Recently I attended a Meetup in Asbury Park, NJ called Jersey Shore Tech. The gathering I attended had a guest speaker named Tim Boisvert who is the Director of Technology for Ashe Avenue a web / mobile development company that builds and supports media sites for big names like AOL, VICE, and High Times.
Visiting Asbury was kind surreal considering the last time I was there was before the revival had begun. Back then the boardwalk was mostly empty except for those looking trouble of doing some urban exploring. While exploring I remember seeing skeletons of unfinished high rises, beautiful rusting art deco buildings and amazing beaches. Although the town was in ruins back then you could see the amazing potential this special place had.
So you could imagine how stoked I was to see this town back on top again. When I first I arrived at the Lake avenue address for the Meetup I was pleasantly surprised how nice the area is. There is an old factory that is being renovated into a Biergarten which is really awesome. I walked into the Co Werks building and I was immediately greeted by a friendly face who showed me to the meeting.
On the floor where the Meetup convenes there is also a music studio so I could here sounds of music being played all around me. I peek in the room see what appears to be a meeting so I open the door and see a familiar face from the Meetup page its Bret Morgan the group organizer and host I shake his hand and take a seat among the group of techies.
The group is nicely diverse there are developers, investors, start ups, enthusiasts, programmers, engineers, and sales guys. The room where we meet is whats called a co working space which means during the day it is a shared work space but during the meeting the desks are slid to the side to make room for the group.
The idea of co working is something that is really going to change the game for many people in tech especially start ups that need to keep costs low. Another benefit is it can help spread ideas faster among like minded people who could collaborate and build synergy together. For me a coworker at my full time mentioned I should check out meetup, I ‘ve heard of it before but never took a closer look until now.
Once the meeting started Bret asked all in attendance some questions. “Who needs a developer?” Who needs an investor?” Its at this point I realize I was let in on something really special this is not just some group to shoot the breeze about tech. But instead a working productive group who takes an interest in making its members successful.
Once those requests are heard he intros the speaker for the night Tim Boisvert Technology Director of Ashe Avenue. Tim began talking about coding languages and how you can streamline work by leveraging the power of the cloud. In this case Amazon’s version of cloud computing called AWS or Amazon Web Service. His discussion focuses on how you can manage a large number of images stored in Amazon S3 using one hour of coding, SQS and EC2. Once Tim was finished with his presentation he fielded Q&As from the group. After he wrapped up Bret invited everyone from the Meetup to join him at a local pub for a drink.
About half of the group walks together around the block to the pub. As if the value I ‘ve gained from the meeting wasn’t enough I was able to further network with members such as the founders of a start up that aggregates video for musicians, a Drupal developer, a software engineer who is a Yoga instructor and Brett Morgan one the founders of the Co Werks, Asbury Agile, and Bands on A Budget.
The doors of opportunity that were opened for me at my first night of Jersey Shore Tech are priceless. I intend to continue to be member and contributor to the group and possibly join other groups in addition. Just want to thank all in attendance for the warm welcome I felt right at home with people who have common interests.
If you want to develop your knowledge or find your passion I highly recommend that you step out of your comfort zone and join a group in your area.