Why I love Code and Coffee

June 20, 2012

[Originally posted on the blog at apprentice.us]]

Today is the one year anniversary of a little phenomenon called Code & Coffee Chicago. It's a simple gathering of coders every Tuesday from 7-9am at the Starbucks on Chicago Ave and Franklin St. There's no leader. There's no agenda. Just coders coding with coffee nearby. A year ago there was a few people every week. Nowadays, we overwhelm the place with dozens of early-morning coders.

Before there was Code & Coffee in Chicago, there was a great little gathering called Geek Breakfast. This could have also been called Coders, Coffee, and Bacon. Maybe it's still happening? I'm not sure. It was a good time, but as you can see, it was more about socializing than practicing:

I remember Mike Busch mentioning a few times that we needed to do more coding at these breakfasts. That's how they roll in his hometown of Columbus, and when I visited their Code & Coffee in January of 2011, I understood what he meant. So when Mike started tweeting about #codeandcoffee last June, I made sure to show up.

Here's what Code & Coffee looks like:

I love this photo. It shows less than half of us, but you can feel the difference. You can see three clusters of coders on the left who are all talking while coding. You can see some coders on the right who are deep in thought. It feels alive because people are growing, stuff is being made, and connections are happening. Geek Breakfast was good at the connections, but it lacked the learning and making that Code & Coffee provides.

I'm not sure where Code & Coffee will be in a year from now, but as a morning person, I've enjoyed the evolution of Chicago's morning gatherings.

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