tales from colorado jug visits..
in april, i had the pleasure of being invited to speak to the denver and boulder java users groups (colorado). being active in my local jug in austin (texas), the experience was a familiar one. to put it plainly: it was a blast.
for the last three to four years i've been a regular attendee of my jug. that last tuesday of the month when the jug meets has come to be known in my household as my 'night out.' for me it's true fun and recreation. i enjoy getting together with other programmers and talking about code, and the practice of coding.
being at other jugs has started to feel like visiting extended members of a large family.
i found the denver jug (djug) to be a very well organized and energetic group. the meeting was in a beautiful auditorium in the middle of downtown denver. the djug is composed of seasoned professionals who really know their stuff, who are on top of their game, and who really enjoy what they do. they hold two back-to-back full-length talks at each meeting! my austin jug also holds two talks but the first is a short talk (we call it our technotizer). scott davis gave the first talk. i can't tell you how much i learned from him. i particularly enjoyed hanging out afterwards at a nearby brewery. it gave us a chance to sit and talk and get to know each other. that evening left me full of admiration for the djug and its members, and with a few ideas for jug practices that we might consider adopting in austin.
i can't stress the importance of communicating with other programmers. if we really care about our craft, we can learn so much from each other. that's something i personally always try to work on.
speaking to the boulder audience was equally enjoyable. the setting was completely different: an academic setting in a typical university lecture room, complete with blackboard and chalk! (though i didn't really avail myself to it). we even had to switch rooms in the middle of one of my talks (there was a mixup in room reservation, given that many groups try to meet on campus after hours). although at that moment i didn't think it was very much fun, in hindsight it was perfect: it just added to the sense of being at a university. again, the calibre of my audience was very high, so much so that my talks often feel more like peer-to-peer discussions at times. there's always a thing or two i learn from some of my attendees, and that keeps things fun and interesting for me.