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This may sound like an odd idea, but when I'm travelling I like to go to local user group meetings. I have two reasons for this:

It is a good way to meet local people I have something in common with and escape the backpacker crowd for an evening. Often people go out for drinks and food after the meeting for extra socializing.

I also may learn something new in IT and may use my brain for a change :-)

While at home I usually only visit user groups for my specific field/technology, on the road I like to branch out and go to any meetings that fits my schedule.

I know there are user groups in India and there are tons of software developers and IT people there too, but how common are meet-ups and can I just drop in? Are they all in English? Are there code camps or similar events? Is there a good online source for finding out about events?

I know this is a long-shot but there are many IT people here and some of them even from India.

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5 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes! There are indeed many meetups and hackathons that take place in India - I used to be involved in organising some of them - and while most of them have pre-registration, it is not necessary. Sessions are always conducted in English so this is not an issue you will face. The technical level of the events varies widely though: some are aimed more at getting general users more interested while others are more 'hardcore'. On the whole though comparing them to hackathons / meetups in the UK, these are generally less technical as the events see huge crowds of university students with low exposure wanting to learn. So the meetups are also usually very large in participation size (think 100s of participants) rather than dozens. While I have been out of the meetups scene in India for a while, there appears to be some amount of grumbling that the events sometimes aren't technical enough.

The best thing would be to look for announcements on the Linux User Group India mailing list, Hackers India, OSSCamp, Unpluggd, and BarCamp. As you can see, there's a heavy tilt towards free/open-source technologies (and from your site, that's probably not what you're interested in). My best suggestion would be to look out for next Unpluggd or BarCamp (each major city has its own organising group, so there's not single site to link to, just search online) as these see a slightly more diverse and mature crowd.

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just adding lanyrd.com/places/india as a source to find events - it seems to cover some of those mentioned above as well as longer conferences. –  froderik Feb 12 '12 at 9:59
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Ooh, that's a good resource right there! –  Ankur Banerjee Feb 12 '12 at 11:19
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Barcamp Bangalore chapter is quite active. In fact BCB 11 just happened yesterday.

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I've just been to a meetup group on Saturday with Sapporo.rb. I had a wonderful time.

Some tips for you:

  • If you don't know what user groups exist, email someone from that country.
  • Announce your arrival in advance. If you want to be humble about it, do so by saying you're out of town and want to confirm the date and location.
  • Don't be afraid to check the time and location. Information on the Internet can become incorrect, and the location given by web 2.0 can be incorrect.
  • Don't be afraid to give a talk. I did so and they liked the talk. If language is a slight barrier, do something that's self demonstrating (for example, a product demo or a programming one-liner). The language barrier won't be a major problem if there are some bilingual individuals who can help you explain something or translate any questions.
  • Make sure your calendar is clear for their next big event - they've asked that I come to Sapporo regional Rubykaigi!
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Domo arrigato mindcorrosive-san! –  Andrew Grimm Feb 13 '12 at 23:42
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http://www.php.net/

Down the right hand side there are many user group. conferences and meetups for developers.

http://www.meetup.com/

Is another great sight where you can search for any kind of meeting in any kind of country!

Cheers

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A place for startups and entrepreneurs to meet in Pune is Pune Open Coffee Club (POCC)

You can find the details here.

They have events scheduled on a regular basis. You can drop in for a 1-2 hour talk which interests you.

You can find the calendar for PuneTech events and agenda here.

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