Last night (2/5) a company came to the meetup with the sole intent of
advertising their business. They were respectful, they did not interfere
in major ways, and they even offered space for us to use for future
meetups. They're super-nice fellows, but they still messed up, and made
some attendees pretty annoyed.
I guarantee you, if you own a business and want to let developers know
about it, infiltrating developer-only meeting spaces and soliciting is
going to backfire on you. The last thing you want is the first thing
you'll get; developers talking negatively about how oblivious or
disrespectful you were of their space and time.
If you want to offer some service to the group, contact me first, via
email. Don't show up at these events to speak to me. I actually want to
enjoy geeky time with my colleagues as well, so please be respectful of
my time. If you show up and start handing out business cards, developers
are going to scan and spread these cards around, warning others to be on
the lookout for you, probably saying some very unkind things. This is
exactly what happened last night.
Unwanted or unexpected solicitation is the kiss of death in many
developer communities, and rightfully so. Developers get solicited at
every turn, to the point where at times it feels like the beginnings of
harassment, or something else underhanded. This is such a big deal that
there was almost a lawsuit back in 2010, between a company and members
of our group, involving this very issue. I really cannot stress enough
how you simply should not do this.
This community is self-regulating regarding this rule. My warning is
actually a courtesy, to forewarn the oblivious, or save company owners
the embarrassment if they feel tempted to try this.
I am done being courteous about this. If you choose to do this, the
legal and/or social repercussions are all your own.
Below is the apology issued by the company that violated our space last
"I sincerely do apologise and please let them know that it was not our
intention to adverstise for our school or solicit any offers."