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Monday 24 December 2012

Kraków – Vibrant with History... and Technology

First of all, under any circumstances, do not miss our call for papers! It is already open, and closes on February 14. Then we meet in Kraków on May 15-18.

So, have you been to Kraków? The second largest city in Poland, beautifully located on the river Vistula and near the Carpathian Mountains, home of Polish kings and soon-to-be-wed young Brits. There is plenty to sightsee, and we will provide you with some tourism hints and tips before the conference, but that is not what this post is about.

To prove that it is not a coincidence that we are meeting in Kraków, below we present a list of technical user groups that meet on a regular basis, and that some of us know first-hand. You will get a chance to meet some of those wonderful people during GeeCON!

PJUG / SmartUp Meetup

  • Polish Java User Group - Why Polish, and not Kraków? Well, 13 years ago it was the first JUG in Poland! Since then many other very active JUGs were born in Poland, but the name remains. A number of Polish Java conferences originated from PJUG. This groups organizes JavaCamps. They happen once every 1 or 2 months, and consist of 4 presentations each.
    We, the PJUG, and the Poznań JUG are the ones organising GeeCON for you!
  • Kraków Scala User Group will boot up this January. It has been founded by some JUG members and Scala geeks from VirtusLab which met on another user groups' meeting and decided join up by creating a Scala focused group themselves. They're motivated to share their love for this elegant language with others. Having a tiny bit of support from TypeSafe and lot’s of good Traits, it’s practically bound to become a steady stream of many new Scala fans!
  • Kraków Hadoop User Group - support group for big data nerds. This group meets more or less once every three weeks. A typical meeting is a presentation and a discussion (about big data).
  • Google Developers Group Kraków  is a meeting place for Google technologies enthusiasts. Frontend, backend, mobile... There’s a lot to cover here! It recently held a 3-day-long hackathon  about Google Drive + Eclipse Orion. This group (part of GDG Poland) actively supports other initiatives in Kraków – for instance by inviting speakers from Google to JUG meetings. The closest plans include organizing a Go workshop in the first quarter of 2013.

HackerSpace Kraków - Arduino Workshops

  • Hackerspace Kraków is a one-of-a-kind initiative that essentialy is.. a Hackerspace. It attracts tinkerers, makers, and other people who embrace the tangible part of geekery. They do not hold regular meetings, but instead manage a venue, financed by Hackerspace’s friends and sponsors. Everybody works hard to renovate the place in a community effort. Activities include building 3D printers... using other 3D printers! Hackerspace cooperates with GDG to organize KrakDroid (an Android focused, free,  conference) and more hardware-oriented events. If you are still confused about the difference between a coworking space and a hackerspace, here is a good source of information.
  • Hack KRK means coding and (free) beer. Great atmosphere, great people, great organization... and lightning talks! HackKRK is a great place to meet with fellow coders and hack away on any project you currently feel like. This series of events is organised by a local company: Future Simple.
  • Hive53 is the Kraków Startup Community. You know startups – some people with money + some people with ideas. Nice clothes.
  • ALE Kraków promotes agile and lean practices of software development by organizing monthly talks.
  • Erlang User Group holds technical meetings a few time a year and organizes Erlang workshops as well as full blown courses where you can level up from erlang-noob to parallel computing master.
  • KGD.net is a .NET developers user group. Their range of topics is often wider than strictly .NET technologies. From time to time a group of JVM people pays a shy visit as KGD’s talks often extend far beyond just “the platform”.
  • Kraków Ruby User Group meets once every 1 or 2 months for a set of 2-3 presentations.
  • Pykonik - Python Users Group.
  • Smart Up and JARCamp have emerged quite recently as company-driver events. Currently they are to a large extent combined with PJUG, as you can see here.

Global Day of CodeRetreat #4 with SCKRK

  • Software Craftsmanship Kraków. Last but not least - SCKRK, is a quite unique group. Here craftsmen gather, independent on their daily programming language, read and discuss whitepapers (!). Yes, it’s an “reading club” where everyone is welcome. Discussed topics range from highly sophisticated algorithms to recent technical to research papers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go lean here! In fact, the form of the next meetup is always based on a vote from the previous one, so even meeting formats like Code Dojo or CodeRetreats are typical here! Check out the cool photos available here.

A lot, isn’t it? It sure is...

A typical week in Kraków is pretty much like this: Monday – a day off, Tuesday – Hadoop, Wednesday – SCKRK, Thursday – PJUG, Friday – it depends (recently those were JARCamp and FooBarCamp), and it is good to close the week with small conference on a Saturday, like CodeRetreat or KrakDroid. And from January onwards, the regular Scala meetup will have to fit in there too somehow! 

It's hard to just choose one group if all of them are top-notch, but well... That's only a good thing!

That's our last post this year. We'd like to wish you a merry Christmas, lots of fun and joy in the upcoming year! Enjoy your holidays and see you again in 2013, yet another year of GeeCON!

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