How Software Practitioners Use Informal Local Meetups to Share Software Engineering Knowledge
Informal technology “meetups” have become an important aspect of the software development community. However, although local technology meetups are well-attended by developers, little is known about their motivations for participating, the type or usefulness of information that they acquire, and how local meetups might differ from and complement other available information channels for software engineering information. We interviewed the leaders of technology-oriented Meetup groups, and collected quantitative information via a survey distributed to participants in technology-oriented groups. Our findings suggest that participants in these groups are primarily experienced software practitioners, who use Meetup for staying abreast of new developments, building local networks and exchanging tacit knowledge with peers to improve their practice. We suggest that face to face meetings are useful forums for exchanging tacit knowledge and contextual information needed for software engineering practice.