In the programming community, user groups form support networks for people interested in certain topics. They are a great place to increase your skills and network with other programmers. User groups are informal and their structure varies from group to group. Anyone can form their own group and set their own rules and schedule.
Ruby User Groups
If you want to get together with other Ruby programmers, a local user group may be just the thing. Ruby user groups are entirely devoted to Ruby. They typically feature monthly meetings, a mailing list, a Web site, and if you are lucky, frequent hacking sessions (meetings devoted to giving people a chance to write Ruby code).
Information about Ruby user groups can be found on various Web sites:
- A public listing of Ruby groups throughout the world. Also allows Rubyists to place themselves on a map of the world.
- Ruby Meetup Groups
- A substantial number of Ruby User Groups have chosen to make Meetup their home. Meetup provides a number of tools for user groups, including: private forums, a place for announcements, automated meeting reminders, and a nice RSVP system.
Organizing Your Own Group
If you are interested in forming your own group, be sure to find out if there is already a Ruby user group in your area. Larger meetings are usually much more fun, so starting your own group may not be the best option if there is already one nearby.