ESRI Dev Meet Up DC (AKA: Geo-Geeks Show & Tell in the Nation’s Capital)

As a remote employee I often found it difficult to get the “Geek” out of my system.  This was especially difficult after I had finished a long project.  The exhilaration after finally fixing that one bug that was sending me up a wall was quickly muted with the unavailability of a coworker to high five.  My cat was a solid stand in, but, let’s face it, even he even he started to think it was getting weird after a while.  This is what led me to start looking for Esri and GIS user groups in the greater DC area.

Luckily my co-worker Michael hooked me up with the ESRI’s North Eastern Developer meet up group on Meetup.Com.   This group is sponsored by Esri to increase camaraderie in the developer community.  They invite people from different backgrounds- web, desktop, federal, private, .net, or java to come hangout, have a few drinks, network, and talk shop.  They have Dev Meet Ups a couple times a year in most major metropolitan areas across the country. You can find local Dev Meet Ups in your area on their calendar.

The lightening talks are by far the coolest aspect of the Dev Meet Ups.  Presenters from different sides of the Esri globe are given 10 minutes to showoff something they have worked on, demo new technologies or talk about the industry as a whole.  Be it a talk on the perils of locating data on the internet, to a demo of new software or an analysis of the five myths facing GIS in the year 2011, the talks crossed the GIS spectrum from highly technical to thought provoking.  Fortunately my topic was also selected and I was able to talk a little bit about utilizing python across Esri ecosystem from Desktop to Server.  They should be posting the slides / talks soon through ESRI’s Developer Blog.

I enjoyed the Dev Meet Up quite a bit.  I was able to meet some new people, grab some free food and drinks, and most importantly let off a bit of Geo-Geek steam.  I would highly recommend checking out their calendar and hitting up the next Dev Meet Up when it comes to your town.