Communities!Tworedkites and its team is very involved with the software and Open Source community.
We feel its important to be involved with the local community. Personally, I run the local BrisRuby.com, BrisJS.com and BrisJelly.com, and another tworedkites' member runs the Brisbane Cocoa Heads.
Monthly MeetupsFrom initially attending these BrisRuby meetup, I got to know the community and organisers well and eventually became a co-organiser and then the primary organiser. I find it very rewarding to attend these monthly meetings, to discover new things as well as seeing the ‘usuals’ (friends) and meeting new members. Each month after the meetup many of the attendees come out for dinner where new friendships are secured and stories shared.
The biggest winners coming to these events are the speakers! They not only get to improve their public speaking (in front of a friendly and encouraging crowd), they also bcome known by their peers. One example of this was a couple of years ago, someone who was a flash programmer (dying profession), came along to a BrisJS meetup and was enticed (pushed) by me to speak at the following monthly meetup. From that, they were recognised by the audience as a smart cookie, secured them new employment and this has escalated into many opportunities.
Camps (Rails & JS)RailsCamp and CampJS are weekends away where in excess of 100 like minded developers come from all over Australia (and other countries) to one location (normally a scout/activity camp). This weekend, running from Friday afternoon to Monday morning, is where interstate friends re-unite and/or new friendships are made. I have had the opportunity to organise two RailsCamps and am one of the co-organisers for CampJS.
These events are both an opportunity to learn (through workshops) and be social (discussions, gaming, activities, drinking and more).
University LecturesI have been lucky enough to be invited as a guest lecturer to speak at both the University of Queensland and Griffith University. It is always fun live coding a simple Rails app in front of new PHP and Java devs and see their amazement at the speed and simplicity of the code.
Other rewarding aspects of presenting to this forum has included when one lecturer actually changed his curriculum from teaching PHP to Ruby/Rails. After speaking at Red Dot Ruby in Singapore, one of the delegates came up to me, shook hands and said they had attended one of the lectures I did and had changed to using Rails from that time, and is now employed and working for a large development company in Singapore.