Only a few years ago networking events for the area’s bloggers, developers, and computer savvy entrepreneurs were few and far between. The various language-centric groups did exist but the frothy, repeated mingling of talent, characters, and opportunity is only now starting to come into its own. 2007 was a fantastic year for geek social events along the Wasatch Front and 2008 looks to be even better – and these are the folks that will make it happen. It is with much pleasure that I am pleased to present the completely biased and largely preferential CodeAway UT Development Community Ones-To-Watch for 2008!
#5. Jesse Stay (Futurist) – Jesse emerged in the local development community as a staunch advocate of social networks. But where most would simply be content with forming a consultancy (in this case, SocialOptomize) Jesse has rallied other developers to begin taking social networks seriously as development platforms. He continues to organize the Social Media Developer Garage series of events (formerly the Facebook Developer’s Garage) and has co-authored the upcoming book, “I’m on Facebook, Now What?”
#4. Laura Moncur (Promoter) – Laura’s tireless enthusiasm for all things geek and organizational follow-through make her an ideal match for this list. She is a copious blogger (Pick Me, Starling Fitness, Starling Travel, GadgetsPage and the online serial Merriton). In addition she contributes to this site and is a primary driver for the monthly CodeAway geek social events (hosted out of her home). She also has become a leading promoter and organizer of the ongoing Blogger/Geek dinners. When she’s not planning the next event she’s in attendance – always quick with a smile and supportive comment.
#3. Pat Wright (Organizer) – Just Pat’s month-to-month extracurricular activities (leading the Salt Lake SQL User’s Group) would make him worthy of consideration for this list. However, over the past year and a half Pat has spearheaded three Utah Code Camp events. Once limited to .NET technology developers, the last event expanded into Java and attracted nearly 100 attendees. Pat continues to promote a ‘technology-agnostic’ lineup and is preparing for an even bigger camp sometime in April/May 2008.
#2. Clint Savage (Advocate) – In September Clint, in conjunction with the Utah Open Source Foundation, threw the area’s inaugural Utah Open Source Conference. Pulling in several hundred people, corporate sponsorship from the likes of Google, and a number of renown speakers Clint has already promised that the 2008′s event will be an even bigger affair to remember. He continues to blog about Linux and open source topics at Sexy Sexy Penguins.
#1. Steve Spencer (Patron) – Like the others mentioned Steve organizes and promotes an area monthly event, Utah Tech Spotlight. However, through the Salt Lake branch of Twelve Horses, he is responsible for aiding a number of other local efforts. Whether its through sponsorships, attendance, or his own personal management Steve is a large reason why the region is enjoying a full calendar of opportunities. The continued growth of Twelve Horses and a revamped Utah Tech Spotlight can only mean more good things from Steve and his crew in the coming year.
What do you think? Who are you excited about in 2008?