It seems strange but there were no github meetups in India until today. At least that is what people are telling me. Tesco organized a github meetup in Bangalore at Marriott Whitefield and it was a huge success. There were 500 RSVP’s and the hall filled up. It was also at an unusual time compared to other meetups. The conference started at 5:30 PM and went on until around 10:30 PM (with dinner).

Let’s first get this out of the way. For a meetup/conference of this size/scale, it was very very odd that they did not setup WiFi. It was especially odd considering they had a tweeting contest. Moreover, the network was really poor in the conference hall and I had to experiment sitting in different places to finally get good speed.

Back to the subject, the evening started with a talk by Brent Beer on what is Github and discussed some new features. We had some lightning talks after that which was followed by a fireside chat (sans fire). This was followed by giveaways for the tweeting contest and a raffle. I am beginning to hate raffles, especially at a technology event. This was followed by dinner and then some tech talks on Docker and Chef.

I wish there were more to say but I found the whole conference slightly underwhelming. I truly appreciate Github’s contributions to open source and Tesco’s efforts in organizing this but this was not really a meetup. It was more a conference around getting enterprises on github. It was evident by the mannerisms in emphasizing people’s organizations, e.g., whenever someone asked a question, they would first say their name and the company they worked for, and if they didn’t, they were asked about it (at least once). Even the registration sheets were sorted by organization names, something which I have never seen before. It definitely did not have a meetup feel to it.

Even the topics and questions were more targeted towards enterprises. Most of the topics discussed were something that startups have been doing for years. Again, I am not saying they were incorrect or useless, but they were certainly very few things new to me. Maybe this changes in the future?

Another thing I noticed was that people asked as much questions about git as about github. For some reason, questions on git submodules and variants kept coming up.

The lightning talks were mostly about how Github helped various organizations (Paypal, Cisco, Tesco), but it was really more about open source.

I wish the meetups actually get more technical. The tech talks did help but placing them after dinner did not help the audience count. It’s not clear if any of the organizations intend to keep supporting the meetup. I wish they do.

All in all, a good start and I hope it improves. The evening ended at 10:15 PM after the tech talks and with remaining T-Shirts given away. Kudos to Tesco and Github for their efforts on the event.

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