NerdZão /nɜrdzsʌnn/ (in English, big nerd) is a Brazillian technology community/user group initially founded in São Paulo — Brazil and now it’s a worldwide community 🌎.
In this article, we’ll cover the following topics:
- Group’s brief history and initiatives;
- How we manage our community;
- NerdZão’s Team;
- How to contribute to and help worldwide communities.
By July 02, 2017 after leaving another community called by .NETCoders, we decided to move ahead and found a new group with the same purpose: impact people and spread technology content. The group was officially created by Amanda Portela, Carlos Rodrigues, Denis Magalhães, Diego Teles, Elias Simões, Erick Wendel, Fernando Rychlewski and Theo Milliani.
Because the contacts that we got on the previous community we didn’t have to start from scratch. We kept at least five partners that provided really good support for us, since the beginning. Our biggest and closest partnership was IBM Brasil and we decided to make our inaugural event to 500 hundred people.
For a newborn group, it was an ambitious plan to have a FREE event. We’ve never had a huge event like that on the previous group and we knew that it would be a big challenge. We’ve got it! We had 540 attendees, 37 speakers, 43 talks, and uncountable pizza slices 🍕. It was a signal to keep going and don’t give up.
Access the event link to see more details NerdZão Day #1–6 Tech simultaneous Tracks.
One single purpose
Since then, we’ve been working to make our Brazillian tech scenario even better. Our core principle is to bring good content, change lives and impact people. For attendees, we reinforce a motivational and really serious message: “Nothing is for free, you have to learn and teach other people”.
Have you learned? Time to teach!
As an attendee a few years ago, I was so excited about tech communities and the energy that they had provided me. Doesn’t matter what you know or how much you know, communities don’t have judgments and would encourage you. All of my jobs, customers, and connections were made through software communities and that vision.
Today one of our goals for each event is to have at least a new first-time-speaker, sharing content. This initiative has been growing our group and we believe that our secret is: Give opportunities, provide support and help people. Our payoff comes without waiting and it moves us more and more.
Today we have more than ten thousand people in our channels, making discussions, attending events or publishing content in our medium.
I’ll talk deeply about our team in the next sections but we have now 31 coordinators and 6 leaders. This special group is focused on the following initiatives:
NerdZão at school
One huge problem in Brazil is the education in high school. Our kids don’t see much about technology, English and other fundamental topics. Bringing technology content as volunteers in schools, technical courses, and universities are the way we believe that we could change this scenario. We’ve been making talks about what is the software development world, motivating kids, teenagers, and students in general to change their lives.
The community was launched with the primary objective to create and organize technology events. As said before, we have a lot of organizers responsible to manage and create events. We’ve been making at least two events per week and we have a few formats:
Regular meetup: with three speakers, during usually three hours.
Workshop: A hands-on lab for about four hours with a single speaker.
Entire night events: These events are my favorite. It usually happens on Fridays, from 11 pm to 4 am. A speaker making a complete application with the audience. It’s a hands-on lab where the attendees make complete apps using the entire night.
Nerdzão English Talks: In Brazil, we usually don’t speak in English in conferences. Many foreigners have communications problems to adapt themselves here because they don’t speak Portuguese. Our way to change this scenario is making tech events in English, motivating people to share knowledge with no judgments. I personally recommend websites such as confs.tech and cfpland.com that are great places to find external events around the globe and submit your ideas. They would pay for your expenses if your talk proposal is approved. We start working to motivate people to talk here in meetups with the goal to send them to speak around the world 🌍.
Nerdgirlz: The technology area in Brazil is predominated by men. Usually, women have been suffering many kinds of harassment in events/conferences/work. In order to make our environment better, we have the Nerdgirlz initiative. We have specific events for women where they speak for a general audience with only women in the speakers’ board. Our goal is to make women groups inside the main group, they are sharing knowledge about technology and showing that independent of age, gender, or race, we are people that want to grow together.
The majority’s event has happened in São Paulo that is a huge city in Brazil. It is an affluent city and the technology area there has been growing fast, so it’s easy to find hosts and people to speak/organize events. We’ve received lots of requests from people of other states in Brazil and countries that speak Portuguese as the main language. By using our youtube channel and our medium page is the way to reach people from other places.
For blog posts, we’ve been asking speakers to write tutorials about their previous talks in our meetups. Our goal is to publish at least one blog post per week.
Hunters for new hosters
We treat our hosters as partners. We believe they must receive something in return for hosting events and providing meals for the community. Each event we made we’d sent the users email list to the hoster. The attendees know that their data will be sent to the hoster in order to make the event possible. We don’t receive money from partners either another kind of support our partnership is defined by each event happened.
The NerdZão community is an agnostic technology group. We’ve been performing events of any programming language/concept/paradigm. We’re a community hub as well where we help other communities to find spaces and make meetups together. By example, we’ve made events with Python Brasil, Fsociety Brasil, SQL Maniacs, Cloud Girls and much more.
