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In praise of tech meetups

I’ve said before that communities of people matter in programming. But of course that’s not the only factor worth considering. Having the place and time to code is essential too. For those of us who aren’t professional developers, those hours are often hard to find in our rather full schedules. That’s one reason why I liked the (now sadly discontinued) Learn Python NYC weekend meetups so much: showing up meant I could focus on code for 3 hours every weekend. This meant that when I arrived back at work on Monday morning, I was significantly further ahead on my projects.

Since these weekend Python meetups ended a few months ago, I’ve tried to push myself to code on my own every weekend. This hasn’t been nearly as effective. Without a group, it’s more difficult for me to create the time and space I need to work on my projects. I’d like to find another programming meetup to keep me on track.

Thankfully, New York City has a vibrant tech meetup culture. These meetups can be great opportunities for us to improve as programmers. Of course, it’s important to find a welcoming, supportive, non-toxic group. Fortunately, there are many choices in NYC. While meetup.com certainly has plenty of options, there are many other ways to find a good group; for example, the Graduate Center’s Python Users’ Group comes to mind. Making time and space for learning will help us all improve as programmers.

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