So hey, I’m new here. I’ve been coding for quite some time, and I’m ready to get a job as a developer and found that FCC could help me with that. Problem is, I have massive anxiety issues. I can fake it most times, but I’m really having a hard time starting a study group for my city. The closest one to me is pretty far, and I don’t want to drive all the way there, but also I feel a more local study group for my area could be really good. I live in a college campus based area, so it definitely couldn’t hurt. Anyways, in my head I’m like “yeah, let’s do something good for the coding community here whoohoo!” And then I get to the page that tells me how and I start freaking out. I know I probably sound whiny, I’m just looking for some tips and maybe a little support?
The woman that runs my city’s FCC Meetup wrote a great article about her experiences for the FCC Medium publication:
That’s a great article!
I share your feeling of woo hoo about certain stuff then a sudden realization that I’m not built for that kind of social interaction…
but I will say that the few times I got involved in local groups and got over that initial uncomfortableness of meeting new people and they flipped over to being friends it was totally worth the experience…
I’ve met some great people being involved in the groups I am involved in.
So, go for it, jump in with both feet and before you know it the group will be a support network instead of just something that creates anxiety…
This is really great advice. I guess, too, I’ve never been to one of these meetups, so starting one is really overwhelming. What normally goes on at these things? How about do I go about keeping people interested and starting that close-knit support system that you have?
At our one, it’s very casual but we encourage people to give lightning talks. Typically the ones that have a lightning talk tend to attract more people, I guess because they know something will be happening.
We just work through FCC challenges and projects and occasionally call out for help if someone gets stuck. Sometimes people just chat about their projects or hopes and fears for jobs!
It’s good to have a little core group who are welcoming of newbies - if everybody who comes gets a positive interaction with someone else they will come again
I’d suggest start a facebook group about your FCC meetup.
If new people join, greet them at facebook.
in other words, make some “low-stress” communications over facebook with the members of the group.
Once you have enough members, throw the idea "hey, you guys wanna meet for coffee"
at that point, you guys already have some rapport over the FB group… just not face to face.
The coffee meetup is again a low-stress factor.
Over there, you can gather input if they’ll be interested in a show-and-tell kind of meetup, or learning session or tutorial or whatever. If enough people express interest, then your next challenge is finding the space to rent and the time availability so that most people can attend this meetup.
I guess what I mean is: don’t focus on running a great tech Meetup, focus on just being nice to people that arrive.
Then you’ll have a great tech Meetup!
You can also try to find a local coding centred workspace / campus and see if they will ‘sponsor’ you by letting you use the space after the work day is over.
Many companies / workspaces really want to ‘help the community’ but don’t really have a practical way to do so. Many love the chance to let some newbies use the space and learn to code. Our one is hosted by a local training provider / start up incubator
Public Libraries are also a great first meetup point.
Hopefully, some guy that works at X company, will join the group, then offer their space to the group after work hours. (assuming he finds the group is serious, well behaved, trustable, etc…)
Wow, thank you guys for giving such amazing suggestions!! It would be hard to convince someone to lend a space here. The college is mostly for law and med students, and all of the tech people around here kind of hide. But I suppose trying is what yields results. I’ll try to just get out of my head and start the Facebook group and see where things go from there!
See if your local library can set aside a block of time one or two days a week for your group to meet. If you explain how starting an FCC group could be useful to the local community, surely they would work with you in some way. Most libraries have group study rooms or even larger rooms for presentations. See if they will let you use one of those types of rooms for 3-4 hours on a week night or Saturday morning.
@Jena how about doing virtual pair-programming sessions with someone on a consistent basis?
You just do a google hangout and then start doing your coding without bothering each other until one of you has a question.
You stay accountable with each other and it’s not like one of you can see the other’s screen, but you do see each other at the computer and that casual indicator of someone seeing you has an effect on keeping you motivated to keep working.
I’ve been doing this with several people with great success. It’s helped me stay consistent; it’s honestly the same thing as having a workout partner for the gym.