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Would You Attend a Networkers' Meetup in Your Area?

By stretch | Friday, June 8, 2012 at 12:55 a.m. UTC

Lately I've been toying with the idea of organizing a discussion group in my area for networkers of all ranks to get together face-to-face and chat. I think it would be a nice opportunity to get some fresh perspectives on things outside of one's day job, to bounce ideas off one another, or just get some personal tutoring in preparation for a certification exam. My intention is to base it loosely off of a 2600 meeting or Linux user group.

I'm aware that there are Cisco user groups of varying maturity scattered about, but corporate sponsorship isn't very appealing to me for this sort of thing. Personally, I'd prefer a smaller, casual meeting at a local library or school, perhaps with a quick presentation or two by volunteers, but focused primarily on the open exchange of ideas.

The primary issue with founding such a meeting, it seems, is to interest enough people in attending that the group's momentum grows organically. To that end, I've devised a short survey regarding the factors which come into play when organizing such an event. Using your feedback, I want to organize a sort of "beta test" meetup here in Northern Virginia. If it's successful, I'd like to see what can be done to foster the foundation of other such meetings across the country and the world.

The survey will run for two weeks. When it ends, I'll publish the results on the blog.


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June 8, 2012 at 1:36 a.m. UTC

A few co-workers and I, all at different levels of certification, started a study group that meets up every 2 weeks. We all have different things we can contribute to the group and different things that we want to get out of it. It makes for a good meld but some are more dedicated then the others so our pace tends to fluctuate.

Looking forward to the results.

June 8, 2012 at 6:40 a.m. UTC

I have successfully set up such a group in Kenya . Slowly we're growing it to cover the region eanog.org. Most activity is on a mailing list at the moment, meetings once a month and we do just what you mention, a presentation, tea/cookies and just idle chats ... you just need a few people interested, surgically cull seat fillers:-)

June 8, 2012 at 1:28 p.m. UTC

Im in the DMV area so Im interested in joining any beta group that you put together.

June 8, 2012 at 6:54 p.m. UTC

Another DMV-er here, I would be down to set up/join a group.

June 8, 2012 at 8:43 p.m. UTC

I would like to do this, but since I work on cruise ships, attending meetings would be a problem (Unless they are in the Bahama's) :)

June 9, 2012 at 9:10 a.m. UTC

You could run it as a Meetup.com group and it would be independent of Cisco. That's what I do for my RouterGods group in Southern California. Running a group takes a lot of work... but it's worth it in the long run.

One thing to think about is whether you want to have it as a social group with lectures/guest speakers or as a certification/practical group.

Hit me up if you need any help...

June 9, 2012 at 4:33 p.m. UTC

i would like to attend but i work nights and odd hours. maybe you can stream it live?

Stephen Lynch
June 10, 2012 at 11:46 p.m. UTC

Might I suggest the meeting is just held in one location and those who cannot travel there just webex in?

June 11, 2012 at 2:33 a.m. UTC

webex sounds like a gr8 idea people from all parts of world can join in then


June 12, 2012 at 1:24 a.m. UTC

Well, my intention is to try one or two meetings just in my area first to see how they go. If successful, I can work to foster the spread of such groups all over.

June 12, 2012 at 3:31 p.m. UTC

im in the southern portion of the DMV (the V area) and im curious of what locations everyone in the DMV is looking at?

Jens Link
June 14, 2012 at 11:58 a.m. UTC

I'm organising such an event for sysadmins in Berlin (Germany). We meet once a month (first Thurday). We usualy have a one hour presentation (last time about DNSSEC, in July about Cisco WAAS) and then some food and drinks after that.

Depending of the topic we have about 10-25 people at the meetings. I'll try to varry the topics so nobody can complain that we only have Linux or networking stuff.

I'll need about 10-15 minutes a month for organizing these meetings. YMMV.

Website (in German): http://www.guug.de/lokal/berlin/index.html

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