057 AiA Starting a Local Angular Meetup with Will Buck

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Don’t miss out! Check out Angular Remote Conf!


02: 10 - Will Buck Introduction

02:57 - Membership & Attendance

04:48 - Starting a Group

  • Dinners
  • Code Katas
  • Coworking

08:35 - Networking with Other Groups and Organizers

09:38 - Corporate Sponsors

10:35 - Prizes & Giveaways

13:54 - Advice for Creating Meetups

19:47 - Topics & Speakers

  • Hack Nights
  • Best Practices
  • Beginner Topics
  • Lightning Talks
  • Karaoke

27:11 - Getting Started in Rural Areas

29:31 - Beginner Stories

39:04 - Land Grab Your Social Media


Galactic Civilizations III (Joe)Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (Joe)Good Mythical Morning Podcast (Katya)Coin (John)[Pluralsight] Introducing Visual Studio Code by John Papa (John)Angular Remote Conf (Chuck)Mastermind Groups (Chuck)Midwest JS YouTube Channel (Will)Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (Will)Heroes of the Storm (Will)


JOHN: Do I sound all sultry and sexy? CHUCK: No, that's Ward, John... JOHN: [Laughs] WILL: You could say that... JOHN: [Laughs][This episode is sponsored by Hired.com. Every week on Hired, they run an auction where over a thousand tech companies in San Francisco and New York and LA get on JavaScript developers providing to put the salary and equity upfront. The average JavaScript developer gets an average of 5-15 introductory offers and an average salary of over $130,000 a year. You just can either accept an offer and go right into interviewing with the company and neither with that any continuing obligations. It's totally free for users, and when you're hired, they'll also give you a $2,000 signing bonus as a "Thank You" for using them. But if you use the Adventures in Angular link, you'll get a $4,000 bonus instead. Finally, if you're not looking for a job but know someone who is, you can refer them to Hired to get a $1,337 bonus if they accept the job. Go sign up at Hired.com/AdventuresinAngular.]**[Does your team need to master AngularJS? Oasis Digital offers Angular Boot Camp, a three-day, in-person workshop class for individuals or teams. Bring us to your site or send developers to ours -- AngularBootCamp.com.]**[This episode is sponsored by Wijmo 5, a brand new generation of JavaScript Controls. A pretty amazing line of HTML5 and JavaScript products for enterprise application development. Wijmo 5 leverages ECMAScript 5 and each control ships with AngularJS directives. Check out the faster, lighter and more mobile Wijmo 5.]**[This episode is sponsored by Digital Ocean. Digital Ocean is the provider I use to host all of my creations. All the shows are hosted there, along with any other projects I come up with. Their user interface is simple and easy to use. Their support is excellent. And their VPSes are backed on solid-state drives and are fast and responsive. Check them out at DigitalOcean.com. If you use the code “angularadventures” you'll get a $10 credit!] **CHUCK: Hey, everybody! Welcome to Episode 57 of the Adventures in Angular show. This week on our panel, we have Joe Eames. JOE: Hey, everybody! CHUCK: Katya Eames. KATYA: Hi! CHUCK: John Papa. JOHN: Hey, hey! CHUCK: I'm Charles Maxwood from Angular Remote Conf. I switched it up there. Did you see what I did there? JOE: [Laughs] CHUCK: Anyway, we have a special guest this week, and that's Will Buck. WILL: Hey, everybody! CHUCK: Do you want to introduce yourself? WILL: Sure! Like Chuck said, my name is Will Buck. I'm a full stack developer out in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes and lots of snow, but not last year. I've been doing Angular for about 2 years, which is around the same amount of time I've been helping co-organize the AngularMN meetup. CHUCK: Awesome! So, you have a meetup group. How big is the meetup group up there? WILL: I guess it depends on how you define size. We have a space out of my former employer's office, virtuwell, that holds about 40 or 50 people. But, we have like 600 registered members on our meetup group, many of which I'm sure I've never met. JOHN: That's something I always find really interesting. You have 600 members registered for meetup group, how many show up to a meeting? JOE: 4 [laughs]. WILL: We actually fill our capacity every month. JOHN: And what's that? WILL: That's about 40 or 45... JOHN: Okay, cool. WILL: that the room can hold. JOHN: Is that 40 like the faithful 40? Or, is that like rotating out of the 600? WILL: There's probably a faithful 15 that show up pretty regularly, familiar faces I've gotten to know. But, there's still several people that kind of... I see a fresh face every time. JOE: AngularJS Utah has 1200 members. We ran 2 different meetups in 2 geographically separate locations, and we see about the same thing. WILL: Yeah. JOE: We get about 15 regular at each Angular meeting that I don't go to, has about 50, probably because I'm not there. CHUCK: Which of the meeting? The Adobe? JOE: Yeah, one of Adobe. CHUCK: That one, I've been a couple of times where there were like 70 or 80 people, and they were like turning people away to it was like, "Look, we can't have any more people in there?" WILL: Fire code problems [chuckles]. CHUCK: Yeah. JOE: Either that or you stink [chuckles]. CHUCK: But, yeah, it depends on what's going on and how interested people are. WILL: Yeah, it depends on the topic a little bit. Our JavaScript meetup here in Minnesota has probably 70 or 80 people regularly attend. If it's a really hot topic, they'll fill out their 100 or so people they can hold. CHUCK: Yup. The JavaScript group down here in Orem, it's funny because I've seen it fluctuate due to what we're talking about, and I've also seen it fluctuate due to they actually having something other than pizza. [Laughter] CHUCK: Go figure, right? WILL: Hey, come for the food, stay for the fun, right? CHUCK: Yeah. So, were you part of starting that group? WILL: I was, yeah. A co-worker of mine has suggested it to our management as a recruiting tool because we'd had some struggles getting quality candidates in through the recruiting pipeline. JOE: So it's all a sham! WILL: Yeah, right! [Laughs] CHUCK: Uh-huh. JOE: [Laughs] WILL: No, there's only self-serving interests, and then of course... No, we were doing a lot of Angular work. This is like the fall of 2013, and we're struggling through a lot of the same things, a lot of people were around that time. And we're hearing a lot about Angular at the