For a while, this idea has been wondering around in my head.
I would love to have some web-development community in Medellín, but I would like it to be "something more". I love the idea of learning from others, teaching and getting people involved. I know there are more people that are looking forward for this.
Sadly, we don't have a community like the one in Boston. It's amazing how many events there are here. Boston.rb meets up to 3 times a month! It's just crazy! You just need to go to Meetup to find an event of your interest! All filled with people eager to share and help!
But I would love to put all that lovin' to some "charity" work. Get real projects for people that need it. It doesn't have to be 100% free, but not charging nearly as much as you would normally do it!
For example, I know a Volunteer Fire Fighter Department that needs to build a simple learning system to distribute knowledge because ignorance is taking a lot of lives (from firefighters and people they're trying to save). Hell, they also need a new website!
I also know about a guy that needs a website for an organisation that helps small kids with cancer in Africa.
All these projects could use the expertise of "old" developers and enthusiasm from the ones that are just learning. I've found that working on a real project is way better than learning on your backyard. So why not take something that could use more man-power and pair program on these websites?
I'm not saying we should not have presentations! Presentations should still be the center of this. Sharing new stuff is the most important part for the community. But maybe having some hackathons where we work on these projects.
So, what do you think? Would something like this work? Would people be interested? Those organizations could, for example, sponsor the meetings giving some beer and food! Developing companies could also sponsor this and get some mention on the created websites. I know we would do it!
I can't do it right now. I'm 2.5K miles away! And I don't think it's an easy thing to organize, but I would like to know if people is actually interested before I throw myself sending emails and talking to people, so please contact me if you are, either by leaving a comment or pinging me on Twitter(@nhocki).
If you liked this idea, you might one to up vote it in Hackernews.