We’ve an exciting new year ahead for engageSPARK, but also the tech community in Cebu. I thought it’s a good time to look back at how 2017 worked out for our tech community efforts, and what we can do better going forward.

2017 was a peculiar year, which saw a shift in our activity. In the first half, we’ve talked at or helped organize about a dozen meetups, from DevOps, over Golang and our old friend PizzaPY to Testing and even a blockchain meetup. Banx, Sab and Zak have been fantastic at getting people together.

We’ve held two workshops at PyCon 2017 in Cagayan de Oro. (Fantastic work by Banx, JayR, Mar and Zak.)

On the blog series front, we were a bit too quiet to reach our goals, with three blog posts written.

Most meetup groups, frankly, stayed below our expectations. Maybe we did not invest enough time in preparations, and so engagement stayed too low, and our efforts died down. Two meetups were exceptions to that: The Testing community and the Cebu Tech Leaders meetup.

The testing community is more close knit, and fantastically managed by Banx. If you are or want to be a QA in Cebu, do reach out to her to participate, or join the Cebu Software Testers FB group.

The Cebu Tech Leaders meetups stayed strong, evolving over time, because in my opinion it was driven by self-interest: There are few people there, usually half a dozen, but everyone is interested in sharing and learning for their own growth.

This principle Mark and I applied in summer 2017 to create λ Cebu, a meetup group for passionate programmers. We meet once a month over a beer or dinner, and talk about coding. And we do workshops, or we code.

Where the other meetup groups faded due to lack of engaged programmers, with people showing up, but very uncommittedly, those three groups remained very active, meeting regularly, with different people sharing, and every single person participating.

In 2018 we intend to strengthen those three groups. Plans include a mini-conference for the companies in the Cebu Tech Leaders group, a couple of workshops and programming contests for λ Cebu and probably advanced topics for the testers groups, around Selenium Grid, test case documentation, and methodologies.

If you’re interested in any of those, reach out to us via the respective channels. 🙂