Miami CodeWorks, so far, was the smallest conference but I still think some important connections were made, especially with regard to user group contacts.
At the Microsoft happy hour on the second day of the conference in Miami, I was able to meet Brendon Van Heyzen, who is interested in starting up a PHP user group in Boca Raton. It seems that the Miami PHP user group has quietened down and gone silent, and he’s interested in starting up a group for the Boca Raton PHP community. We had a great discussion, and I offered him some points of advice on how to start a group, and this reminded me of the user group starter package I’ve discussed with Rafael and Michelangelo. I really need to push the PHP Groups initiative to get started on this.
The two main pieces of advice I offered were to start a mailing list and then to find adequate meeting space. The mailing list is important to get discussion going and to see what kind of group the people in your area want to have. It will inform your search for meeting space so you can find the kind of space that will work best for the type of meetings you want to have.
So, CodeWorks has been an excellent way to reach out to local leaders and people who want to start groups in their areas. If you’re interested in starting a group, join the PHP Groups mailing list and introduce yourself.
Rounding out our visit to Miami, I enjoyed some great Cuban food at Puerto Sagua, and we actually managed to find some good beer at The Room in Miami Beach. It was a beer oasis in the midst of a desert filled with mojito sand.