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You are a developer and you want to show a new and awesome langage, or a framework, or a programming practice. You are an agilist and you want to share your experience, or help people to improve their process. Problem: you cannot attend and speak in User Groups after your work, for personal reason certainly. And sadly, your company does not give you time to speak in whatever conference that you would like to be. Nevertheless, you still wanted to share your knowledge. So what can you do?
Brown Bag Lunch (BBL)
In France, based on an idea from David Gageot, and with the help of Nathaniel Richand, we have founded a community called Brown Bag Lunch. The principle is really simple : as an enthusiast IT expert, a company calls you to come during lunch time for a presentation. You bring your knowledge and the company brings you a lunch. That’s all! The BBL Web site for France is here: http://www.brownbaglunch.fr/
Based on an idea from Romain Linsolas, we have also started to reference companies ready to welcome baggers frequently. Currently, four companies in Paris are referenced as regular hosts. There are two software companies, a bank, and a service company (http://www.brownbaglunch.fr/locations.html).
Become a Bagger
The BBL community has started during February 2013. Currently, we are more than 30 IT experts (or baggers) all around France. The covered topics include software craftsmanship, Java frameworks, Scala, agile process improvement, NoSQL, Ruby, Cloud, Git, DDD, etc. The sessions follow different formats, including conference presentations, live coding, coaching, and commercial presentations (from Amazon, Terracotta, CloudBees, CouchBase, etc.).
It is really simple to become a bagger. All that you have to do is a Pull Request on Github. The whole Web site that contains the list of baggers and the list of their sessions is managed under the Github repository https://github.com/nrichand/BrownBagLunch. So, all you have to do to become a bagger is to fork the repository, provide your modifications to include your profile and your sessions, and send them back through a Github Pull Request.
My Sessions (as examples)
Personnally, I propose two sessions based on Scala. The first one is a full live coding session, where I show how to built a Web framework in Scala from scratch. During the session, the audience sees in less than a hour the building up of the framework, the set up of a DSL to describe the routes, and the management of non-blocking asynchronous processes. The second session has been showed at Devoxx France 2013. It mixes pure presentation and live coding in Scala. It is a proposal to replace the traditional AOP approache by the monadic types. The session is mostly based on the refactoring of a Web application. And from monads, the audience just sees an intuitive definition.
BBL Outside France
All I have presented here is French part of the BBL community. But, there is a fork living in the UK. This fork is composed of 3 baggers and is waiting for others enthusiast IT experts to grow. The Github repository for the UK fork is available here: https://github.com/athieriot/BrownBagLunch. The BBL Web site for UK is here: http://www.brownbaglunch.org.uk/
And if you are nor in France nor in UK, you can fork https://github.com/athieriot/BrownBagLunch and expand the community in your country.