JavaScript meetup, but not on a regular basis and it wasn't like you could just walk up to anyone there and be like, "Hey, I'm having this problem with Angular. Have you had any experience with this?" that they were using or arrive with tools as a generalist's JavaScript meetup. So, we decided that it would be a good thing to get all the people who are excited about Angular together on a regular basis and talk shop about what things are having trouble or techniques we've found to make things go well. So, Leadership signed up and finally said, "Okay, we can sponsor the space and we'll look up how to get some food for it," and we were just really blown away by the level of interest. I scoped it out by going to the JavaScript meetup a couple of times and mentioning, "Hey, we're thinking about starting this. If you're interested, talk to me," and sent out a survey to be like, "Okay, well, how often do you want to meet? What do you want to talk about?" that sort of stuff, and it was insane. We had 100 people signed up in probably the first month or two, and we're totally full on RSVPs for the first meetup. CHUCK: That's really cool. I've had a similar experience with pulling together groups. Since I'm freelance, I usually don't have the automatic corporate sponsor. In other words, I can't just go to my boss and say, "I think we could actually recruit better..." we don't want to have the meetings at my house. [Laughter] JOE: [Incomprehensible] has space... CHUCK: Yeah. But I find that if I articulate it to the way that you did with various companies, then they are willing to do it; if I talk to them about some of the recruiting advantages and some of the other things that they can get out of it as far as just the discoverability in the community and stuff. WILL: Yeah. It just fosters a lot of good will... CHUCK: Yeah. WILL: We have a positive impression from you already because, hey, you buy the food and the beer for our little get-together every month, that's really cool. I'll appreciate that. CHUCK: Another kind of meetup that I've done a few times is just pull together a dinner so it's, "Hey, we're all going to get together at the barbeque place or at the Italian place or the burger place," and we're just going to sit and eat and chat so it's more of an informal networking thing instead of an actual we're going to have a presentation or we're going to do code katas or something like that. And those are a lot of fun, too. We do them for lunch sometimes and I've done them dinners, like I said, and those were also really cool. And then another one that I'm organizing right now is actually just a co-working get-together with people who work remotely. We have like a construction project manager that shows up every week, there are a handful of coders, I got a message from the technical writer that he's going to be there tomorrow, so we get all kinds of people from that, too. So, it doesn't have to be just this formal meetup group that you think of. It can be something else that just has a different format that gets people excited or gets people out. WILL: Yeah, totally. And it can be a way to start out something bigger like that. They just start the gauge and dress and get people hanging out sometimes. It doesn't have to be this big, formal thing. CHUCK: Now, were there other meetup groups in the area that you're in that were already doing stuff so people can know what they're dealing with when they came to it. WILL: Yeah, I had pulled the organizers of the JavaScript meetup here locally, a meetup for Groovy because it's big in our city. CHUCK: People still do Groovy? WILL: Oh, yeah! Dude, Groovy is so groovy man. CHUCK: [Laughs] I knew you were going to go there. WILL: Yeah, it has to go there. JOE: Is that the language from the 70's because that would be awesome if it was. WILL: I wish it was. I don't think it was, though. JOE: Yeah! CHUCK: Yeah, you have to tie-dye your code. [Laughter] WILL: Get big star bars on it... And the International Game Developers Association meetup, I was friends and had attended those meetups regularly so I knew the organizers and pull them to be like, "Okay, what should I do to get started? How do you keep sponsors coming back? How do you get space? Do you have prizes to give out?" that sort of thing. There was a good bit of resources locally that I could tap to help get it going. CHUCK: Very nice. Does your company still host the meetups? WILL: They do, yeah. I'm no longer with virtuwell, but they do still host the meetups regularly. We had offers from other consulting firms and companies to host the meetup in the different part of town with more space, which we considered seriously for a while because we were full on RSVPs all the time and it sucks to tell people like, "Hey, I know you're really excited about coming here, but we're like going to be smelling each others stink for the whole night if everybody comes." So, we had to think about that pretty seriously. But it has come to the point now where we pretty regularly fill almost, but not quite the capacity. No one's expressing concern that they can't make it. Or, it's very few people, and they generally get in the next month when we make it clear that demand is high and that you need to make plans. And we also try to call the people who RSVP but then don't show up. We have a prize picker that one of our members, Dale Lotts, wrote -- I'll link to it in the show notes. But it's really handy and we've been looking to add features to it where we can -- we've been doing this informally -- add people who get picked as a winner and aren't in attendance to a shameless where it's like... CHUCK: [Laughs] WILL:..."Dude, did you RSVPed? We picked you for a prize and you're not here to win that prize." We don't take attendance because that seems really onerous and silly, but it is a way for us to point out people in a way that encourages them to keep their RSVP right. People then feel bad. They're like, "Oh, darn! I could've come and I would've won the cool... and I wasn't there. Now, I feel ashamed." CHUCK: So you actually give out prizes at your meetup? WILL: Yeah, we do! That was something that the Groovy meetup also did that I thought was cool. We've actually had a good amount of interest for that. I found out from the Groovy meetup organizers that JetBrains will give away licenses to their IDEs for meetup groups. They'll give away 1 or 2 or 3 depending on the size. CHUCK: Oh, very cool. WILL: Yeah, it's really nice. It's a pretty sleek program. CHUCK: