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AngularJS Meetup Berlin – Expectations and the Future

In April 2013 I initiated the first AngularJs Berlin Meetup at co.up, followed by two other meetups in May and June. Although the first meetup attracted quite a lot of people, the next two left me with a mixed feeling.

My original idea was very simple: find other AngularJS developers to exchange ideas and experiences. Unfortunately most of the people that showed up had no former AngularJS experience.

That's not a bad thing at all! Quite the opposite: I love passing my enthusiasm for the framework to others. But this leaves me in a tough sport for the meetups:

I don't want to give an introductory talk every time. I gave one during the first meet up and another one at the meeting in June. On the other hand, I don't want to bore beginners with endless discussions about advanced techniques or very specific problems.

AngularJS as a topic is too specific to have talks and presentations at every meetup. I'd rather keep it as what I originally had planned: an informal get-together to discuss Angular's design, solve specific problems, answer questions to beginners or just exchange ideas about web development in general.

Maybe all I need to do is to communicate this concept better to help people have a better idea what to expect.

I would like to get some feedback from you on this? What directions should the AngularJS meetup take in the future? Please leave comments below:

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  1. Hi! While I’ve never attended any of these meetups in the past I really get the issue and I’ve seen similar issues in the meetup scene in London. Sometimes you can find amazing speakers and easily have a couple of talks, but that might not happen all the time, specially on more specific subject. What ends up happening is cancelled meetups, or forcing some people to talk about something because they’re your friends or something, when they probably didn’t really want to or didn’t have time to prepare and makes up for a really awkward talk (I’ve seen a few of these).

    I personally don’t see any issue with having some meetups being just meetups, no talks at all. Just people interested in the subject getting together, talking about this stuff, having some drinks. Maybe do some sort of round table thing, where everyone goes “yeah I’ve done this and that” and in the middle of all that maybe you find someone who has something actually interesting to share but they never thought of making a talk out of it.

    Another solution is to try and have a closer cooperation with a more generic type of meetup and maybe to an Angular (or other subject) themed edition every now and then.

  2. I guess most beginners coming to the meetup don’t expect a full introduction, they just want to get an idea what Angular is about and meet some people who are using it.

    My suggestion for a compromise: beginner-friendly 15 minutes at every meetup with newbies (and since Angular is still pretty young and pretty popular I guess there will be newbies at every meetup — unless you scare them away ;) ), show and explain some code, maybe have a lightning talk (topics that come to mind: Browserify, Angular toolchain, debugging, common misconceptions …)

  3. While I have not attended any of these meetups yet, I definitely plan to do so when moving to Berlin later this year.

    Personally, I think there is no necessity for having a talk every time. At the meetups I have regularly attended so far, we used to have a talk only every couple of months, and the other months were more like a themed regulars’ table where we would have very open discussions. I think that works pretty well.

    Also, I agree with Rin that beginners will probably not expect a full-blown introduction, and the idea of having one or two lighting talks each time, followed either by open discussion or a full talk, sounds like a good idea.

  4. Hi Jan,
    Though I’m not from Berlin and this Angular.js thing is omelet ell foreign stuff to me, I’d like to give my two cents here.
    We had almost the same problem at our mobile dev meetups in Stuttgart and I think we found a format that worked quite well. We generally have a 5min introduction by one of us organizers where we just present the format, then we do a quick welcome where everybody just tells the others her name and experience in the field, then we do a 3o to 45min chat about a topic that was agreed upon the mailing list, though in most cases it’s just something brought up by one of the organizers and it sometimes ends up somewhere else but mobile Dev related. Sometimes, we do have slides or a pseudo-talk, but often it’s just one of us who moderates the discussion. After that episode, we just talk, think beer and eat maultaschen. We have done this stuff every month this year, with 10 to 30 attendees and it’s working well, so maybe that’s something that works for you as well?

    Anyway, cheers and stuff.


  5. Jesus, autocorrect fuckup. I’m sorry.

    PS: hm…omelet. ;)