As many of you know, I moved to New Hampshire a couple years ago from Boston.
It’s not as big a move as it sounds. I can still get to Boston in 45 minutes if traffic permits me. Plus I have all the fresh air, hiking, biking, and great restaurants I want.
But it is a huge move in terms of developer community. I find myself routinely driving to Boston for the always great Boston PHP meetup but most other meetups I dropped entirely because I can’t justify the commute.
I have yet to meet a single PHP developer in New Hampshire. I know they exist, they are just very difficult to find! Developers need to network and mingle with like-minded people and share ideas too. The business and marketing people can’t have all the fun.
There is a growing start-up scene in New Hampshire, in no small part thanks to organizations like abi Innovation Hub in Manchester — where my company currently has it’s office — and New Hampshire based companies like Dyn (yes, that Dyn).
In fact Startup New Hampshire just joined forces with Startup America. But the infrastructure of developer meetups and community that you get in established tech hubs isn’t there yet. Unless I missed it or it is hiding in the bushes waiting to pounce. A search of Meetup.com finds a bunch of business, marketing, and recreational meetups but only a handful of tech meetups. Some of which are ghost towns.
That has to change. And I might as well be the one to try to change it. I’m not sure if this will work but I’ve taken some of my own money and started a Meetup group. That’s right, I upgraded to an organizer account on Meetup.com, registered a domain name, and drew a fun logo that looks strangely like the PHP elePHPant only it is a moose (because… you know… New Hampshire). This is serious stuff.
And I encourage other people to do the same with their own favorite technologies. Well, except the blue moose logo part, it only makes sense for PHP anyway since the PHP mascot is an elephant.
Now all I need is members. Lots of them so that I can attract great guest speakers.
If you or someone you know is in New Hampshire and is a PHP developer (or even just a general web developer) let them know about the new meetup group at www.NewHampshirePHP.org.
Once I get 10 members I will start finding a venue and sponsors for the first event. I’ll do my best to make it a fun and worthwhile for everyone involved.