I'm curious, what other things you can give away, too? Because I think that would be really fun. WILL: Yeah, it's another one of those like the pizza and the beer, drinks that are way to get people to feel motivated to come besides just the social interaction and things. So yeah, the JetBrains licenses, we know the guy who runs frontendmasters.com, who I know is the sponsor of your shows, Chuck. CHUCK: Yeah, Mark. He's awesome. WILL: He is awesome. He's a great guy. He had consulted for us so we had connections with him. And to help promote his products, he offered us one year subscriptions to give away at every meetup. Now, I think, he does that for more meet up groups and he has a great sight there, so that's something really valuable that we've had people pick first among all the prizes that we give away. We give away like 2 or 3 Pluralsight, we'll send you a box of one month subscription cards that you can give away. We tried, at one point, to get O'Reilly or Manning to send books to give away. I haven't followed up on that in a while, I really probably should. But, I had heard from other meetup groups like the Java user group that they have a program for stuff like that. JOE: We've done that for some course. WILL: Yeah! JOE: And Pluralsight will also, if you go through in a process, I think they'll also give you one year subscriptions to give away. WILL: Oh! Maybe we should contact them [chuckles] because we just have the one month cards right now. JOE: Yeah. WILL: But yeah, I was surprised to see how many companies have a formal program for that and how many were receptive to it if we ask. So we went out and ask ahead if they had any kind of program like that after we were pretty surprised by all of the places that had programs like that. At the time, I think they were able to offer us a discount code for our members, which was still cool, I thought. We haven't followed up with them in a while either, so we probably should for a little prize audit. CHUCK: Very nice. JOHN: So when you're setting up one of these meetups, when you went to this process and you're getting ready to do this kind of thing -- I know a lot of people are interested in creating these meetups because they don't have one locally -- what would you advice them to do? WILL: Definitely, it's gauging interests among your own personal network, whatever that means, would probably be the first step I would take. Make sure this is something that people would want to go to that you'd have some people you know with some experience that could potentially provide content for it. For those who are unfamiliar who haven't been to a meetup group before, a lot of times, the typical format is to meetup, talk for a little bit, and then have a presenter like at a conference or something give a 20, 30, 40 or 50 minute talk on some topic, something they've learned. But you can also do a lot of other cool things. You can do like fishbowls, or panel discussions where you can just invite people up from the crowd to answer questions. CHUCK: What do you mean by fishbowls? WILL: I've heard fish bowl described different ways. This is what it means to me as what I've seen before is to have a fish bowl of pieces of paper with questions that the members have, and then you invite whoever wants to come up to fill to the questions. And if someone in the audience feels like they have a compelling answer to that question, they would kindly ask one of the folks sitting on the panel to step down for a moment while they had a chance to answer the question. I've seen it described online as something more like a townhall or have it be described in like the shape of the room itself for like sitting in a circle. That might be what that means to some people, but that's not the event that I've attended before. I really liked the format that I had attended where it was just like if you feel you have something cool to say, you can just come up for a minute, and it's much lower commitment for a speaker. You don't have to have anything prepared; you just come up and talk about things to the group. And then when you feel like you don't have much else to say anymore, you can give up your seat for someone else. And then you can also do like Chuck said like katas or hack nights where you pick an open source project and say, "Let's all work on this tonight," or just social hours. I know the DevOps group here in town has mostly social hours where they meet at a restaurant or a bar or something and just hang out. I feel like I've diverged from the original question. How people could get started? So yeah, getting some idea of what kind of content you want to have, what people are interested in about it, finding some sponsorship for a space or food. We put our site up on Meetup.com, which has a ton of tools for scheduling things and giving people invites and... JOHN: That seems to be the thing lately. All these users have set, they're seem to all setting their own site now, they all seem to be using Meetup.com. Is that what you guys do for everything? WILL: We do, yeah. We had considered building our own site, but Meetup has pretty much everything you need and it cost $60 for 6 months so $120 a year, it's pretty minimal investment for most sponsors perspective. JOHN: Do you make people pay to be a member? Or, do you do free? WILL: No, we do it free since we have sponsorship to pay all the dues we need. JOHN: That's cool. WILL: Like, someone's donating the space, someone's donating the Meetup.com dues, and someone's donating the food in exchange for just good will in the community and visibility. CHUCK: I want to jump in on this, too, because I use Meetup as well. It's a really convenient way to let everybody know what's going on. I also find that people are often looking on Meetup, so it's a good way for discoverability as well. WILL: Yeah, that's one of the things they taught, it seems like. CHUCK: Yeah. CHUCK: So somebody is in your area, list all the local meetups, and you can narrow it down by topics of interest and things like that. That's super nice. Another tool that I've also seen used with a lot of the local meetups that I attend is that they have a Google group. That way, you have a discussion board. Meetup has one, too, but I don't like their form as well as I like Google groups. So, the word usually goes out on both the mailing list and on Meetup.com. WILL: Yeah, that seems to be a successful way to do it. I echo your middling opinion of the way their message board and mailing list on Meetup