As you know, over the past 7-8 months we've started up the Python Code Jam sessions, which I think have been going quite well. I wanted to create a fun, casual atmosphere where we could hang out, discuss, and show each other things with Python and related technologies. For that reason, I chose a small local restaurant / bar that I had discovered earlier, called Tom's Folly.
Tom's Folly has been very good to us so far, never charging us a fee to meet, and being very accommodating and friendly to a roving gang of laptop-wielding folks who decided to show up once a month. The feedback I've gotten from people who attended the meetups is that the food and drinks have been good, and I think the service has also been quite good. The owner Tom even sent out free desserts to the group this past month just to thank us for continuing to meet there.
Sadly, Tom's Folly has decided to close its doors this week. Which brings me to the point of this message - our Code Jam sessions no longer have a meeting place!
Of course I am going to continue hosting meetings (I enjoy them as much as anyone else), so I'll be spending some time before our next meeting to call around and find some places that might be willing to have us. As I started thinking of places, I realized this should probably be more of a group project. So, here is my request to you - if you have a favorite spot, or have been by a place a few times and you think they'd have the room for us, and be a comfortable spot to meet, let me know. You don't have to worry about speaking with them or booking rooms or anything like that - I'll be happy to do that myself. Just email me or otherwise let me know the information (phone numbers are especially helpful) and I'll contact them and see if I can get them to agree to hosting our meetings.
Just for reference, here are tips to consider a new location:
- Location, Location, Location! Centralized places are better, as we have Pythonistas scattered all throughout the metro area. And don't forget that we meet not too long after Rush Hour, so it's preferred if the place is easy to get to in traffic.
- Space: The Code Jam meetups have averaged around 15-20 people per month, so if the location has a room we can book, or can reserve us the space to push a couple of tables together, that would be great.
- Food and Drinks: I have a couple places in mind but I tend to prefer somewhere we can eat and drink while we talk. The more varied the food the better, because I'm sure we have a lot of different tastes in the crowd. And the more affordable the menu, the better!
- Network: It's pretty hard to do much without access to the Internet, so having free wifi is definitely something we'd be looking for.
- Power: This isn't as big a concern, since I usually bring extension cords, but Tom's wasn't the greatest place for getting power to our laptops. If the power situation is better at the new place that would certainly help.
- Free (as in beer): Of course the best places would be places that wouldn't charge us to meet. If they require a fee, I'd potentially be willing to foot that bill, or work something out with members, but free is the best price.
If you have any places that meet all these needs, or at least some of them, please email me and let me know. I'll also be at tonight's meetup if you want to just come talk to me. And by all means, if you've always wanted to come to a Code Jam but couldn't because of the location, please let me know and suggest something that might be easier for you. I always want to try to be the most accommodating to the greatest amount of our members that I can!
Thanks, and see you all soon!