On the 16th of May we had our first meeting, this meeting was focused on answering the question “What now?” and it was a huge success!
We had 9 developers, beers and snacks, a great start. After we all introduced ourselves to one another we dove into discussing what our experiences from other User Groups were and what we expected to see there, and also the motivation behind everyone’s wish to have a local group in Amsterdam.
Early on everyone agreed that the work done by PHPBenelux and PFZ are truly awesome, but the local community wants more, so we have more than enough space to fill while those groups are not visiting Amsterdam or cities close by. So we threw around ideas of our objectives: how can we reach more developers, where they are, how to convert the nine to five developer into a community member.
We also talked about structure and organization and decided to have a open group, not with “leaders” but with “enablers” (people who are there to make problems go away and let ideas work) and letting every group member have his say, lead new projects and just let their great ideas happen. All organizational matters will be discussed on a mailing list so that we can coordinate enough to not step on each others’ toes or “mob” possible partners, and everyone is welcome to join if they wish to have a more active role. If you just want to have fun and attend activities then you are good to go with out facebook group or the meetup group.
As for meetings, we decided that our group has three sides to it: people who live in Amsterdam, people who work in Amsterdam and people willing to come into Amsterdam for meetings. So to try and accommodate this we will try to make meeting times and places easier to reach by train and public transport. Also to help everyone plan their way into the meetings our main meeting will have a fixed date, every month (save for special situations). Every third thursday of every month will be AmsterdamPHP Meeting day. This helps us avoid clashing with PHP Benelux meetings and the friday pubcrawl. So starting in june, your agenda is filled up on every third thursday.
This is just our monthly fixed meeting and we plan to do other types of activities like hackathons, testfests, workshops, informal pub meetings and any other idea anyone has. These will also be done as partnerships with other groups and events, as good hosts we hope to organize some informal meetings before DPC to welcome everyone coming into town to our community.
Other things like stickers, shirts, elephpants and other swag will be planned and executed as we find sponsors, so if you know someone willing to sponsor, tell us! That was it for our first meeting, we had lots of fun and were very productive. We now set our aims towards out first oficial meetup in june. See you there!