work. It's fine, but it's not anything special. CHUCK: Yup. But it does have the RSVP feature, which is really nice. JOHN: Am I the only one who the first time they have ever heard of Meetup.com, which is probably 2 years ago. I thought it was just another one of those dating sites. I'm like, "Why am I getting all these spam mails?" [Laughter] JOE: That is so true. JOHN: I was so used to going to user groups that have their own website. When Meetup became big a couple of years ago, I remember seeing these emails like, "Why am I getting this? I must've clicked somewhere in some site. They're always bad stuff that's coming." And then, I think it was Esteban Garcia, the local all-ender groups like, "Why don't you ever respond to our emails?" [Laughter] JOHN: And I'm like, "Oh, okay, good!" Because it looked like spam. Oh, it did! I mean the name! It's like, really? CHUCK: Yup. WILL: Yeah, I know that sentiment to someone who has signed up for a lot of meetup groups that all the emailing is opt out. So by default, if you would sign up to be in a meetup group, just kind of, "Oh, I might check this out. It sounds cool. Boardgame meetup, Yoga story meetup, that was interesting. I thought I might be interested and my wife might be interested with that," but then you get all the emails about every events and every little thing that they're doing and it's just like, "Well, I didn't really want this much email," so you have to go into their site and uncheck all the boxes for email preferences. CHUCK: Yeah, +1 to that. JOHN: One of the things I always find interesting is, all these groups, you have to find people to speak. In some months, it's you get 7 people wanted to speak, in other months, you can't find anybody. But when you look for topics, which ones do you find -- topics or speakers or just nights in general -- which are the ones you find that are most attended and the most fun? WILL: I personally had most fun at the Hack Nights. When we organize beforehand a little bit and say, "Okay, we want to pick this open source project and let's just all pair program on some of the issues it has or something like that," that always seems, to me, like a really cool thing. I don't know if it feels like work after work to some people, but I don't know, I found that a fun social experience. As far as presentation topics go, the best attended ones are generally the ones with the broadest appeal. We had a gentleman talk 2 or 3 months ago on Angular best practices, that one was super well-attended and we were out of our [incomprehensible] very quickly. Whereas, other more specific topics, like we had one on Chrome Cordova Apps, kind of mixed interest. We had the guys who do the Ionic project out -- I had known Max Lynch in college a little bit so we had a little connection there -- they're only in Madison, which is 4 or 5 hours away, so they drove up and gave a talk. That one was really well-attended because it's a well-known thing up and coming framework. But it is tough to find presenters. We've had some presenters that didn't bring a laptop and were like, "So, where's my laptop to do the presentation?" CHUCK: Oh, no! [Chuckles] WILL: I was like, "Ahhh..." JOHN: Really? [Laughs] JOE: Wow... KATYA: Nice. WILL: The gentleman who forgot his laptop wasn't used to working on a Mac and we all had Mac so he was like a little flustered going through the presentation. He was like, "What are the hot keys?" and stuff. JOHN: I know that Joe always expects that you have a full-on steak dinner when he goes to one of these for him prepared... WILL: [Chuckles] JOE: Yup! [Overlapping talks] JOHN: But he always brings his laptop, right, Joe? JOE: I do! JOHN: [Laughs] JOE: I do. In fact, I keep my steak, I switch my laptop. [Laughter] JOHN: I'm sorry, that's really funny! I can't imagine going to a talk and not bringing my laptop with me. WILL: I was very caught off guard by it. CHUCK: I've been with few Angular meetups where they were super well-attended because it was like getting started or some kind of beginner topic. Those, usually, get a pretty... JOE: That's the thing I really feel like is missing. As the organizers, you're usually an expert in the topic. Or, the people that are willing to talk are usually more deep into it so all the suggested volunteered topics are always advanced, and the people want basic stuff. WILL: Yeah, that's been a challenge for us. We've had a struggle to get interest in getting people to talk on beginner topics. Part of the problem is, since our space is somewhat limited, we can't have a big, huge group of all the people just getting started. That's something where we've talked on the organization team about like hosting at one-off event or something for a beginner, an intro presentation. We're still trying to figure out how we can do something like duty talked about at ng-conf about doing like an ng-bridge where you invite people from any kind of background, even a non-coding background, to be like, "Hey, you want to learn how to do something cool with websites? Come show up, we'll help you out over Saturday or something to see what the stuff is all about." That's something that I haven't had as much time for lately, but I do want to get going in our community because I think it would be really cool. JOHN: One that I've really enjoy doing -- this is one that another group did, not the one that I'm local to here, but when I was visiting -- is they had 3 people go up over the course of an hour, they say, but they end up an hour and a half, which is cool. Each person did 20-30 minute presentation, and they just rotate it into 3 different ones. But I found that really interesting. It wasn't like open mic night where they come in and people just randomly go up. It was actually booked 3 people to come up and do the short presentations. I found that cool because you got a very hint like the first one, it gets the ground for the second, and there was at least something that'd be interesting for you. JOE: Right. KATYA: Uh-hmm. CHUCK: They've done the same thing at the local JavaScript group here in Orem. One other thing, though, that we've done in the Ruby is this group that I attended in Salt Lake county, they do things a little differently. They actually have a 10-minute segment. So when they're organizing -- and organizing the meetings is at the end of the last meeting -- we go, "Okay, well, next time, it looks like we have someone so speaking and someone so speaking," and we need a premiere topic, and the primiere topic is a