We strongly believe that we haven’t rival groups. Usually, people who are participating in a group is in another group as well. Our objective is to help communities develop themselves and make this process easier.
Our amazing team
We are a community, a user group and how I likely say: We are a company! We work next to the people, company business and we have to be careful about how we express our ideas in front of the audience. We have a system to manage and organize our events. Independent of age, gender, or race, we treat everyone as equal.
We have 31 coordinators and 6 leaders. The difference between each role is responsibility and time.
Coordinators have as objective organize in site events (meetups) and they help to grow the group involving themselves in initiatives. They help to find potential speakers that usually come to our events and invite them to speak. If a coordinator has relevant and significative contributions they would be promoted to an organizer.
Organizers in other hands have many other responsibilities and metrics. If an organizer can’t be so much active, they would be rearranged to the coordinator role. They must create initiatives and find new hosters and ways to make the community better. They also create and manage the entire process that coordinators must follow. We’re strongly systematic and we manage events as a company. Each initiative is located in our Trello as shown below:
If a new coordinator must start to work in the organization it’s straightforward to create and manage events. Our processes have been managed by using google docs with boilerplates and card templates on Trello as below in Brazillian Portuguese.
When a coordinator is organizing an event they would check each task and move through the Trello. We have boilerplates for almost everything in our Google Drive and it has been increasing consistently our productivity.
An important concept we love is first-time-speakers. We have as a goal to encourage people to speak and share knowledge of any kind of experience. Each event must have at least one first-time speaker.
Each event must have the call for papers process. We’ve created a google form and the speakers submit their idea in there (it’s the same process for invited speakers). As an organizer, I delete the name column and I’ve chosen the talks through its title/description and relevance to the event.
Our current coordinator’s team is constituted by the following People:
Amanda Portela, Augusto Bondança, Charles Mendes, Denis Magalhães, Fernando Rychlewski, Fernando Guisso, Igor França, Jessica Felix, Jonatas Silva, Laís Lima, Luis Lança, Matheus Catossi, Rogério Munhoz, Rafael Gomides, Letícia Pedroso, Rogério Rodrigues, Renan Alves, Vinicius Figueiredo, Jéssica Myoshi, Alexandre Mineiro, Karoline Suzuki, Manoel Freitas, Paloma Simões, Rubens Flinco, Victor Bassetto, Leonardo Camargo and Marcelo Barbosa.
Our current leadership team is flesh out in:
Cesar Oliveira, Erick Wendel, Jakeliny Gracielly, Icaro Caldeira, Orlando Gomes, and William Schulz.
We strongly believe that people that work hard and spend time helping our ecosystem should be recognized. We awarded seven coordinators for their contributions in our 100th event for their amazing contributions. Below, let’s know who was these special people.
Alexandre Mineiro: He has organized at least forty in site events.
Amanda Portela: She is a former leader. She had organized many meetups by herself, organizing in site events, coordinators and girls initiatives.
Augusto Bondança: He was the brain who started the NerdZão at school initiative. He also has organized blog posts agenda and social media team.
Laís Lima: She has created many banner templates to help other organizers to create events easier. She also has organized many in site events.
Luis Lança: He has spoken at the NerdZão at school events and organized a few events in Jundiaí, SP.
Rogerio Rodrigues: He has helped to organize at least twenty in site events, spoken in six events and he has coordinated the event’s live recording.
Rubens Flinco: He has helped to organize at least ten in site events and he has coordinated the event’s live recording.
The NerdZão is a very known community in São Paulo city. Recently, we have released new headquarters in Jundiaí (São Paulo), Campinas (São Paulo), ABC (São Paulo) and our biggest accomplishment: NerdZão PT in Portugal.
Our ambition and mission are to reach people from the entire globe 🌍. We need your help with that! Most of our content has been created in Brazilian Portuguese but our plan is to create more worldwide content in English and open our boilerplates for other communities.
We also encourage you to ping us on our Facebook Page and send a message about your idea. In my opinion, if you have a potential host to make your meetup it would be a good start. Feel free to reach us any time with your ideas. Unfortunately, we feel like a company but we weren’t one. We don’t receive any money for our contributions, usually, organizers join themselves when money is needed to do some action and it’s hard for us to manage.
Keep in touch
We have a few links that you could find more about us
- Meetup page
- Facebook Page
- NerdZão and Nerdgirlz group on Facebook.
Presentation in Brazillian Portuguese.
The fact is about love! We love what we do and people feel included in being part of this! We every day have new initiatives being created and uncountable accomplishments from our coordinators and organizers.
Feel free to reach us in any place and let’s change the world together! Share this post with your friends and communities and do not forget to left your claps here ❤️.
Shall you be part of this? 🤭
NerdZão: Behind the Scenes of a Brazillian Technology Community was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.