I’m spending time profiling eight of the top developer markets in the country. My goal is to profile the building blocks of cities that have healthy developer communities, and from the research write several blog posts, and a white paper that will help other underserved communities understand what it takes to build a healthy base of mobile developers.
To start I am profiling the most obvious choice which is San Francisco / Bay Area. To begin my research, I'm focusing on mobile developer Meetup groups in this top developer market:
- San Francisco Google Technology Developers - Founded 0/06/2011, with 1,314 members and 20 meetups so far
- Bay Area Mobile Game Developer Meetup - Founded 06/13/2011, with 255 members and 20 meetups so far
- iPhone OS Developer Weekly Meetup - Founded 04/16/2010, with 538 members and 84 meetups so far
- Mobile Developer Groups - Found 06/24/2011, with 365 members and 5 meetups so far
- SF - Mobile App Developers iPhone Android iPad - Founded 5/21/2010, with 1,094 members and 19 meetups so far
- SF Mobile Innovation Forum - Founded 12/28/2009, with 298 members and 17 meetups so far
- ParseUsers - Founded 03/19/2012 , with 79 members and 2 meetups so far
- appMobi iPhone, iPad and Android Developers - Founded 07/19/2010, with 695 members and 11 meetups so far
- Mobile Monday Developers - Founded 2/20/2012, with 220 members and 1 Meetup so far
- Silicon Valley iOS Developers & Entrepreneurs - Founded 11/17/2008, with 2,493 members and 54 meetups so far
- Mobile App Developer Workshops - Founded 07/21/2012, with 448 members with 3 meetups so far
This represents just 11 mobile development meetups that occur in San Francisco and the Bay Area. I don’t sort these in any way. I don’t know at this point whether longevity or numbers of members matter most.
I’m reaching out to each meetup organizer to hear their perspective on what makes their event successful. This is just my initial research.
While I still have lots of learning to do in this space, a couple of things stand out:
- Some meetups are very dedicated to developers
- Some meetups are more marketing and entrepreneurial focused
- One was more workshop oriented, than networking and meetup centric
- Three of them were created by platform providers offering similar gatherings to other meetups
I also had an interesting conversation with one of the meetup organizers which I’ll cover in a separate post, where we discussed the need for making sure meetups are community centric and not platform, company and provider centric.
With my cursory look at San Francisco meetups, I see a lot of opportunities for other communities to learn and emulate, but I’m not entirely convinced that the Bay Area approach to building developers communities will perfcctly translate to other cities.