I’ve been talking to quite a few people as part of the dayjob. And I knew I was talking to quite a few communities, but even I was surprised when our communications officer asked just how many, and we counted over 100. Which since I’ve only been doing this since January is rather a lot. So first, if you’re part of a community that I talk to, please bear with me if I seem a little distracted. And second, part of the job is to create stronger links between these communities and the UN, so I thought I’d write about who I was talking to and why, to give other UN peeps some possibly-needed leads.
This is going to take a while, so I’ve split it into three posts: international communities, local New York communities and UN projects and communities. Later on, there are academics, companies and conferences, but for now the focus is on groups.
So. Starting with the New York communities (and this is a post that would be appropriate for each PulseLab).
I found these communities through personal contacts (it helped to have shared an apartment with a major community member – thank you John, and thanks to the crisismappers for introducing us), and by searching meetup.com. Garys Guide was also useful, as was searching eventbrite and the New Work City and General Assembly events and classes pages. But after a while, most useful leads come from people I meet.
Community events happen, usually in the evenings, at tech company buildings all over the city, but there are two co-working spaces that are very active at hosting community events and well worth a mention: New Work City and General Assembly. I’ve been a member of both of these – for a once-weekly desk space at New Work City, and for community notices and some excellent tech training classes at GA.
For algorithms, I go to:
- Hacks/Hackers New York – hackers and journalists together: a very active group, always with interesting ideas
- NYC Predictive Analytics – applied machine learning and big data
- NYC data nerds. Not so much a group, as an informal data drinking club, brought together by Drew Conway and Hilary Mason. We’ve also heard about a Sunday-morning data nerds’ brunch club by the New York Times building, but we haven’t managed to track them down yet.
- Data Without Borders – not so much a meetup as a movement that runs hackathons and projects, but a good one worth watching.
For programming, I go to:
- NY Hacker - the local coders group. Holds monthly townhalls and weekly drop-ins
- NY Tech – the big meetup for NYC technologists, hosts huge meetings that I haven’t managed to get to yet.
- NY Ruby, nyc.rb and NYC on Rails – the Ruby programming language. I also like Ruby Nuby, a group that meets to train people in Ruby.
- NY Python and Django-NYC – the Python programming language
- NY R – the R statistical programming language (useful for big data)
- HPC & GPU Supercomputing Group NY – these guys can run up some awesome computing resources very very quickly
- NY Hadoop user group – one of the more widely-used big data frameworks
- NY Scala - a newish framework that I’m tracking as potentially useful to us in the future
For development (as in human development) technology and Open Data:
- NY Tech4Good
- OpenNY – our local Open Data group, and a strong part of the New York open data initiatives.
- Volunteer Coders – doing some great work on social projects.
- CrisisCampNYC – runs a monthly social that gets the local crisismappers away from their keyboards for a while.
- NYC Resistor – local tinkerers group
And for sanity, I go to the NY CTO Club.
I will have missed some groups off that list, some of them because they’re not quite up and running yet. It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s just that I’m tracking a lot of groups here – so please please tell me about anyone active that I’ve forgotten.