The advantages of Meet-ups

Being a career recruiter in today’s technology market has seen a plethora of social media platforms, websites & tools become available for recruitment market. I have recently becoming more and more involved in attending meet-ups and wanted to document my experiences here from a recruiter’s perspective and off-course how it also impacts our candidates.

Meet-ups are an underused tool in the arsenal of recruitment consultants that allows us to network and attract talented developers, however is also a great opportunity to actually learn more about the technologies and the people we’re partnering with (shocking)!

One of the concerns I had when I first started attending meet-ups was of being that elephant in the room, being that one person that everybody wanted to avoid. Should I wear a big name badge that says recruiter and would this help in avoiding an uncomfortable circumstance in case anyone tries to asks me a very in depth technical questions that I cannot answer? Or should I do it to merely lay my cards firmly on the table in an attempt to disprove the stereo typical view of “sneaky recruiters” lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce?

I have been attending the London JS meet-up hosted by Guy Nesher and sponsored by XL Engine, and I have to admit I was received a lot better than I expected. I had the opportunity to chat with a lot of new people, developers just starting out and those with a wealth of experience, and was met with many genuine questions on the current market conditions and the sorts of technologies I was seeing my clients more regularly ask for.

Tuesday’s (24th May) meetup at the Deloitte Digital offices, was led by two fantastic & informative speakers, Fernando Macias Pereznieto & Matt Zeunert, that had 30 min talks on JS debugging & a relatively unknown framework called Cycle.JS.

I was very impressed with Cycle.JS and although it hasn’t quite got the backing yet of a big enterprise such as Facebooks React or Google’s Angular yet. It is surprisingly well managed and has live real-time chat feature to discuss issues and get help (even the creator of the framework is active on this chat forum). In short Cycle.JS is specifically designed for functional & reactive programming designed for cleaner, simpler & more concise code and best of all it has short load times and is highly testable. I would highly recommend taking a look when you get the chance http://cycle.js.org/, http://cycle.js.org/basic-examples.html.

Thankfully I have started to see our client base’s hiring managers start to move away from only looking at candidates with Computer Science or related degree’s and its being coming more and more requested to find candidates that are active in the open source community and attending things like meet-ups.

If not for the networking & learning opportunities, it will highlight you to potential employers and recruiters alike… and let’s not forget the free beer and pizza which is also a plus. I for one thoroughly look forward to the next meeting and hope to meet some of you there http://www.meetup.com/js-monthly-london/