Our GeoDev Meetup Boston in December of 2014 was an eventful experience filled with meeting new developers and building relationships that would last.
At each of our meetups, we ask for developers to share a project they are working on, something they may have recently worked on or discovered that they could inspire other developers with in presentation. Often times we encourage our speakers to do this quickly in our Lightning Talk section of the meetup. We called for such presenters at the GeoDev Meetup in Boston, and we had quite a few. One Harvard student by the name of Yunjie Li contacted me to participate.
Upon corresponding with her on her topic of choice for her lightning talk, she provided the topic “Mapping the Privatization of Public Space: A Case Study of Boston in Instagram.” When she contacted me, she mentioned that she will be using ArcGIS Online for the presentation and that “it’s a gold mine to me.” This was music to our ears. We tweeted about it and a lot of people enjoyed her presentation. She even shares a copy of it on her Linked In page. I really wanted to keep in touch with Yunjie, and I recommended to her that she look into Esri’s Internship program to keep this relationship going.
On Thursday, March 12th I received an excellent email from Yunjie sharing with me the news that she will begin her internship in June. I could not have been more excited. Here was another relationship with developers coming to fruition from a GeoDev Meetup! We agreed to meet up for lunch when she arrived so I could hear more about her internship.
In the second week of June, we met up and Yunjie shared with me her exciting experience she was having on Chris Andrews’ team in Product Management as a product designer in GIS, design, and city planning. She was incredibly excited and shared that she was performing user research where she would prepare live demos of ArcGIS Earth beta for our User Conference plenary in San Diego and also get the opportunity to participate in the Esri Internal Hackathon.
The next month, Yunjie sent me an invitation to view the internship presentations where she would be giving a presentation on what she learned and had been working on all summer. She, along with a couple of interns in the Creative Lab and in Training Services, would be given the opportunity to share with their mentors and colleagues what their projects entailed and what they had learned during the course of the internship. In her presentation, I learned that during her involvement in the Esri Internal Hackathon, she and her teammates designed an app that is currently in the process of being deployed for download soon! It is an application called Saver that works for Esri users to find discounts available to them through employment (sorry, you have to be an Esri employee to reap the benefits!). Yunjie did a stellar job at presenting (as I knew she would), and definitely made quite an impression on Esri.
In the next couple of weeks, on September 16th, we will be revisiting Boston for another GeoDev Meetup. I have contacted Yunjie to come, once again, and give another Lightning Talk, but this time, I would like for her to cover her experience at Esri. It’s a great opportunity for her to share this with other students studying in the area, as well as developers who are interested in participating in additional Esri programs. I have also invited her to participate in the Esri HackerLab, which is a four-hour hands-on tutorial led by a member of the GeoDev Team covering how to build map apps with ArcGIS Online, APIs and Services, Open Source, and also with AppStudio for ArcGIS (for native apps). This portion will take place from 12:30pm – 5pm, and at 5:30pm, we will kick off the GeoDev Meetup. The meetup is a technosocial where developers within the community can gather together, meet, and share their projects in our lightning talks that go from 7:00pm until 8:00pm after an introduction from Esri. There’s trivia, prizes, and Esri swag to be had. It is open to all, and appetizers/beverages will be served.
If you are a developer or studying the field of GIS in the Boston area and are interested in learning more about Yunjie’s experiences, feel free to register for the GeoDev Meetup. We have plenty of room and are waiting to meet you!