As a developer living in Los Angeles, I’ve often felt distant from my programming comrades up north in Silicon Valley. Let’s face it, Silicon Valley gets an awful lot of attention:
- Lots of developers move there to work for cool up-and-coming startups.
- Tons of VCs throw cash at smart techies in the valley.
- An innumerable amount of “Why you need to move to Silicon Valley.” blog posts.
- A general sense of “If I’m not living in the valley I’m probably missing out”.
For those of us living outside the valley, this can be a bit disheartening. I’ve been not-so-secretly planning to relocate out of the Southern California area for a couple years now to pursue more high-tech culture and lifestyle up north. Over the past few months I’ve made more of an effort to rediscover the Los Angeles tech scene, and try to get involved. Since I’m living here, I might as well do my best to help build and foster a kick-ass programmer community.
In the past I’ve tried to find cohesive tech communities in the LA area unsuccessfully. It seems that only recently geeks around LA have been getting together and forming serious communities meant to foster tech growth in the area.
Let’s face it, in order to have a successful tech community you need a strong group of passionate developers who are able to:
- Get other developers excited and interested.
- Organize and host successful events.
- Maintain interest in the organization over long periods of time, and recruit future leaders.
- Kick ass and take names.
Right now, LA has a mind-blowingly amazing group of community leaders doing just that. These guys (and gals) are all extremely skilled and passionate individuals who are doing an excellent job of getting developers excited and organizing kick-ass events:
Over the past few months, I’ve been participating more in the LA Django and Python Ladies groups. Both meetups have been great. They both have strong leaders, and lots of programmer interest and involvement. The Django meetup group consistently fills up the venue and helps spread interesting ideas through lightning talks, in-depth talks, and socializing.
The pyladies group is interesting in that they’re really helping BUILD a strong, diverse tech scene in LA. They’ve been holding numerous events– everything from detailed tutorial classes teaching python and Django to beginners to caffeinated hack-a-thons encouraging local developers to work together and contribute to open source.
It has been a very exciting and motivating few months for me. I get the feeling that the python and Django community in LA is gaining traction, and can’t help but snowball over the coming years. All the ingredients seem to be in place, and excitement is in the air.
If you’re in the LA area, get involved! Go to the Python meetups in the area,
and meet the other developers. Join the
#pyladies IRC channel on Freenode,
and chat with other developers. The
#pyladies IRC channel is an amazing
resource, it’s filled with the coolest pythonistas in the LA area.