Meetup Writeup - Wellington, New Zealand: 2018-10

On Monday, a group of four Wellingtonians sat around a table and discussed ideas for fostering the local Rust community:

This was scheduled as a “morning coffee meet + greet” rather than a typical talk after work with pizza+beer. I framed it this way because I’ve

Some points discussed

The bulk of the discussion was centred around what a useful meetup looks like and what Rust could offer:

  • Learning first - the majority of people attending a meetup will have little Rust experience, perhaps aim to schedule tutorial sessions heavily at the start
  • Not another “me too” meetup - the town has plenty of technical talks - what can the Rust community do differently?
  • Seed the meetup by speaking at loosely affiliated groups such as WOSSAT, webdev & embedded community
  • Venue sponsors needed - some discussion that the larger local fintech companies might be interested in hosting so that they’re perceived to be ahead of the trends

Personal aspirations

I mentioned to attendees that I had written up some notes on what I would love to create. Here’s an extract from an email that I wrote when contemplating rekindling the local Rust scene:

I’ve been mulling over the idea of what an ideal technical meetup would look like for Wellington. There are many (vendor-sponsored) tech meetups, and I would like to do things slightly differently than every other meetup.

Here are some ideas:

  • open source done right - hopefully avoiding the harassment that’s been part of other open source communities
  • encourage next-day coffee catch ups (https://www.meetup.com/Wellington-Rust-Meetup/events/255128184/)
  • finishing on time (well managed meetings with hard stops if needed)
  • support for new speakers (talk coaching/feedback?)
  • less a Rust meetup, more software engineering
    • one of thing I’ve noticed about, say the NZ Python community, is slight isolationism
    • Rust is a magnet for people building large, difficult projects - there must be broader lessons to share outside of the language

Once the group is established, loose engagement from international players in Rust would be neat. Time zones makes this hard, but perhaps it could be something worth looking into.

Much more aspirationally, I would like to see an informal community of Wellington’s strongest technologists gather around the meeting. There have been many successful product companies built here.

Why not foster an environment that could nudge Microsoft Research/ARM/…/something home grown to experiment here? Is there anything else in the scale of Nyriad likely to emerge?

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The Auckland Rust meetup has a slack (invite link) if you’re interested in talking with other meetups around the country.

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Nice!

I sort of hate Slack and prefer to avoid it if I can. Let me know if you would ever consider using the open source society’s Rocket Chat instance and I’ll sort you out w/ a channel etc.

With Rustaceans in almost all time zones, there are many who potentially could cope with the NZ time zone difference were there a need for their real-time participation. Why not ask when you have progressed your meeting plans to where you might need them and see who responds?

I lurk on their slack but I’m actually based in Sydney myself and involved with the Meetup here. I’ll mention the rocketchat to them though.