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Experimenting with Coffee Outside the Coffeeshop

kwelch profile image Kyle Welch ・2 min read

UPDATE: In response to this post, I have updated my calendly to include slots for Mondays and Wednesday until May

I am an extremely social developer and I am always looking for new ways to meeting new people. I have had coffees with people in Nashville that want to talk or are visiting. These conversations have been some of my favorite times. I also realized how limiting that approach was. I decided to expand my horizons and post about a new way on twitter.

Experiment Parameters

For the first attempt at this I wanted to be very open while also putting a limit on it. I used Calendly to organize the effort and a opened up time in my calendar for 2 weeks with a limit of a single 30-minute coffee session a day. Calendy made this setup super simple. However, I did have issues with the hangouts integration and will be using zoom going forward.

How did it go?

The response to this was amazing. I was surprised how quickly my first few session (only days away from posting) began to fill up. Overall, I had 7 session schedule, but 3 cancelled for various technical and personal reasons. I met with 9 people total throughout those session. My favorite part was that most of them I had not met before.

We talked about a variety of topics. In the first session it was around community, conferences, junior developers, build a network, and spiders 😂. My second session was all #DevDads, and we discussed various topics about balance of family time vs side projects, along with putting kids through an escape game to survive a video chat with the team.

Another session was full of conference organizer and we talked about community building and being remote as well as the virtual coffee idea in general. My biggest take away from this was the discussion around a slack bot that will pair team members together to have a virtual coffee together to help foster relationships without the company and give opportunities to break outside of our bubbles of isolation.

My last session was the only 1:1 conversation. The anticipation for this was building as we had been discussion Netflix shows on twitter for a few days and the conversation reflected it. I particularly enjoyed this conversation as it reached a goal of mine that virtual coffee did not have to be about tech. This is something I typically fall into when talking with other people in the industry.

Next Steps

As you can imagine I would this extremely beneficial and I will be looking to do this more in the future.

I would also recommend you do the same. You don't have to send it to all of the internet via Twitter as I did. Maybe you decided to open this up to your teammates, your local community, or just your family.

~I used Calendly with a single event in their free tier.~

Update
I was on a free month of pro which made this possible for group events. Their free tier only allows for 1:1 event types.

I expect to do this more in the future so I bought a year of the Premium subscription.

Discussion

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rogue_halo profile image
Rogue Halo

Great! I'll have to start doing my own coffee sessions as well. I know you have an espresso there for your cover picture, but what is your favourite type of coffee? Mines is a double shot white coffee.

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kwelch profile image
Kyle Welch Author

At home I am pretty simple and use a kreiug and a french press. We have caramel vanilla k-cups a plenty. Along with french roast and pike place beans.

If I am at a coffee shop my goto is a latte, either vanilla or caramel, with an extra shot.

For a long time I have been a heavy energy drink consumer, so I am always up for more caffeine.

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rogue_halo profile image
Rogue Halo

Speaking of energy drinks - A double espresso mixed with some redbull never goes a miss.

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kwelch profile image
Kyle Welch Author

Oh wow! That is an extreme I am not sure I am ready to try. 😂

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rogue_halo profile image
Rogue Halo

😆 Not for the faint hearted, has helped me through some tough debugging though.

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jnbrymn profile image
John Berryman

Kyle... why on earth are you no on pennyuniversity.org/ We are your kind of people!

Why on earth are you not helping us BUILD Penny University?