basic or beginner topic and you have to give it a 10-minute treatment and you have to do it in a way that people who are new to Ruby can pick it up. WILL: Oh, that sounds really cool. CHUCK: [Overlapping of talks] They come and they feel like, "Okay, there's going to be at least something there that I can pick up and understand." And then we have the regular talks or katas or whatever. JOE: At the Angular meetup that I organize, we always try to reserve the last half hour or 40 minutes for lightning talks. We don't usually fill it up, but it's basically just open mic, people get up and present about whatever they're feeling interested presenting or the work project or whatever, no big deal. That always works out well. I feel like that's really nice. A lot of different topics, a lot of short things that would just be something of interest to somebody. The other thing that I've always wanted to try that I think would be a big hit would be karaoke. [Laughter] JOHN: What?! [Laughter] JOE: Okay... Speaking of which... WILL: My old mannered mid-Western is probably wouldn't go for that with lunch. [Laughter] WILL: That's too much of anxiety. JOHN: Okay, all I have to say is, there's a fantastic video of Joe singing while crawling on a table. [Laughter] WILL: What? JOE: Lip synching, not singing. JOHN: Liy synching, yes. JOE: Yes. JOHN: To Carly Rae Jepsen. CHUCK: Oh, no! JOHN: [Laughs] JOE: Gosh! CHUCK: Is this a real thing? WILL: That's permanently now, John [chuckles]. JOE: Speaking of changes of topics... [Laughter] CHUCK: Show notes! This has to be in the show notes. [Laughter] JOHN: To be fair, I was also in that video [laughs]. WILL: Oh, you can go through any of this and make a fool of yourself. CHUCK: Are you selling tickets? I mean, seriously. JOE: [Chuckles] This is not the kind of thing people would pay to see. KATYA: [Laughs] JOE: They would pay... JOHN: Worst episode of Angular Adventures ever. [Laughter] JOE: Speaking of karaoke, I'm going to a birthday party for Peter Bacon Darwin, and it's Curryoke, curry and karaoke. CHUCK: That sounds fun to me. JOE: Yeah! How awesome is that? I hope it's Angular theme. WILL: Angular curry? JOE: Angular curry. KATYA: How would you at Angular curry? JOE: I don't know. I got to figure that out. JOHN: He's the tech lead for Angular 1 so it's got to be curry [laughs]. WILL: Cut vegetables in L-shapes or something. JOHN: I'm waiting for somebody to name their first child Angular. JOE: Oh, god. [Laughter] JOE: I was going to name mine [incomprehensible]. It's close. JOHN: [Laughs] WILL: I like it better. CHUCK: There you go. JOHN: Oh, my. I've just got pictures of Joe in my head now. KATYA: [Chuckles] CHUCK: I want to jump back for a second to Getting Started. I do have friends in more rural areas where there aren't companies that are really interested in hosting a meetup because you probably only have 10 people within reasonable driving distance that can show up every time. My friend Curtis McHale and my other friend Miles Forrest, they live up in rural part in Canada and they have more of a generic code meetup because there are people that do all kinds of things. Miles does Ruby, Curtis does WordPress, a bunch of the other folks up there do a variety of things. So, they just get-together at a cafe and they've made arrangements with the cafe owner to where they actually stay open an extra hour on whatever night they meet. So they're buying coffee and soda and bagels and whatever else they're buying. They usually buy dinner while they're there. So, it's worth it to the cafe owner because he has clientele there until he closes up. They're there, they hack, and talk and stuff like that. So, I hear often from people who were like, "The podcasts are my only coding social event that I can really get," I'll bet that there are other people in your area. If you want to just get together and work at a coffee shop for a few hours and talk about coding and talk about whatever else you're doing, you can still get a meetup experience from that. You're not going to have a speaker showing you how to do whatever with Node.js or Angular, but you can at least then get somebody else's input on how to think about coding problems. WILL: That's really creative. I've seen people doing remote hang outs once in a while, too, and Skype or Google Hang Outs or something... CHUCK: Or, remote conferences, plug, plug. WILL: Yeah [chuckles]. There you go. So, you could get-together on a video call like that with people even if you don't have anybody in a 20-mile radius and have one night a month where you guys watch a Pluralsight or head in front of masters course or you all work on ES6 katas together or something like that. That would be a cool thing to do, I think. CHUCK: There's also NomadJS. WILL: Yeah! CHUCK: I'll put a link to that in the show notes. WILL: Yeah, just like stuff like that, exactly. JOHN: I think you're right, Charles, the beginner stories or Joe, I think it was, those beginners stories at the meetups tend to grab bigger crowds. I think we tend to forget how many people are still brand new to, forget Angular, but just client-side JavaScript still. There's a lot of people who are building applications out there in technologies that they're starting to look over at, "Should I be using Angular, JQuery, KnockOut, Ember, React, what is it." So I think, this whole space is really raw with a lot of new people coming into it -- I know it is, I see them all the time at these user groups -- and why you get those few advanced people that do go there and it's always nice seeing advanced topic. I think the beginner getting started stuff is really important, especially tips and tricks. WILL: Definitely. We had that kind of experience at one of the Hackathons we once were where people are collaborating. It was like, "Whoa, what is this Gulp thing? I've heard about Grunt before..." just lots of things where, sometimes, you can take for granted what you've been working on where other people are starting out and bridging that gap makes the group a lot more inclusive and diverse, I think. JOHN: Even stepping back on stuff like, talking about Grunt and Gulp, it's going back to saying, "Hey, how do I get npm bower and node working on my machine?" WILL: Yeah! JOHN: Once you've got it there, you don't even think of it anymore. It's like, once you have your Mac installed, you're ready. Or, your Windows computer. But getting those things up and running and making sure that they're set up right in front of Mac and not