I've been hobnobbing it a bit with the locals lately.
First, I checked out the Ruby on Rails Sydney meetup a couple of weeks ago. An ex-colleague was doing a lightning talk on his experiences attending startup school in Chi-town. I wanted to come along and lend support. The talks were on emerging tech including Ansible which looks pretty cool from a devops point of view, and another on "DCI: Data, Context, Interaction". DCI is kinda like the command pattern from the Java days if you squint at it sideways. Awe, Ruby is getting all growed up. Met a lot of smart, passionate and interesting people that night. Seems to be characteristic of the Ruby community.
Tonight I went along to Silicon Beach Drinks after partaking of a couple of celebatory drinks at the Thoughtworks Christmas party (thanks for the invite Kelly). We were a bit late, but I met some cool folks and would definitely like to come back. While pretty laid back, I got the sense that there are some serious folks just getting on and building out product they believe in. Would have loved to have chatted more.
Quite a few people were interested in talking about building Apps on the Shopify platform. Might tee up a session at an upcoming RoRo meeting to talk to that if they'll have me, but in the mean time I guess it is fair to say that I didn't realize how much I missed getting out there at a grass roots level and meeting people who with a passion. Sign me up for more.