This is an adaptation of an email I wrote a friend a while ago. Did I forget something? Let me know.
Ann Arbor has a vibrant tech community, even if it’s kind of small compared to what you’d find in NYC or the valley. There are a few groups I recommend you check out to get started:
- Craftsman Guild is a group that meets monthly and has a someone give a talk on some software-related thing. Topics vary widely, but it’s always interesting. Also on Twitter: @craftsmanguild
- a2geeks is a local nonprofit which provides support to the local geek/tech/hacker community. Chances are, anything new or exciting in the A2 tech community will be announced on the a2geeks mailing list. A few important links for them: the a2geeks Google group, @a2geeks, the a2geeks site (community news and info about the events that a2geeks sponsors), a2geeks on Facebook, a2geeks on Tumblr.
- Coffee House Coders is an interesting group. They meet every two weeks or so to “work on side projects, talk about technology, and meet other coders”. Programmers of any skill level are welcome, and they often organize tutorials on various subjects. They have a mailing list as well.
- NSCoders is a group organized by a friend of mine to talk about iOS development. Meetings are sporadic and are highly informal. It’s a fun group, and chances are very good that I’m at every meeting.
- A2 CocoaHeads, which is a little more formal than NSCoders, is also focused on iOS and OS X dev. They also have an active Google group.
- All Hands Active is our local hackerspace.
- A2rb (A2 Ruby Brigade) is a Ruby dev group which meets monthly-ish. I don’t usually go since I’m not a big Ruby user right now, but I know several people who and they’re a good crew.
- For students, there’s an awesome Michigan student group called Michigan Hackers. They do hackathons, informal talks, and everything in between.
- Mobile Monday organizes talks about various mobile development things.
- A2NewTech is a monthly meeting where local entrepreneurs present about the projects they’re working on. It’s much more business/networking- than tech-oriented, but it’s still cool to check out.
- The Tech Brewery is a local office space where a bunch of tech businesses (including Duo Security) got their start. They used to have Beer:30 on Fridays at 4:30, but I’m not sure if that’s happening now that Duo has moved out.
- Nerd Nite organizes a few talks monthly on a variety of “nerdy” topics. This is a general interest group, not software-related, but still a cool one.
- Ignite Ann Arbor: every once in a while, we have an Ignite event in A2. I highly recommend attending these whenever they happen.
- GeekTour organizes tours of geeky places around the area.
I think that’s most of what I know offhand.