Technology is continually changing, and one of the best ways to stay on top of these changes is by talking to your peers. Connecticut small business owners and IT professionals can learn a lot by meeting with other technology professionals to share tips, techniques, and gossip about what’s happening with the technology vendors and platforms that are vital to their business.
The Meetup web site and mobile app is very useful in finding like-minded professionals interested in meeting and sharing information. Meetups are generally organized by region and special interest, including technology with Meetups for programming platforms, vendors, technology specialties, startups, and other categories.
Here are some of the most active Connecticut meetup groups for various technologies:
The Stamford tech group has been meeting since 2010 and now has more than 2,000 members. The group provides technology companies with a chance to demonstrate their latest products to a captive audience and receive feedback. It also provides a forum to meet potential employees, partners, and customers around Fairfield county. The group meets the last Monday of the month at the Stamford Innovation Center.
With 1,407 members, the Stamford Innovation Center meetup is a chance for entrepreneurs, investors, and experts to meet with their peers. The events typically include guest speakers and roundtable discussions in various topics. Meetings are held at the Stamford Innovation Center in the restored Old Town Hall in downtown Stamford.
Startup Grind is a global community of 469 local members, created to connect, educate, and inspire CT small business owners and entrepreneurs. There is a monthly speaker who tells his or her story and shares insights about their startup experience, offering “lessons learned” that can help Connecticut small business owners.
Part of the Stamford Hackathon Group, the meetup has 260 participants and meets to discuss new technology. It’s open to developers, programmers, and even interested parties who don’t want to talk about the nerdy stuff. The group discusses a wide range of topics including virtual reality, 3D modeling, augmented reality, and 3D printing.
For SMB professionals interested in the ins and outs of the Microsoft SharePoint platform, CTSPUG allows attendees to share their successes and almost-successes of SharePoint installations and applications. The group has 264 members and meets regularly mid-month.
The Java group has 183 members and meets monthly to discuss new and emerging Java applications and technologies. The goals of the group are to keep attendees abreast of updates in Java development and open source. The group is free and has been meeting since 2000.
For Connecticut small businesses that need more coding expertise, ByteArray was formed to help people develop their web, mobile, and game programming skills in a series of monthly expert workshops held around the state. The group has 324 members and meets regularly. (It’s BYOL–Bring Your Own Laptop.)
For those interested in cyber security, area members of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) meet regularly in Hartford to discuss industry news, demonstrate new technology tools, and discuss new security techniques. The group also has frequent guest speakers to talk about emerging technology.
The 369 members of GNULUG meet monthly to discuss Linux development and applications and all things open source.
For software developers and architects specifically interested in the Python development platform, the Greater Hartford Python Group brings together developers, designers, and technologists monthly to talk Python. The group has 584 members.
Any Connecticut small business owner should be interested in the Fairfield County Digital Marketing Meeting where professionals share their insights about online technology and marketing. This group is about more than just web and social media marketing, but developing integrated marketing programs across various outlets. The group currently has 391 members.
The CTC also maintains an Entrepreneurial Events calendar that highlights regular events of interest to Connecticut small business owners and startups.
These are just some of the local networking groups that can provide you with new insights and new contacts that can aid your small business. Don’t underestimate the value of networking. You never know when you may meet a new customer, partner, or employee, or learn something that could prove valuable for your business.