An Evening with Microsoft and the Lakefront Web Developers

An Evening with Microsoft and the Lakefront Web Developers

Slack and Company | June 20, 2016

Our new space being used exactly as we hoped.

Last week, Slack and Company had the privilege of once again hosting the Lakefront Web Developers, a group of 40 Chicagoland web developers, for an evening of networking, live coding, and discussion. Far more than just free pizza and beer (though no one seemed to mind), these monthly meet ups give local web development professionals a chance to meet and engage with their peers and hone and build new skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript and more. They also get to hear from industry experts on relevant, cutting-edge industry trends that impact their day-to-day work. The gathering, the fourth in our newly renovated office café, was co-sponsored by Michael Davies, longtime partner with Slack and Company and CEO of the b2b e-commerce company Alphazeta.  

Their keynote speaker was a perfect complement to the group’s purpose. David Giard, a Technical Evangelist with Microsoft tasked with learning cool technologies and teaching others to use them, led the evening with a presentation and live demonstration on Angular 2, a new JavaScript framework. 

Angular 2 is not so much an update to Angular 1, an old standby, as it is a complete reformation, and David’s talk focused on highlighting a few the valuable new ways that Angular 2 can be used to help today’s web developers. It’s especially useful for creating powerful, single-page web applications. After taking an hour to explain the intricacies of this new framework, David turned the evening over to the room for discussion and conversation. Everyone, from industry veterans to college students, had a chance to ask questions and engage with each other.  

That’s the best part of these meetings – people don’t sit in front of a screen and nod their heads until the speaker goes away, only to finally leave and completely forget everything. Discussion is encouraged, demos are live, collaboration is required and networking with passionate, genuinely interested people comes easily. It’s an evening for reaching back into the community and fostering new skills. 

Tech marketers, take heed – the benefits of a robust, active web developer community are yours for the taking. Access to local, knowledgeable developers can translate directly into tangible benefits for your own digital marketing programs. The developer that cares enough to spend their weekday evening learning is also the developer that has broader capabilities. They’ll come with more experience, with their own platforms and, very likely, yours. Their exposure to new, cutting-edge technologies and their intimate knowledge of emerging trends make them invaluable. Events like these expose them to new things and new ways of thinking, which will keep your digital marketing campaigns efficient, engaging and innovative. That’s why we make sure our own developers attend whenever possible. 

We can’t wait for the next one! Visit the Meetup page for Lakefront Web Developers for information on their next meeting. We hope to see you there.

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