On Saturday 27 January 2024, the Python community in Bulawayo had its first meetup of the year. Mpumelelo, Tyrone and I organised it to get together to discuss ways we can collaborate better on projects.
I was happy to co-organise this meetup to meet community members I haven’t met before, encourage a sense of community and plan for future events. Our community isn’t where I would like it to be right now because it is mostly limited to a WhatsApp group that has more jokes and tech wars about OSes and Editors than actual useful content. Mpumelelo and I agree that while this kind of playful banter is okay in moderation, it isn’t helpful to anyone and we would like to change that. We want the community to have more empathy, to produce more projects and collaborate more on productive things. To address this problem, we are planning on having more in-person and online meetups so we get to know each other better and collaborate on projects.
Roughly thirty of us met at the Bulawayo TechHub in the morning. Mpumelelo got the ball rolling for us. He introduced everyone and explained the goals of the meetup. I presented on how Open Source projects are organised and how to contribute to them using a practical demonstration based on a project the community has running. Last year, we started a relatively simple web-based open-source project to get anyone willing to learn started. The project is a Django-powered social networking site similar to Twitter. I discussed the backend of the project and how to get involved with it while Tyrone talked about the Front End. I learned some react!
We talked, coded, debugged and generally had a good time. I’m looking forward to more meetups. Here are some pictures from the event.