It was 2014, and Shreelakshmi had just moved to Bangalore. She had just assumed her new role as “Head of Training & Operations” at jnaapti in February 2014. One of her goals was to bring more visibility to jnaapti. This is an account of her experience of growing a community with technical meetup sessions.
Shreelakshmi’s memories go back to the days when jnaapti was still a single person organization and was hardly known in the community. jnaapti grew to be a four member team in early 2014. It was during this phase that jnaapti was taking baby steps towards a bigger future that we are living in today.
We brainstormed on how to make people around us know jnaapti and the work we do. We started looking for various ways to conduct events which will help spread our learning philosophies. That is when we came across the site Meetup.com.
The First Meetup
They say the first step is always the hardest and so it was with our meetup journey as well.
The first meetup we conducted was on Python Bootstrap. Here we planned to talk about Python’s problem solving abilities and the simplicity with which we can solve problems in Python. We picked a few real life problems and discussed how to solve them in Python. This meetup was a great experience for Shreelakshmi for 2 main reasons:
1. This was the first time Shreelakshmi personally ventured out to invite people to understand jnaapti’s learning philosophies better.
2. We were unsure about the number of people attending it so we had planned to conduct this at jnaapti home. This showed that if we have a will, we will find a way!
It was scheduled to be at 5:00 PM. Radhika, Shreelakshmi and Radhakrishna were waiting while Gautham, as usual, was calm and composed. We had decided to go ahead if we had even one person attending it! We didn’t have a lot of furniture or great lighting to support the meetup. We rented out a few chairs each costing 10 Rupees, a fan to make sure there were no mosquitoes, and brought a packet of Tang to host our guests attending our meetup. We were happy when the first participant called to ask us “where is #725, jnaapti home!”.
The day ended with the positive reviews that the participants mentioned on the Meetup site.
Thanks @Jnaapti for the wonderful session,
This has given me a new dimension to work with when learning a new language.. – Gautham Dn
It was a nice session, changed the way I looked at programming languages. Highly informative and hope the meetup gets bigger in the future. ☺️ – Mahesh Kumar
It was a great talk about fundamentals of Python language and how to explore more on the advanced features. Thanks for the time. Hope to see more such sessions. – Subramanian Olagappan
(Note: Corrected for grammatical errors)
We were happy and thrilled to have hosted 8 people that day. Gautham did make an impact in the hearts of the people who made it that day! Most of them have attended all our meetups religiously and always had very high regards for every Meetup we conducted ever since. This was the beginning of our Meetup journey.
What started off with an 8 participant turn up became more than a 100 people turn up within a span of a year. The meetup on Future of Client Side Technologies was attended by over 100 participants and was sponsored by Akamai.