This week I am out among developers, IT and business leaders in Las Vegas for InterConnect 2015, IBMs premier cloud and mobile conference, and a common theme that I have heard this week in many of the presentations is the importance meetups play in the Open Source Community. After all, open source is all about people coming together from around the world, to collaborate on a common goal, to solve shared problems.

Everyone talks about the role of social technology enabled by instant messaging, social media, and GitHub as collaborative forces for shared problem solving for sure, but all along the simple act of getting together in person to learn, share, and collaborate has driven open technology forward and is one of the most powerful ways to participate in the open source community.

jobs

Flash back to the first user groups, such as SHARE, which was organized by IBM and is the oldest computer user group still in existence. Later user groups such as the Homebrew Computer Club were considered the birthplace of new technologies. The meetings were where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak gained critical inspiration for the first Apple computer, and where the first code was shared on printed paper and typed in by hand (or over-enthusiastically copied, to the chagrin of Bill Gates). That spirit lives on in what are now more generally known as meetups (and most easily facilitated using – what else – a cloud SaaS: Meetup.com).

IBMers have long participated in user groups in their area, and IBM has hosted several groups, such as New York PHP, for over ten years (and still going strong; join us at our latest meetup tonight!). But over the last year in particular, the growth around Cloud Foundry, OpenStack, and Docker has been phenomenal. So first a big shout out to all of you who volunteer your time to make this meets up happen in your own communities and in particular the IBMers that participate in a truly open and collaborative way in these events.

IBM Led/Co-led Meetups around the world
City Members City Members
Boston Area Cloud Foundry Meetup 165 NYC OpenStack Meetup 1,340
NYC Cloud Foundry Meetup 435 Connecticut OpenStack Meetup 104
Triangle Cloud Foundry Meetup 101 Seattle Cloud Foundry Meetup 119
Silicon Valley Cloud Foundry Meetup 1126 Bay Area PaaS & Cloud Foundry Meetup 300
Beijing Cloud Foundry Meetup 140 Shanghai Cloud Foundry Meetup 85
Shenzhen Cloud Foundry Meetup 54 Hang Zhou Cloud Foundry Meetup 8
Beijing OpenStack Meetup 310 Shanghai OpenStack Meetup 89
Ningbo OpenStack Meetup 10 Shenzhen OpenStack Meetup 4
Xi’an OpenStack Meetup 148 Austin OpenStack Meetup 1009
Austin Cloud Foundry Meetup 104 Fort Lauderdale Cloud App Meetup 25

ChinaMeetup

If you look at the table above closely you will see that some of the biggest growth areas are in China. IBMers all over China are bringing the message of Open Source to their communities. To the right is a picture from a recent meetup in Xi’an China. Where a group of like minded individuals met to discuss OpenStack and how the OpenStack Community can bring value to their companies and businesses.

In US cities such as New York City, Silicon Valley, Austin, Seattle, and Boston, Cloud Foundry meetups run by IBMers continue to grow in size. Last year, IBMers have also co-organized and presented at the OpenStack New York, Philadelphia, Austin, and Connecticut groups. We’ve hosted events with Docker groups as well. We are continuing that impact in this year, with our last event in Silicon Valley again getting huge response from the community.

 

So join us at one of our upcoming IBM hosted or co-organized meetups, such as the Cloud Foundry event in Austin tonight.

CloudFoundryMeetup

As we like to say, the powerful thing about cloud computing is that resources are virtualized and distributed globally. But a great way to learn (or share your knowledge) about cloud computing itself is to attend a local meetup.

Who knows, we just might have cake for you!

Cake

 

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