For the past couple months, I have been mentoring a group of junior developers who are going through a coding bootcamp. It's always a pleasure to meet with them every other week. We talk about life as a developer, technology news, career expectations and goals. I share my experiences, challenge them directly with questions about their approach, and we walk away better professionals. I really cherish this time with this small group of people, and it made me yearn for something similar aimed at technology professionals in the Twin Cities.

Brandon talked a little about something like this on Twitter a couple months ago. We ended up starting a Spectrum group, but it didn't quite get the traction we'd hoped it would. As Brandon put it, "try shit™️ and see what sticks." I had forgotten that a formula for something like this already exists.

My previous boss was member of something called CEO Roundtable. They organize themselves into peer groups of approximately eight to eleven business owners or CEOs. They meet once a month for four hours and share insights on managing, growing, and running their businesses.

And, holy shit! This is the type of group for which I am looking. Instead of business advice, I wanted a group of peers to talk about technology career things. It'd be something like:

  • Meetings are conversations, not a presentation/meetup.
  • Members should work in tech, but the group is tech agnostic. They should have nth years experience working in a technology or technology management role.
  • Meetings aren't for networking. The driver to participate isn't to find a new job leads or sell your product/services.
  • It's a small group of six to eight people. Any more, and sub-conversations can happen too easily.
  • It has three Cs:
    Continuity - The same people for all the meetings so we can carry topics, background knowledge, and familiarity with the peers in the group over multiple sessions.
    Confidence - Opportunity to openly discuss career experiences, struggles, and topics where someone may not have other outlets with the expectation that what is shared is only for the group.
    Commitment - Everyone commits to showing up at each meeting because their experience is what brings value to the group. (We're all busy! We can do this!!)
  • Possibly a fourth "C" for Coffee, because memes.

The idea is still a work in progress, but I hope this post will help spur some discussion about what this space can become. I believe the CEO Roundtable formula, with a bit of massaging, can work to help us form diverse, inclusive peer groups for everyone working in the technology space. I'll give this a couple weeks before I start to form group of beta testers, schedule an "MN-ice breaker", and see if this format will work.

Currently considering:

  • Duration
  • Scheduled Dates
  • Location(s)

If you have thoughts, find me on Twitter. My DMs are always open.