Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A week of tech meet-ups

It's not often that you find yourself attending several tech-related meet-ups during a week, especially in Sri Lanka (let alone happening). But, last week turned out to be exactly that. If there is a trend building as such, then that's great and I hope for more. These provide an opportunity to share, learn and network with people offline as oppose to Googling or Social Networking. It also reminds some that they are humans!

First was at Coco Veranda on Monday 23rd January. This was arranged through Meetup.com by a bunch of guys from a company called WebGurus and was meant for PHP developers only. Being the first of its kind I attended, (and probably the first in Colombo) there were about 15 - 20 PHP developers gathered that evening. The session commenced with each person introducing him/herself while the main feature of the evening was a presentation by Jayawi Perera on the security aspects of PHP development, which was pretty good. Afterwards, it was more chatter within the gathering to go along with Coco's delicacies (there were many). It was agreed to hold a similar meet-up every month to discuss PHP related stuff.

Come Thursday, and it was time for Refresh Colombo. This was the first 'Refresh' for 2012, and two talks and an inaugural networking session were lined-up for the evening. Needless to say, there were about or probably more than 100 people attending this time around. Personally I was glad to meet an old friend Dilshan Kathriarachchi after about seven years. One of the talks scheduled for the evening was by him. The first presentation was an SEO audit of a local website by Shaad Hamid. He discussed a few SEO points and shared some tips in between too - which SEOs normally wouldn’t do. Then it was Dilshan. He talked on his experiences with start-ups and the journey so far. I had stuff to reminisce during the talk too, because it was he and his first start-up that I first worked with eight years ago. Those were crazy and fun times. Lastly it was a networking session, where we got to know others that we hadn't met or talked before and discussed what they were up to.


From two-digit attendance to three-digit attendance, and the last for the week was easily a four-digit one.  The second 'Android Forum', organised by Etisalat Sri Lanka, it was. This was held at the Cinnamon Lakeside hotel on the 27th of January. The morning programme was meant for Android developers, whereas the evening session was aimed at explaining the ABCs of Android. There were some fine presentations in-between and a useful panel discussion as well. The guy from Google Israel was something special too.

All-in-all it was a week full of knowledge to harness, people to connect and stuff to share. One thing unique about all these functions was that they were free of charge. So it is only proper to sincerely thank all the wonderful people behind the sponsoring & organising of these events.