Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Happy Birthday to AllJoyn Nashville!


Last night I had the pleasure of kicking off the inaugural meetup of AllJoyn Nashville. It was a huge success with about 30 people there once everyone arrived.

The meetup was a joint effort between the NashMicro user group and AllJoyn Nashville. NashMicro is a user group of Nashvillians interested in general microcontroller & electronics topics. Since AllJoyn is a topic of interest to NashMicronians (NashMicro members), it made sense to host this meeting with them.

Meeting together was a big win for both groups. NashMicro had the benefit of an interesting topic, good food, and prizes that AllJoyn Nashville brought. AllJoyn Nashville benefited by having an established member base of over 400 NashMicronians to introduce themselves to and a great location to meet. Until AllJoyn Nashville has enough membership and interest that it makes sense for us to meet on our own, we will continue to have joint meetings with NashMicro at least every 4-6 months. For anyone looking to start an AllJoyn group, I would highly recommend cross promoting with other similar minded groups in your community if possible.

The meetup started with a taco bar from Swanky’s. You can’t have an after work meetup without food if you want folks to stay for the duration and socialize. A huge thanks goes out to the Allseen Alliance for picking up the tab for the food & drinks!


For the main presentation, I gave my “AllJoyn All The Things” talk that I had presented at CodeMash 2016 back in February. It was well received there and acted as a catalyst to make me want to further study AllJoyn and find others in the area also interested. The presentation was also well received at the AllJoyn Nashville meetup and some folks I talked to afterwards have decided to actively pursue integrating AllJoyn into devices they are currently developing. That’s the kind of feedback every speaker loves to receive.


AllJoyn Nashville wasn’t really something I’d considered starting on my own. After giving the presentation at CodeMash, I put the talk on the NashMicro calendar and it was advertised as a MeetUp event. The folks at the Allseen Alliance (a Linux Foundation collaborative project) took notice that I was promoting AllJoyn and approached me about becoming an AllJoyn Ambassador. One of the primary jobs as an Ambassador is to lead an AllJoyn user group. And as they say, the rest is history… If you’ve ever had any hesitation about speaking at a user group or conference, let this serve as a good example of one of the unexpected benefits that can come from it.


My presentation makes heavy use of LIFX WiFi bulbs. So, once I became an AllJoyn Ambassador I immediately took advantage of my new title and connections and contacted the folks at LIFX, who are also Allseen Alliance members, about sponsoring my efforts. They were very generous and agreed to donate some bulbs and coupon codes for me to give away. I gave away four LIFX Color 1000 bulbs at this meeting and the recipients were all very excited to receive them. Many thanks to LIFX for being the first AllJoyn Nashville sponsor! We hope its a mutually beneficial partnership for many years.

I’ll be contacting many more Allseen Alliance members in the near future about becoming sponsors. If you know anyone that would be interested in becoming an AllJoyn Nashville sponsor, please contact me.

NashMicro also gave away books from No Starch Press and a free software license from JetBrains. Many thanks to those sponsors, also!

I also need to add a special thanks to the folks at Emma for letting us meet with NashMicro at their wonderful Bistro space.

Overall, I’m very glad that we’ve started this group in Nashville and I hope that it leads to more companies integrating AllJoyn into their products. If you have an interest in AllJoyn and you’re near Nashville then come join us. If you’re not in our area, then apply to become an Ambassador and start an AllJoyn user group of your own.

The attendees asked me many questions about AllJoyn that I didn’t fully know how to answer. So, its time to go learn! That’s part of what’s so great about participating in a user group like this. We’re all in it together and no one expects any one of us to be an expert of all things. But, when we divide and conquer and all come back to the next meetup with just a little more knowledge to share then we eventually all become experts.

Happy birthday AllJoyn Nashville! Let’s go “AllJoyn all the Things!”


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