using Pseudo, or just getting some [incomprehensible] about Pseudo, and from Windows, getting where the long path issues and learning what an npm -d do, what's npm 3 and how does it solve that? All that stuff, I think that's grounding that we all forget about who are doing it, and I think those are really important topics to put at user groups. WILL: Totally agree. I actually just helped somebody out yesterday with their npm pseudoing problem. Something like that, yeah, it would be a great lightning talk for a meetup that is, exactly like you say, information we take for granted sometimes. JOHN: Or, even like bring your laptops and let's just walk through this together and no one's leaving tonight until our npms are up and running [chuckles]. CHUCK: Yup. WILL: I like that. CHUCK: There are groups out there that do that for other technologies so there's no reason why you couldn't just steal their format and then do workshop like it. JOHN: It reminds me of some conversations I've been in .NET in the past where I remember this one chat I was having with 3 or 4 people and this one guy -- it wasn't me, I'm not involved, I was like a fly on the wall -- this one guy, he was trying to tell the other, "Here's how you solve this problem in ASP.NET, and it's with an action filter." He kept on going on about the action filter, and the other guy had never heard of an action filter and had no idea what he was talking about. It was just like 2 people speaking different languages at each other. And another point, a third person came in and goes, "I think you need to stop for a minute and explain what this thing even is." But, we do that a lot. I can't count how many times I've sat there and have a conversation to somebody and I realized part way through that the person wasn't on the same page as me. So, that's when he had to back up and go, "Okay, let's get on the same page first." I think there's an opportunity in a lot of these meetups to say, "Okay, controller ask, does everyone knows what this is? Does everyone knows what scope is? Let's talk about these so you can pick which way you want to go." WILL: Yeah, and do it in such a way that doesn't feel like... JOHN: Condescending? WILL: Yeah, condescending, exactly. JOHN: [Laughs] Yeah. WILL: That's exactly the word I was going to... JOHN: What do you mean you don't know what that is? [Laughs] WILL: No, it was just like... JOE: What do you mean you're not using the [inaudible]? WILL: I don't know about all of you, but I've struggled with that in the past where I feel like no matter how I talk about it, I come off as condescending, and I hope that I don't. But the way to approach those kinds of topics is like, "Well, has anyone heard about this thing?" or, "Has everyone heard about this thing? If you haven't, no big deal, don't worry about it. This is what it's about." That's the best technique I found, but still, I find myself feeling like... I'm hopefully not making anyone feel bad. CHUCK: We had a conversation about this on Ruby Rogues, if you want to go listen to the episode we did with Derek Prior. He mentioned that, don't say "why didn't you" and then he mentioned a few other ways of phrasing things so that it comes across more as taking an opportunity to learn or "let's have a discussion" or something where it's not... WILL: It's not, "I know more than you" or "you need to know more than me". CHUCK: Yeah. JOE: It's the, "We both have interesting knowledge that we can share with each other". CHUCK: Right. WILL: I have to check that out. CHUCK: Yeah. JOHN: I heard somebody tell me once, I don't remember who it was, but it made me feel better at myself about feeling like an impostor or feeling too arrogant, and there's a fine line between arrogance and confidence. I'm always trying to make sure that I'm not crossing that personally, but this person told me that, "if you're constantly thinking about that, then you're not crossing the line." If you're self-aware that there is a line, then you're okay. It's the people who don't know that there's a line. WILL: Or, forget, yeah. JOHN: Or, forget. WILL: That's a good point. JOHN: If you're thinking about this, Will, I wouldn't worry about it so much. The other side is the impostor syndrome. Scott Hanselman talks about this quite a bit and he has a whole blog post on it how everybody feels that, in this case, he was sort of having a feel he's an expert at this and that and there's nothing he can do wrong. There's days he wakes up and he's like, "Oh, my gosh! Somebody's going to find out I'm a fraud!" CHUCK: [Laughs] WILL: I feel that way everyday. JOHN: Because we don't know everything. None of us know everything. WILL: No. JOHN: Some of us think we do, but [chuckles]... WILL: Well, that's another thing that just meetups, in general, are really good for, I found. My grandfather has been a software engineer for 40 or 50 years, and he's had a group of folks that he meets up with once a week. When I talked about going to meetups with him, he said, "Oh, it's like your support group." I was like, "Yeah, I guess that kind of is." It's my confirmation that like, "Yeah, other people don't know exactly what's going on here either." And, I can get together and talk with them about the various things that I've been struggling with and realize that everybody struggles with this stuff and it's, from a personal perspective, it's just nice to get that kind of re-affirmation that like we're all in this kind of mess that is software development today together things are moving way too fast for any of us to catch up. And even though it might seem like when you're looking at everyone's experience you're way behind, you have to remember that that's a bunch of individuals with some different experience than you, not one collective person that is everyone with all the experience you don't have. JOHN: Yeah, I always just think that that person is Ward. [Laughter] JOHN: That he's not here, I'm just going to make fun of him [laughs]. CHUCK: Yeah, totally. JOHN: I think it's great, though, that you're running a meetup group in general. These things change through the years, but as far as who comes, the topics, and even switching from .NET to Angular to Ruby to whatever the technology may be, I think what's great is that, in our industry, I don't know if any other is like this, we have so many people who want to share with others. I don't know if accountants do this. Do accountants have meetups where they go together and then they have code camps and they have credit