After 3 years in Bucharest, I’ll be moving out of it to London. However, I cannot do that without giving a big up to all the tech communities that make the capital of Romania a nice place to learn new and interesting stuff.
If you open the meetup.com Bucharest tech page, the first one will be The Agile Software Group. And for a good reason. It started 8 years ago in 2008 and it has some of the best speakers and topics. Besides the main Agile Talks meetings, there are the Code and Beer ones, where people enjoy to brag, troll and share programming specific peculiar things.
The Softbinator meetups is a bi-weekly gathering that has been held for over 80 times. The group of people who is organizing it is tight knit and their perseverance is astonishing. Some people come regularly and after a beer or two you will feel like most of them are already your friends. Except the trolls… don’t feed them. Also, their Facebook group has some quality posts and discussions.
The Bucharest Java User Group is one of the oldest meetups around. I’ve been only to two of them, due to the fact that Java has not been one of my primary interests. However, they’ve had some nice topics for newbiess like me in the last months.
The Bucharest Big Data meetup has some pretty hardcore presentations. When I was at Hootsuite, we even recruited a senior engineer from that place. If you like to get into fights about Cassandra, Hadoop or MongoDB, this is the place where you will find somebody eager to defend one of those technologies.
Papers We Love is a massive success internationally and in Bucharest, it has been hosted for half a year. I was only at the first one and there seem to be a lot of people from IBM. We had some pretty interesting discussions about the Map/Reduce paper and shared lots of stories about our experience with it.
I haven’t been able to go to the Bucharest Functional Programming meetups, due to the fact that the places are limited to a max of ~20 people and they always fill them quickly. However, I think Ionut G. Stan surely knows what’s he doing and their website has some really advanced titles.
For web development, there is the BucharestJS meetup where you learn about the hipster libraries in town. There is also a React meetup organized by Hootsuite, where you’ll learn about the bleeding-edge hipster libraries in town.
After uberVU was acquired by Hootsuite, Vladimir had more free time so he decided to start a product meetup. I’ve been once to the OpenStack meetup co-organized by the awesome people from Cloudbase however, I haven’t used that technology more than a day.
The Romanian Linux User Group is the first one that comes to my mind. I’ve been to two of them and once I even held a presentation, though it was a total failure. The people there were old-school Linux geeks with beards grown while they were compiling their own kernel.
The second one is “Poiana Baronilor Locali 2.0” a group that was holding monthly weekend day hacks focused on civic goals.
Wurbe was more of a beer-focused gathering, where we would expose our uncensored feelings towards different technologies.
Even though there aren’t meetups, events organized by ROSEdu contain 90% hacking, 9% open-source and 1% pizza.
Universities attract big corporations that want to recruit students and the perfect way of doing that is by bragging about the cool things they do. The Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Bucharest and the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers from University Politehnica of Bucharest are the two most visited places by companies like Google, Palantir or Facebook.
This post would not be complete without giving a big shout to the people at TechHub Bucharest. It’s the place where most of the action happens.