Dan Hannigan

Musing about something new...


( Sorry for the vague title, I couldn't think of anything else, I promise it's not trying to be click-batey )

In a recent meeting, I was joking around with some folks on the design team that “developers are not my favorite people,” — and while it was a harmless statement at the time, I realized there was some kernel of truth to that. Having run a developer-focused community for over seven years, I’ve learned that I genuinely like interacting with folks over various topics like their hobbies or the latest news. But, on the other hand, I don’t have a super strong interest in chatting about or engaging in conversations explicitly related to development, frameworks, languages, syntax or code styles, etc.

Now, I love technology and all the magic it conjures up in my head. I love communities, too. What’s more, combining the magic of technology with the lifeblood of a community is something I genuinely feel pulled to. Most of my projects since I could remember have been focused on finding a way to connect folks via technology. In design school, I designed websites to get folks together for mountain bike rides. When I took a mini spike on iOS development, I wanted to make a way to get people together for concerts. Denver Devs has been my longest-running project. At the heart of all of them, I just wanted to (and still want to) connect folks.

So why am I talking about this? There’s been a consistent feeling about Denver Devs - something akin to burnout - where I don’t feel invested or attached to many of the specific channels we have and the conversations that take place there. There’s a solid handful of developer-related channels, and I couldn’t be bothered to check in on them. Sometimes I feel that lack of interest leads me to make poor decisions or harm the community by not actively engaging in those spaces or encouraging others to do so. From the day I started Denver Devs, I would tell people, “anyone can join!” — leaning away from the branding and the audience I was actively attempting to draw to us. Truthfully, when I originally named it Denver Devs, I wanted to call it something else but didn’t feel qualified enough to speak to non-developers or the tech community in Denver.

I’ve had an idea for a new project, similar to Denver Devs but matching up more to the spaces and people I feel more naturally drawn to, and one that encourages a different tone and types of interactions. More on a small scale, more about making friends and finding third spaces than chatting about the latest framework. I may or may not strike the project up — it’s been in my head for a while now, but I’ve had a sense of guilt whenever I think about it - like I’d be abandoning Denver Devs and instead focusing on something new. Putting it out here like this pushes it one step closer to not being just a dream - but maybe it just stays that way.

A lot is going on in my head related to this potential new endeavor, and if it sounds exciting and you’d like to chat more about it, feel free to DM me or email me.