponsors and attendees was Jamis Buck, a top developer at one of my favorite companies. So to all you Web 2.0 companies looking for Ruby on Rails programmers in this new era of irrational exuberance: I sat 5 feet away from Jamis Buck. That ought to count for something.