Building a Developer Community in Brooklyn
Today's Guest Post is from Jeff Soto, Brooklyn iOS Meetup founder and principal at TENDIGI.
In early 2010, I took the entrepreneurial leap of faith. I left behind the safety and comfort of my corporate job in Silicon Valley, where I worked for Apple Inc. as a QA Engineer, and decided to move back home to NYC to start my own tech company. While in the process of launching TENDIGI, a mobile development agency based in DUMBO, I realized I also wanted to do something to bring iOS developers together.
Extraordinary mobile developers exist in NYC, but the truth is, they are magical unicorns rarely encountered in public and even less frequently seen in groups. Several years ago, there were only a few existing meetup groups for iOS developers in NYC but they all seemed to share a few problems. They met infrequently, some were just costly training events in disguise, and others simply lacked focus. So it was without any hesitation that I started the Brooklyn iOS Developer Meetup.
From the very beginning, the main goal of the Brooklyn iOS Developer Meetup was to build a vibrant community of iOS Developers who lived and/or worked in Brooklyn. By focusing the group on the community and the people, rather than technical lessons or training events, the group was to become a catalyst for developer networking and ultimately a destination for developers and those generally interested in iOS development.
The group now often hosts “demo nights” where local iOS developers are invited to demo their work and share their experience, expertise, and insight with the community. As a presenter, this is not only a fantastic opportunity to gain exposure and but also gives developers an opportunity to receive feedback from the community. As an attendee, these events are also a great way to get a feel for what others are working on outside of the walls of their offices. The meetup has also hosted high-profile companies and startups, such as Foursquare and Square, who have not only been extremely helpful in sharing their technical knowledge with members but also immensely inspiring and motivating to the community. It really is a modern day Homebrew Computer Club.
The question might still remain: “Why a Brooklyn based group?”. The answer is quite simple actually. Brooklyn has become the epicenter of creativity and innovation in New York City and it is the home of the most innovative digital agencies and startups in the world. It makes sense that iOS developers would be drawn to this and it also makes sense to have a Brooklyn based group that is separate from other existing groups. The vibe is different, the goals are different, and if you want to surround yourself with the most creative iOS developers and designers in NYC, Brooklyn is where you want to be. HUGE, a renowned digital agency in DUMBO, has kindly hosted our events in their presentation space which really gives the meetup a fantastic backdrop and environment for our events.
The group now has over 600+ members and continues to grow steadily. From iOS developers to designers, managers, entrepreneurs, recruiters, and investors- the meetup has attracted an extraordinarily passionate group of people. The growth of the group is clearly indicative of the growing tech community in Brooklyn. We plan to meet that growth by continuously improving the meetup group and offering more to members.
TENDIGI works closely with businesses, agencies, and individuals to create mobile applications and we plan to continue to grow and evolve with Brooklyn in the years to come.
For information about the Brooklyn iOS Meetup and TENDIGI, please visit: tendigi.com/meetup
Photo via Jeff Soto/Brooklyn iOS Developer Meetup