and debit camps [chuckles]... WILL: My bestfriend is a CPA. I can guarantee you, he doesn't talk about going to meetups. He talks about the tests and certifications he has to... CHUCK: Yup. JOHN: And then we blow off those tests and certifications because we're like, that doesn't mean anything, right? WILL: Right. CHUCK: Yeah. JOHN: But I think it's great because we have such a great community we live in. It's a awesome environment where everybody wants to talk to each other and they want to learn from each other and we all share. We can't take that for granted. I think what you guys are doing is a great service to the community. WILL: Yeah. I highly encourage anyone, area that has few or no meetup groups to start one because you meet so many great people. For me, personally, it's rewarding to see all of these people having fun learning and getting to know each other. It's a great way to practice your leadership skills and grow your own personal network, too. I can't tell you the number of people who come up to me and know my name around here now and they totally catches me off guard because I'm like, "How do you know who I am?" And it's like, "Well, you co-organized that Angular meetup and I see you get move in front of everybody for 2 minutes every time and kick off the meeting." JOHN: It's a great way, too, to get yourself out there, just saying. I started a user group way back in the day in Rawling, North Carolina, and it was fun! It was a lot of work, man! Finding the sponsors... WILL: And it's way my work [incomprehensible] think it is [chuckles]. JOHN: Especially if you do that and you do a code camp a lot of these guys do these days, wow! I don't do that myself. Some friends run a local all-ender group and the amount of effort and time they put into this -- they get nothing out of it other than the pleasure of doing it -- it's amazing. Don't say thank you enough to people who are putting their time to do this code camps and the meetups because without that, there are so many people who wouldn't get this opportunity to collaborate. We take advantage of things like podcasts and Twitter and all these other social medias, but there's a lot of people who don't do that, and these meetups are one of their only opportunities. So, you definitely, in a lof of ways, I really thank you're helping people's lives. WILL: That's one other tip I want to give before we wrap up. If you're starting one of these groups, land grab your social media. CHUCK: Oh, yeah. WILL: Early on, we went and grab to Twitter, Facebook, GitHub and push those really hard. They've been a great rallying tool for the community to stay in touch in that sort of thing. Slack channels we just set up, Gitter if you're into that, all those kinds of things, ways to keep people connected are really good. CHUCK: Yeah. Our local JavaScript meetup just pulled together at Slack and it's been a nice way to connect as well. WILL: We've been having a blast in ours, yeah. Way too much giffy usage... CHUCK: [Laughs] JOHN: I think every time somebody gets on Slack, all of the sudden the Slack bots and the Gifs are going on [laughs]. CHUCK: [Chuckles] Yeah. Alright, well, should we go ahead and jump over to picks? WILL: Sounds good. CHUCK: Joe, do you want to start this off with picks? JOE: Aaahhhh... [Laughter] CHUCK: You should've have seen that coming. JOE: I totally should have seen that coming. Yeah, I will start this off with picks because I love picks. Alright, I'm going to pick the video game "Galactic Civilizations III" which is what they call 4x games, it's a turn based game. It came out a little while ago, and it's finally fairly pretty stable, pretty good game. I like that one so I'm going to pick that one. KATYA: Nerd. JOE: Yeah. [Laughter] WILL: Hey, we like nerds here. JOHN: That's your dad! [Laughter] CHUCK: I was going to say it takes one to know one! JOE: [Chuckles] Yeah, really. Yeah, you should see her room. JOHN: He brought you into this world, he can take you out. [Laughter] JOE: I think she actually makes me look pretty normal. [Laughter] JOE: How many people do you know can name all 13 dwarves from The Hobbit? JOHN: My daughters. JOE: Really? KATYA: Hey! Me! JOE: Wow. JOHN: Yup! My 13 and 16 yearl old daughters are complete Lord of the Rings nuts, which makes me so proud. I love it! KATYA: Ha! I'm not the only one. [Laughter] CHUCK: If I thought about it, I might be able to name half. That would be 7 dwarves. JOE: Alright, hold on, we got to put you on the spot now. Katya, go! KATYA: Okay. Thorin, Fili, Kili, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dwalin, Balin, Ori, Dori, Nori, Oin, Gloin. JOHN: [Claps] JOE: Number 12. The last one. KATYA: No, that was 13. JOE: Did you get 13? Okay. I don't have a list. [Overlapping of talks] JOE: [Chuckles] WILL: Like, he mixes them up. JOE: Yeah [laughs]. WILL: Awesome. JOE: Alright. WILL: It's Bobby, Tanner, and Joe. KATYA: [Laughs] JOHN: I have a tear in my eye, Joe. I'm so proud. JOE: Yeah, I know, I know. [Laughter] JOE: And then for my final pick, last night I get to rid of somebody's, we play the game of "Legendary Encounters" which is kind of similar mechanics to the legendary game which is the Marvel Deck Building game, but is set in the aliens universe. WILL: Lots of fun. JOE: Yeah, it's super cool. You actually get Facehuggers, and if you don't kill them quick, then they put a chest burster in, and when you draw the chest burster card, you're dead [laughs]. CHUCK: Wow. JOE: I absolutely love it. Aliens is like my favorite movie. I can quote Hudson all day long. CHUCK: [Laughs] JOE: Why don't we build the campfire, sing this song, who will try that? JOHN: Dead, dead man. JOE: [Laughs] Exactly. What are we supposed to use, harsh language? CHUCK: [Laughs] JOE: Alright, that's it for me. Those are my picks. CHUCK: Alright. Katya, what are your picks? KATYA: My picks are "Good Mythical Morning" which is a podcast by Rhett and Link. They do a bunch of dumb stupid there is in a lot of their videos. Quite frequently, they eat very hot peppers and almost always, one of them ends up puking. It's really funny. It's actually quite funny to watch them do dumb things to themselves. I'll bet their stuff is really dumb in a funny way. They write a bunch of songs about different things that's based on 5 or 6 words that they get from fans and YouTube videos. I guess that's my pick. It's Rhett and Link. CHUCK: Nerd. JOE: Awesome. CHUCK: That was for you, Joe. KATYA: [Laughs] JOE: Yeah, thank you! WILL: I