Help Club

We are all craftsman and we all learn something new every week if not every day. We learn through the process of having a problem then solving it and sometimes we need help.

In New York, I’ve attended and helped many developers in the local NYC on Rails meetups through a weekly meeting called Hacker Hours. It’s a nice change of pace from the normal Ruby meetups because Hacker Hours attracts a lot of non-Ruby developers in a wide range of skill ranges over a wider diverse set of people. I helped in Ruby, PHP, .NET, Java, HTML/CSS/JavaScript, iPhone, etc.

I have plans in motion to migrate back to Atlanta and once I settle in, I plan to create the Help Club.

The rules are simple:

  1. You do talk about Help Club.
  2. You DO tweet about Help Club.
  3. You need to show up to learn or to help.

Based on rule #3, the meeting will lack suites and recruiters. This is for engineers looking to accelerate their learning or mentoring skills with complete comfort.

The process of helping or being helped is encouraged and shared through a ranking process. For every activity you participate in, you will earn points.

  • 1 pt per meeting when learning.
  • 3 pts per meeting when teaching.
  • 10 pts for a lightning talk.
  • 25 pts for a short presentation.

Those points go towards a rank.

  • 10 pts White Belt
  • 50 pts Yellow Belt
  • 100 pts Green Belt
  • 250 pts Brown Belt
  • 500 pts Black Belt

I’ll be the idiot grinning and cheerleading everyone as I hand out belts.

My plan is to have a bi-weekly 2.5 hour meeting. We will have two 1 hour helping sessions with a 30 minute presentation block in the middle. The presentations will either be a single short presentation or three lightning talks.

I look forward to working on this idea with my future coworkers and in encouraging everyone to learn. From beginners to experts. From desktop applications to mobile and web sites. I’ll even bring in Arduino and Raspberry Pi devices if there are interested developers.

Suggestions welcomed and I hope to announce something soon!