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This is a couple of days late, but worth to mention anyhow. This last Wednesday I was invited to attend the monthly Northern NJ MySQL Meetup meeting. It took place at the local Panera Bread in Paramus and I had to drive like a lunatic through traffic, afraid I was going to be late for it. Turns out traffic wasn’t as bad and I managed to arrive 30 minutes earlier.

I was able to spot 2 guys from the group almost that instantenously (they were the only 2 guys sitting in the corner with a laptop ;P ) and immediately introduced myself. With every passing minute the group grew larger and larger, and we had a pretty decent crowed (as far as Meetup meetings go) by the time the meeting started. From the very start I felt a pretty strong bond with the group, maybe because it was made up of people with very different backgrounds and skills. Maybe was the very electric atmosphere with all the ideas being tossed around. But let me take a step back so that I can provide some more details…

One of the two guys who were sitting by the corner of Panera was Dan, who works for Barnes and (ahhh…drools ) and happened to just be sitting there, enjoying some hot java after work. The other guy was Steven, whom I unfortunately don’t know much about at the moment. Steven thought the meeting was supposed to start @ 6pm (in reality, it was scheduled for 8pm) and seeing Dan with a laptop, assumed (just as I did) he was part of the group. Let’s fast forward this a bit now… rrrrrrr… I arrive…. rrrrr… more people arrive… rrrr… Dorssy, group organizer arrives…. rrr… stop. We start introducing ourselves and that is when Dan tells us about his master plan to acchieve financial independence by starting a [left in blank to protect his ideas from being apprpriated] business… We all chime in on how to build the business when someone, completely not connected to the group, interrupts us to ask if he could take an empty couch nearby. Steve, a huge supporter of the group, asks Roger, the new guy, if he’d be interested in joining in. Roger gladly accepted the invitation just in time to complete the puzzle. Turns out he is a writer and a poet, exactly the missing component for Dan’s plan. From that point on we sort of broke into smaller groups, each talking about their own subjects but somehow managing to keep the original subject for the day in mind. As I said before, the atmosphere was very eletricfying!

By 9pm I was ready to leave for my daughter and wife were already tired of boredom from waiting so long… ;) We decided that by our next meeting, we will start a group project in which we will create a web based application using PHP, Apache and MySQL for learning purposes! The initial idea is to build something simple and quick as a way for gently introducing people into using these tools. Possible future projects could include a CMS, an online TODO list, among other things.

Since I spent the previous night burning copies of Ubuntu Breezy at home, I took advantage of the situation to promote Ubuntu and talk about the distribution as well as what to expect from the community! I managed to give all but a couple away and hope to see more Linux-powered laptops at our next meeting!


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