Generally the ratio is way too small. Far less signal than noise.
All the :
3. unnecessary questions
4. explanatory asides.
5. personal anecdotes
finally, get to topic and spend about 5 minutes of the hour.
I could watch a pluralsight or read an article or a book and get to the point.
Why are meet-ups like this so often?
Wait, are we talking about dev meet-ups? I can't think of any other way devs might socialize.
I'm thinking of launching "LoneProject.com" - a forum for lone developers to ask questions, join in jolly banter, share anecdotes and pics of their workplaces, moan about life in general etc. Membership will be strictly invitation only. I'm not going to send any invitations.
Once upon a time I was invited to attend a local 'computer users group' thinking I might meet some other developers...wrong! It was a bunch on senior citizens discussing email/AV related stuff. One guy bragged about how he kept his system in tip-top shape by running 2 virus scanners and defragging his HD every week. I never went back!
ha ha. I went to one of those, some time ago. It was a bunch of teens discussing the merits of 6502 vs 8080, debating whether BASIC would ever take over from Assembler, and swapping C30 cassette tapes. Wait... yes, it was some considerable time ago, come to think of it. I never went back, either.
Well, that sounds much more interesting than listening to blue hairs discussing how to attach files to emails! I did find it interesting that the majority were downright scared that 'bad people' were trying to break into their systems...AV/security were the biggest topics.
About once a month we come together (all the nerdy and geeky boys and girls here) to play board games, mostly fantasy or sci-fi based, like "Risk-Game of Thrones Edition" (really done well) or the good old Robo Rally from Richard Garfield (the guy who created Magic the Gathering) and similar games.
We play here in the office, in meeting rooms where we have all the space we need, including a TV, music and all.
We get a beer or two, company spends dinner for all (and the beers too ) and we just play along!
I don't attend on hackathons and public events. No interest.
But nerdy board game evenings are cooooooool