Meet the nh.js User Group

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nh.js user group co-founderInnovative Organization of the Week

nh.js User Group

John Whelan
Co-Founder and Organizer of nh.js User Group



In a nutshell… Tell us about your startup resource. 

nh.js is a monthly meetup for technologists by technologists working in and around, or simply interested in, the JavaScript space. It is a group that meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:00 at the Alpha Loft in Manchester. Networking starts at 6:00 and then the presentation begins around 6:30. The presentations are very interactive with Q&A throughout and after the presentation. We have been seeing about 35 + people per month (very strong showing for a tech user group) and well into the 40’s for some of our meetups. It has been a great start so far and the feedback from the folks who have attended has been very positive.

What niche are you filling? 

We are filling a niche in a much needed area for career development, knowledge sharing and mentoring opportunities in and around the JavaScript space. During the course of 2014 Alexander Technology Group began to see increased demands from our clients for technologists and developers with JavaScript experience. Within that timeframe one of my best clients, and closest business partnerships Meltwater located in Manchester, NH, was transitioning a lot of the software development over to JavaScript. So I connected with the Darren Hewson, Software Engineering Director from Meltwater, to talk about the transition to this technology and why. It all made sense but one thing we both knew was that local resources with JavaScript experience was clearly in short supply. So as 2014 was winding down it became clear that if the talent pool for this technology wasn’t available then someone would need to somehow change that. There was a lot of interest in this area on clients and technologists part, but we needed a vehicle to bring the two together. So I went back to Darren and said “What do you think about starting a JavaScript user group”? He was into it immediately and said “let’s do it”. nh javascript meetup

Who or what was your best resource in helping your program get off the ground?

Darren Hewson from Meltwater initially. But very early on he suggested we add a couple of his colleagues to the conversations about getting this off the ground and they became integral parts in the creation of this group. Those colleagues were Joan Freed Engineering and Business Leadership for Meltwater and Todd Cantalupo Engineering and Business Leadership for Thunderhead.

Darren and Joan were great evangelists from the beginning. Todd joined the original Founders group early on and then brought in a couple of his developers from Thunderhead. Collectively the team of organizers and founders compiled a list of speakers, topics and decided on tools like Meetup to help manage the group.

What does the future look like?

The future looks great. There are so many places we can go within this technology area. We have a consistent schedule and a great space all taken care of which are critical to the longevity of these kinds of groups. We have over 250 + members on our meetup page and it’s growing every week which gives us the ability to survey our members for future topics and presenters.

How can people get involved?

If you’re a Software Developer, Tech Leader, Manager or simply someone building a software app and looking for new, efficient and scalable ways to build it, and tools to build it with, come check us out. The best way to get involved is to be present. You’ll find a room filled with friendly, local and super bright and knowledgeable technologists looking to share ideas and collaborate.

You can also join the nh.js user group and follow along with current and past topics. Or you can reach out to me or one of our other organizers.

Connect with John Whelan on LinkedIn or join the nh.js user group on meetup!