really liked the episode they did on stupid things that were listed on eBay. KATYA: Oh, yeah. WILL: I enjoyed that. CHUCK: Oh, no. [Laughter] WILL: It's like people's toe nails and stuff. CHUCK: I can only imagine. JOE: Oh, my. JOHN: Uh-huhh... [Laughter] CHUCK: That's okay, Katya, you can name all 13 toe nails. [Laughter] CHUCK: Alright, John, what are your picks? JOHN: Oh, you always do me after one of those weird ones [chuckles]. CHUCK: [Laughs] JOHN: I'll do a pick that's something I got from the mail recently. After 2 years ago, on a kickstarter, I put some money into onlycoin.com -- it's the coin credit card. I got it in the mail yesterday, the day before, and it's awesome! It's a single credit card with a little computer chip in it and you can synchronize it with an iPhone or Android to your other credit cards. The advantage of this is like, a guy like me, I've got 8 credit cards like Target and Amazon and Visa, I don't have to carry them all on my wallet now, I can just carry one credit card that actually can rotate between, I think, 8 of them. I've been trying that at all other merchants and it has worked out of I think 9 out of 10 I tried so far. So, that's pretty cool. It's called "Only Coin". And then, a little selfish pick, I've got a new course I just finished for Pluralsight called "Visual Studio Code" which hopefully will be out by the end of August. I had a lot of fun putting this course together. There's a lot of cool things that editor can do. I hope people enjoy it. CHUCK: Yeah, if we'd only done an episode on that. JOHN: If only... CHUCK: We'll put a link to that in the show notes, too. But that's really cool. I've been wanting to dig into it and it sounds like your course is a good way to do it. Alright, I've got a couple of picks. I've been pulling together Angular Remote Conf, so go check that out. I have put a coupon code in for those new to the show -- Adventure. If you put that coupon code "Adventure", then you will get 25% off. Go check that out. We also have the call for speakers open through the 31st of August. So if you're free to go, do that. And this show comes out the last -- no, it comes out the day after the early bird pricing ends, so never mind about that. JOE: You just missed it. CHUCK: Yeah, but go get the tickets. We're also offering tickets for users groups. So if the users groups want to get, then they can go get a group ticket. I won't say no if corporations sign up with group tickets, too. Anyway, I didn't mean to talk about that for so long, but there you go. In promoting that, though, I really want to pick another type of get-together that I do and that's the "Mastermind Group". If you're in business or you're trying to advance your career, having a Mastermind group, just a group of people that will give you on his feedback, that can tell you where you're going right and where you're going wrong and help you figure stuff out, is really awesome. I highly recommend it. If you're in business, it's valuable. So, I highly recommend that you get-together with maybe 3, 4, 5, or 6 people and find an opportunity to get feedback on business, career life, health. One of my groups does real well on spirituality as well. Anyway, if you want a group of people to talk about all that stuff, then sign one up. Will, what are your picks? WILL: I had trouble narrowing it down to just 3 because I like so many things. CHUCK: Oh, take them all. WILL: [Chuckles] No, I did narrow it down to 3. My first pick is going to be the "Midwest JS Conference Videos". They are being posted right now, their conference has just wrapped up last week. This partially self-serving because I was a speaker. But, it was a really great time, a lot of good talks. Kent C. Dodds from Utah was out here, and it was really nice meeting him and having good time there. Just all kinds of JavaScript topics, so check that out. I'm pretty sure they'll be doing it next year. So if you want to take a trip out here to our beautiful city, I highly recommend that. My second pick is going to be "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver". I'm not a big politics person or even like news person, but if I'm going to get up to date on what's going on in the world, I'd like to do it from John Oliver because he's hilarious, the show is extremely entertaining, and they post the, even though it's the HBO show, they post the main feature of it every week to YouTube for free. It's just really funny, interesting topics about politics and things that are going on to expose them. I really enjoy that show. My last pick will be a video game I've been playing recently with my brother and brother-in-law. I played the video game League of Legends for a long time and I've started to just not have enough time to play it as much. There's a Blizzard's version of the online battle arena, "Heroes of the Storm" recently came out of beta, and it is super fun. The games are much shorter than League of Legends game and all the characters are from classic Blizzard games like Warcraft and Starcraft and Diablo. I was never really, really into those games, but it's still nice to have a past and familiar already with what all the different characters are going to do based on having played those games before. So if you're into video games, you probably already know about that, but check it out. CHUCK: Awesome. If people want to follow up on what's going on with you or with Angular Minnesota or MN (I don't know what you call it), what are the best ways to do that? WILL: Twitter is where I'm most active and I help manage the Twitter account for AngularMN so you can follow me @wbucksoft like software all lower case, no spaces, and AngularMN @AngularMN. You can also check out the Meetup site, we're meetup.com/angularmn. We meet the first Wednesday of every month in downtown St. Paul, and we have really quality pizza provided to us by our generous sponsor STG, so we really like that. CHUCK: Awesome. Alright, well, I guess we'll wrap up the show. Thank you for coming. It was fun to chat.[Hosting and bandwidth provided by The Blue Box Group. Check them out at bluebox.net]**[Bandwidth for this segment is provided by Cache Fly, the world’s fastest CDN. Deliver your content fast with Cache Fly. Visit cachefly.com to learn more.]**[Do you wanna have conversations with the Adventures in Angular crew and their guests? Do you wanna support the show? Now you can. Go to adventuresinangular.com/forum and sign up today!]

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