In the last few months (what many are referring to as) the DC “Tech” community has really ramped up. I first started seeing it after Barcamp and since then there has been the addition of lots of interesting events in the DC area and even the online formation of the DC Tech Community on Ning.
First off I want to say I hate calling this the “DC Tech Community”. While yes it is sort of “techy” I think it paints the picture of Urkel-esque socially inept nerds who sit around and code all day and then go home and have LAN parties. While there is nothing wrong with that (I do have a few friends that fit that bill.. and I love them to death) the people who show up to these events don’t all really fit that MO. I would prefer to call this community the “We Know our Way around the Web” kids. They are back-end developers, front-end developers, designers, marketers, lovers of social media, twitterers, and business owners. Most of them know there shit and some of them like to act like they do. Everyone shows up to meet new people and they all have one thing in common… they are hungry to learn.
Thats what has me so addicted to many of these events, I love to learn… and there are people willing to teach out there. Everyone has something to offer and these events provide a casual atmosphere to make those connections in.
I have a LOT of print designers ask me how I learned web design (html, CSS, IA, User Experience) and other than the tutorials on the web, a few books and sheer determination I have to give all the credit to my friends. I have friends who were willing to teach me (and thank god for their patience). A lot of times a great first step in learning something new is just meeting the biggest bad-ass out there doing what you want to learn and find out if they are willing to teach you.
So come on… get out there.. there is so much to learn! If you are interested in finding an event to take part in near you try upcoming.org. Some events to check out…
RefreshDC (local and National)
Refresh is a community of web designers, developers, and other new media professionals working together to refresh the creative, technical, and professional aspects of their trades in the Washington, DC, area.
Barcamp (All Over)
an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants
MashmeetDC (local and National)
A Gathering of those interested in the world of social media.
Web Standards Group (all over)
The Web Standards Group is for web designers & developers who are interested in web standards (HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, XSLT etc.) and best practices (accessible sites using valid and semantically correct code).
Social Media Club (all Over)
is being organized for the purpose of sharing best practices, establishing ethics and standards, and for promoting media literacy. This is the beginning of a global conversation about building an organization and a community where the many diverse groups of people who care about social media can come together to discover, connect, share and learn.
Type Directors Club (all over, but mostly NYC)
Love Type? well so do these people.
Did I miss any? Please feel free to add on!