Adventures in Seattle Tech Meetups: Part I

I've been in Seattle for about a year now... because of my travel schedule, I haven't had a chance to do much networking with the local tech community. Until last night, that is!

I asked some of the guys from Minne* back in Minneapolis if there was anything like their group out here in Seattle. Graeme pointed me to a few twitter feeds and stuff to get started.

I decided to follow Seattle 2.0 on Twitter, which pointed me to the Hops-and-Chops happy hour. Thursdays at 7pm at the Auto Battery, a bar that Yelp tagged as "LOUD". Hrm... I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I arrived: how will I know it's them??? Luckily there was one big table with skinny 20-somethings, and I overheard the words "Ruby" and "Rails", so I introduced myself.

One of the guys -- Leo -- told me about his experience the first time he came there. His technique was to wear a painfully geeky t-shirt and walk around until somebody invited him to have a drink. Nifty trick...

The Hops-and-Chops crew appeared to be 70/30 blend of geeks to entrepreneurs. Two guys there said this was typical, and also pointed me to Seattle Lean Coffee... but they warned that there weren't going to be very many developers at that one: more entrepreneurs and "connectors". Not surprising... I'd wager these factors kept the techies away:

  • morning meeting
  • mandatory pants
  • no beer

The Hops-and-Chops guys are also having a BBQ on Monday as well, and with luck it wont be rained out! Hopefully I'll eventually stumble upon something more like Minne* around here. My first reaction to the Seattle scene is that there appear to be tons of miscellaneous meetups and not much central co-ordination. A few dozen folks here and there, and maybe a big event with a few hundred... Meanwhile, back in Minneapolis, the last MinneBar un-conference sold out 1200 tickets!

The Seattle Bar Camp was held a few weeks back. I was bummed to miss it... But, since I was in Budapest at the time, I had a good excuse!

If anybody has any other recommendations, please leave it in the comments... then hopefully there will be a Part II in this series!

CORRECTION: looking around I now think they were pointing me to Open Coffee and not Lean Coffee... I'll check out both of 'em just to be safe.

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