I’m just getting home from the Atlanta Area Python Meetup. One of the things I
love about these monthly meetups is the variety of conversation which just doesn’t typically happen every day at work. How often at work do I get to discuss the merits of functional vs. imperative languages, select-based vs. threaded concurrency, XSLT vs. DOM/SAX based XML handling? Work is primarily
about getting a job done. In the process, you do grow more acquainted with
your co-workers, discuss various topics, hear what other people are working on
which differs from your own work, and learn new things.
But it is refreshing to be able to get together with like minded people for the
explicit purpose of just talking about your common interest. This type of
interaction is a great stretching exercise. You have the opportunity to look
at things in ways you may not have looked at them before. You have the
opportunity to hear different views and technologies which you may not have
been exposed to otherwise. You have the opportunity to say something wrong and
which you are unaware was wrong and have someone help you discover the
How do you find a local area group? I found the Atlanta area group by using
href="http://www.meetup.com/">Meetup.com, but they have since begun charging
for their services. Someone started a similar free service, but I can’t find a
link to it now. Maybe someone reading this will be able to find it. Another
option is a mailing list. I frequently see announcements on href="http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.python?lnk=lr&hl=en">comp.lang.python
for Python meetings for various localities. You could even post a message to
comp.lang.python and inquire if there are any people in your area already
meeting or interested in starting to meet. Get involved in a local group.
It will do you good and your involvement in the group will do others good
What methods have you used for finding a local area user group? What things do
you like (or not like)?