Start A Meetup

Thank you for considering becoming a leader in your area for the cause of high quality software through Domain-Driven Design.  It takes people like you to hold up the light to the opportunity that affords us to do much better in the world of software.  The path is not easy to find otherwise.  

 

We believe the greatest successes in this industry are going to come from what leaders do in their local area.  This is mainly how other international DDD movements have grown.  

 

So let’s do this.

1. COmmitment

The basic commitment to a meetup is that the leader will coordinate events about one time a month, facilitate setting agendas and topics, invite speakers, promote and announce the meetup and the events and generally encourage people to continue to participate both as attendees and presenters.

 

If you have any other questions about this, feel free to set up a meeting with DDD United States Founder John Connolly to talk through your thoughts.

If you are ready to move forward, then continue to the next section!

2. Select Your City/Area

Normally the city you select is the city you live in, but that is not always the case.  For instance, the Portland Oregon meetup is headed by a person living in Salem. The reason?  There are more chances that people will show up the closer the meetup is to a metropolitan area.  The Portland group may meet South of Portland so that Salem professionals have an easier time getting to the venue. 

 

So if you are way outside of Dallas, Nashville, New York etc…, consider making those your group locale even if you are 30-50 miles away.  You should only be meeting about one time every 4-6 weeks so hopefully that is not too much of a commute for these events.

3. Name your Group

The name really is helpful.  Just like in software and especially DDD the name of something conveys a lot of meaning.  Typically, we see the names form like this:

 

DDD Portland Oregon

DDD Denver

DDD SoCal

 

When in doubt, probably best to stick with “DDD {City} {State}”.

4. Choose a Platform and setup

For many years, meetup groups have been formed on Meetup.com.  However, there is a cost for that platform and now that LinkedIn has no fee for scheduling events, we invite you to consider giving LinkedIn a try.  In fact, it would be a good thing to always have a LinkedIn Company Page for your group no matter what other platform you use to communicate with.  LinkedIn is not paying us to promote them. We know that most of the people you need to reach are on LinkedIn already.  Additionally, we just want you to have as little friction when starting your group up as possible.  You can always move your group to another platform of your choice later.  

 

Setup Prep

EMAIL: When selecting and email address, we recommend you use an email you always check.  You can create one with a new domain of course, or use a yahoo/gmail/hotmail account.  It just needs to be something that is on your radar so that you can stay on top of communications. 

LOGO: If you want you can use our logo just for this meetup and no other entity. (get it at the bottom of this section)

 

Once you choose your platform, go through the process of setting up the account.  

 

LinkedIn (Recommended): Set up a “Company Page” – Feel free to select a second person to help manage it and list them on there as a manager.

 

Meetup.com (Optional): Follow their prompts.  We recommend asking a question like “What is your interest in Domain-Driven Design?” to help new registrants to either help you know why they even want to join your group or opt out of even becoming a member because they cannot legitimately answer that question.  This helps keep your group from explicitly or easily turning into some sort of dating site.

 

Other:  Maybe there is something out there you want to try none of us have worked with – but be careful.  These groups are hard enough to keep connected without adding a non-user friendly system into the mix.

5. Keep us Posted

We want to add your new group to our map when you are ready.  Once you have the group setup online, let’s chat for a few minutes.  Schedule some time with DDD United States Founder, John Connolly to get your group on the national map.

6. First Scheduled Event and Promote

Choosing the first event can be a bit nerve-wracking. Depending on your city and the vibe, choose the venue and agenda that is easy for people to get to, has some food and drink, and can easily be facilitated.  If you are in a relaxed town, maybe a gourmet coffee shop will have enough seats and menu items that people might go just to get a bite, a bit of coffee, and hear your vision for DDD in your area.  Once you figure it out, find ways to promote, LinkedIn, Twitter and more.

 

Maybe you want a guest speaker (in-person/remote) to present a workshop or group discussion.  However you do it, consider these things.

 

Day Of The Week/Time: Tuesday Evenings 6:00pm- 8:00pm are generally the best options in most areas, but the principle is, stick to a generally non-busy couple of hours in most peoples lives.

 

Online: The first event does not need to be online and maybe none of them need to be at this point.  If you offer it, make it appealing to be there and in-person because having energy physically in the meeting is a great way to bond a group.

 

Agenda: This is your group and you can promote DDD any number of ways.  The group may have ideas about what they want to learn, so at minimum, the first gathering should have a big focus on what people want to get out of this new DDD Group.  We also think, it might be good to go over what DDD is at a high-level with people who are super new to this idea.  You can even use the DDDUnitedStates.com DDD Intro as a way to present this.

7. Schedule more events and Promote

Find out what works for your group, schedule on those dates, prepare DDD agendas (agenda concepts below) that will help your people grasp what they need/want out of DDD.  Then promote your group on social media and in places where professionals are located.

Agenda COncepts

  • Any of the agenda items that are on all of the other community meetups from the past.  (Take a look at other groups listed on LinkedIn, Meetup.com, elsewhere on this site etc.)
  • Book Club  on Vlad Khononov’s “Learning Domain-Driven Design”
  • Discuss DDD concepts and challenges from real work scenario (Don’t break corporate non-disclosure agreements – be generic!)
  • Group discussion on some aspect of DDD and how they fit into the process (Bounded Context, Aggregates, Value Objects, Entities, Domain Events, etc…)
  • Discuss lessons learned from a recent conference like Explore DDD and DDD Europe.
  • Practice doing EventStorming on a domain with a volunteer Domain Expert helping to fill in the Domain needs.
  • Someone present a 20 minute micro lesson with a one hour group discussion on how that works or does not work for them in the real world – topics:
    • Any DDD Concept
    • Any Eventstorming Concept
    • Any Domain Modeling Concept
    • Team alignments
    • Tools (Examples)
      • Domain Message Flow Diagramming from https://github.com/ddd-crew
      • Wardley Mapping
      • Business Model Canvas
      • Service Blueprints
      • Terminology Mismatch Map
      • CodeScene
      • NServiceBus

Speakers Wanted!

There are many ways to find people to speak.  Here are some principles to help you queue up some great speakers.

 

  1. Make sure you ask your group every so often: “If you could have anyone speak on DDD or related material, who would it be?”
  2. Make sure to ask: “What topics do you want to hear about?”  
  3. Use members needs as a guide for some of your decisions.
  4. Invite speakers and give them the option of doing it in person or over zoom and project it to the group.  If online, try to make it interactive so there is a Q&A opportunity at the end.
  5. Consider having a panel of speakers once in a while.
  6. Speakers can come from other meetups on DDD, even internationally.  Attend other meetups and learn about other people presenting.
  7. Ask a potential speaker candidate if they would like to present their ideas on a particular topic, or something else.  See what fits.  
  8. Members of the group are a good source as well.  You might want to limit the number of times you use this option though.  Many meetups get boring if they only hear themselves talking.
  9. Attend conferences to hear more speakers and get an idea of what is being spoken about now.  This might refresh the topics for the group and lead to more speaker opportunities.  
  10. Be a speaker.  If you speak at another meetup, even remotely, there is a chance you can talk about your group and gain more interest from others to come and share.

8. Run with it

This is your group.  You know your area better than most, so run with it! Take time to listen to members of your group as well.  They may have things they don’t understand that you can work through together.  Let people own topics they want to share and there will be more participation.  Enjoy this and don’t stress.  Let it be something you believe, in the long run, will help us all stop making legacy systems accidentally and turn this industry around!