We are on a tropical island, and it should be doable to have a fun event among geeks, outdoors, near white sand! The idea had been thrown around a few times, but we never tried to make it happen seriously …until now. A tech meetup at the seaside actually happened, and we all had a great time !
Like all previous meetups we invest a lot of time into planning the next one and the beach meetup presented new challenges, location, accessibility, carpooling, finding sponsors, communicating with all RSVP's.
We debated a few location ideas, and it was Kushul's idea to do it at La Cambuse Public beach. Around a month ago we visited Bois des Amourettes Government school where we participated in an early Christmas gathering on behalf of Upcode.mu with the kids. On the same day, we headed towards the beach to scout for a spot that would be suitable for the meetup. We picked a place that would be mostly covered by the trees for maximum shade, close to the water, and far from the public, to avoid potential partying noises.
It was surprisingly hard to convince the local companies to sponsor the meetup. I thought they would jump on the opportunity to promote the local scenery, especially those hiring devs from other countries to come work here. We had a few discussions and exchange emails with some companies, sadly none of them committed to sponsoring us.
A couple of days before the meetup, my good friend Yusuf AbdoolSatar extended his help to sponsor the lunch of this meetup, for which we are extremely grateful! 🎉
The week leading up to the 18th Nov was rainy with storms around the island, which means we had no other choice other than hoping the rain will not spoil our plans. We thank Zain for his fervent prayers, which wrought the favor of the celestial beings, steering the wrath of the rain gods away.
Kushul asked me for an artwork with a beach background to promote the event. In retrospect, I should have spent more than 5 minutes on photopea to make it a little less violent on the viewers' eyes. I apologize for that abomination. 😂
After obtaining everyone's contact detail via the RSVP form, we shortlisted the people who needed a lift. Kushul liaised with each of them individually to make sure someone else coming to the meetup could give them a lift. I picked up Ravi, Cedric and Aina from Vacoas at around 8.45am and proceeded to the location.
When we reached the beach, Alex and Mrs Delphine and Ankshita were already there. Shortly after, Dereck and Noorani joined us, and we started setting up. We had to carry the chairs, tent, and table on our back and everyone helped. 🙏
It took some time to set up the tent, plastic carpet, test the internet connection and meanwhile the crowd grew. Everyone who joined was wearing a big smile and the mood was very vibrant and positive !
We had a plan, and it worked ! The idea was to share the presenter's screen over a jitsi video call where everyone could join and see the presenter's screen clearly. I contacted Zain, Alex and Ish to find a solution about how we could run Jitsi on a LAN. So that we don't have to rely on an internet connection, but that was turning out to be more complicated than it needed to be.
In the end Ish hosted a jitsi server for us on a local server in ebene, and we were able to enjoy local connection speed without any other setup. It worked perfectly!
At around 10:40am I started the meetup by greeting everyone and welcoming the new faces. I asked Yusuf to say a few words as our sponsor, and he mentioned the revival of the GophersMU user group and invited anyone interested in the language to join their activities. Shortly after, Cherwine, Mervyn, Mike, Dan etc joined us.
- Abdallah Yashir RamsingNavigating Monorepos: Your Gentle Introduction to Efficient Web Development
- Alexandre BissessurUnderstanding the basics of Kubernetes
- Cedric PoillyTrivia is more fun with a touch of AI
- Ankshita MaunthrooaGolang for beginners
Abdallah opened the meetup by speaking about his experience on Monorepos and the world of tools that exist to manage monorepos.
There were quite a few questions and answers around the topic, with people sharing their experience on the topic.
Ankshita shared an introduction to the language to ease people into understanding its main strengths and who could benefit from it.
Yusuf elaborated on a few questions from the audience, and it appears Cedric, might take the dive into go very soon for his personal projects.
Alex took the "stage" next and gave us a very well crafted presentation and live demo of k8s. He actually ran the frontend.mu website, on a cluster of raspberry pies at his house, by SSH'ing into it from the beach.
That was really cool for those who understand the different layers of awesomeness involved here. And yes, it worked.
I appreciate how well he was able to convey what he knows but also when he couldn't answer something, he didn't beat around the bush and acknowledged it immediately. It shows trustworthiness and reliability.
Pizza was here, after Kushul managed to convince them to deliver it at the beach, and it was still hot! We took a break, had food while everyone networked.
After a while, I asked everyone to gather in front of the beach, where we took a group photo.
I couldn't take one with my drone because the area is a restricted zone.
Cedric prepared a presentation and demo of his game and how he incorporated AI into his coding process. If you don't know Cedric, streams on twitch regularly where he builds his projects live on stream ! After his presentation, we actually played the game once as a test and then held another round where 3 JetBrains licenses were up for raffles.
The meetup went much better than we could have expected. The vibe be really positive and it was worthy of being our last meetup for the year.
- Audio - Most speakers had to raise their voices so that they were audible to the audience. A device to amplify the sound would have greatly improved the experience. This is something we want to improve in general. Audio engineers in the crowd? Please get in touch!
- The location was great, but quite remote. Perhaps next time we could find a place that is more accessible.
A few of us stayed back to enjoy the cool breeze and great view after the meetup. The nerdy discussions continued, of course. And we had a really great time together ! We packed up around 4.30PM and carried all our stuff and empty pizza boxes to the garbage bins.
If you want to host a frontend.mu meetup next year, get in touch with me or Kushul. Until then, see you !