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Ari Waller for JFrog

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Atlanta Tech Meetup’s Selfless Act Exemplifies Community

Atlanta Tech Meetup’s Selfless Act Exemplifies Community

Which is a better JavaScript or Java? Well, when the chips were down, and an anticipated conference, ngAtlanta, was canceled for both paid attendees and sponsors, the answer to that question really did not matter. What did matter was the actions the Atlanta Java Users Group (AJUG) took to ensure the ngAtlanta community were taken care of in their time of need.

If you think putting on a successful conference is easy, think again. It takes a lot of experience and know-how, and even then, a wrong decision can be costly enough to tank the whole event. The leaders of AJUG, Vincent Meyers and Pratik Patel, have learned through many years of experience (and bumps and bruises along the way) how a disappointment like this can impact the morale and confidence in the tech community.

Perhaps this is why when I commended Vincent on their heroic actions he humbly and simply stated, “we could do it, so we did”.

Every year, AJUG puts on Devnexus, the largest independent software development conference in the country. This year, with the Georgia World Conference Center (GWCC) as their venue, 2400+ attendees as well as scores of sponsors, gathered in Atlanta. With only 2 weeks to spare, Vincent and Pratik heard the disappointing news, ngAtlanta was canceled, and those attendees and sponsors who had paid were “out of luck” as no refunds were being offered.

The AJUG and Devnexus team swiftly jumped into action. With the help of Angel Banks, an Atlanta tech community hero who is a director of the Atlanta Women Who Code chapter and organizer of Refactr.Tech an Atlanta tech conference with a focus on diversity and inclusion, they contacted paid attendees, sponsors and speakers scheduled to participate in ngAtlanta. They used their venue at the GWCC to put on a conference-within-a-conference for the ngAtlanta community which included meeting space, audio/video equipment, parking, food, parties, raffles, and swag. Oh yeah, they also made all Devnexus conference sessions, and an extra conference day available those who had already paid to go to ngAtlanta.

This year, I was honored to be part of a technical conference that not only exceeded the expectations of those who attended but also took swift action to unify the community.

Ari Waller is the Meetup Event Manager for JFrog. JFrog, the Liquid Software Company, is a proud sponsor of the Devnexus and the Atlanta Java User Group


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