Last week, I presented at Memphis Tech Talks, a lighting talk session hosted by The Fedex Institute of Technology (FIT) and Memphis Technology Foundation (MTF) at University of Memphis. "Memphis Tech Talks" is a new take on the "Super User Group" meetings that have taken place in the past. Memphis has a plethora of user groups like the Memphis Python User Group, Memphis Web Workers, Memphis PHP, Memphis WordPress User Group, and many others. Most of the user groups meet up on a monthly basis but skip a month once a year for an all-inclusive meet up. This is a great chance for all of the user groups to get together in the same room and talk tech.
This year was a little different: recently, the FIT, MTF, and Tech901 signed a partnership agreement that included space for the user groups to meet in FIT. Memphis Tech Talks was held in The Zone. There were six 15-minute talks, each on a completely unique topic—but all distinguished by their level of professionalism and technical detail. By the end of the night, I felt like I had attended a two-day conference.
For anyone who thinks Memphis can't be an awesome city for developers and IT professionals, we already have a happening tech scene with user group meetings, lunches, training sessions, get-togethers, and events like Memphis Tech Talks taking place on a weekly basis that you can experience first-hand. It's been a few years since I found the PHP user group and showed up without any real PHP knowledge or any idea what to expect. One user group led to another and, since then, I've learned more from other practicing professionals than I ever would have expected, shared my own knowledge and experience with others at user groups, and made friends and contacts along the way.
I think our local tech community and collective of user groups, often referred to informally and hashtagged as #memtech, is great for Memphis, and I would urge anyone interested in IT and software development to browse through the Memphis Technology User Groups on meetup.com and check out some meetings.
The call for papers is open for TechCamp Memphis, a free one-day conference coming up in September; there's still time to submit your talk.
Written by George Spake. Photo by Brad Montgomery.