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Newcastle Technology and Design Groups: the 2011 Edition

This is a follow up to a post I did on Newcastle technology and design events. Since I last wrote it, a lot of new events have appeared (funnily enough, most of them at the Post Office NE1 on Pink Lane). So, in no particular order, here they are….

Design and User Experience

There is a lot of design and UX stuff in Newcastle, but that hasn't as such translated to meetup groups (though a lot of the time Supermondays is appropriate for more than just coders).

UX Northeast

When? Varies, usually a Tuesday though
Where: Usually Post Office
UX Northeast has been only running officially for a few months, but officially runs the Newcastle branch of UX Bookclub (where professionals get together and discuss a UX related book — though 'related' can be pretty wide). Useful to come along to if you want to know who some of the user experience people in the Toon are.
Site: http://uxnortheast.org
Twitter @uxnortheast

Design Interest

When? First one is October 11, so may be second Tuesday of each month
Where: Post Office
This is going to be a designery get together: the group calls itself as  “like PHP-NE  for designers with a smidge of Geekest Drink (read below to see what that means). 
Twitter: @designinterest

Design Event

When: varies
Where: varies between Dance City, Live Theatre and the Baltic.
While Design Event is mainly focused around the October festival that happens all around town, they also have design talks and pecha kucha nights throughout the year.
Site: http://design-event.co.uk
Twitter: @designeventNE

Shipley Lates

When: Last Friday of the month
Where: The Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead
The Toon version of V&A Lates, the themes can be a range of art and design. October's is all about jewellery, fun!
Twitter: @theshipley
Site: http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/shipley/shipleylates

Codeworks Connect

When: varies
Where: Gateshead College (usually)
Codeworks is a trade association for Newcastle digital agencies, so the events may often also include business aspects (startups, being an entrepreneur etc).
Twitter: @connectTAAD
Site: http://connection.codeworks.net/category/events/

North East England Photographers Group

When: online 
Where: flickr.com! And whereever you take photographs
If you're into photography, you should check out the Flickr Groups. (I got this tip from Martin Cunningham's Barcamp4 talk). The official North East England Photographers group is huge, and even has a monthly competition. 
Site: http://www.flickr.com/groups/neepg/

Newcastle Photowalk

When: varies, seems to end up being on a Sunday a lot
Where: somewhere worth taking pictures (it involves walking)
This is basically an IRL (though also twitter-based) group where everyone goes and takes photos. I'm guessing there's usually coffee or beer involved afterwards. 
Twitter: @npwalk
Site: http://www.flickr.com/groups/newcastlephotowalk/

Culture Lab Lunchtime Bytes

When: every second Thursday
Where: Culture Lab
For a crazy mix of art and technology, Culturelab is a must. 
Site: culturelab.ncl.ac.uk/home

Northumbria University Design School

When: varies
Where: Northumbria Design School, CCE
There are often a whole range of designery talks form professors and visiting academics. (There are also school talks every second Thursday that aren't really advertised, so it's worth keeping an ear out from Northumbria people!)
Site: northumbria.ac.uk/sd/academic/scd/whatson/


For a relatively small city, Newcastle has a very active technology community, possible due to a lot of startups and EU grant money here. The -ish is because some of these talks after often more than just the latest progamming, and might be about weird and wonderful art or science pieces mixed with tech.


When: last Monday of the month (unless Bank holiday, then Tuesday)
Where: Newcastle Beehive (usually)
Supermondays has just celebrated its third anniversary and was featured in Wired's list of top UK technology events. The topics can range from the geeky to the designery, and they have regular Flash nights with a load of different presentations.
Twitter: @supermondays
Site: http://supermondays.org

PHP-NE (PHP North East )

When: 3rd Tuesday of the month
Where: PostOffice NE1
This is what is says on the tin: a meetup of people that work with PHP. (It's at the edge of my knowledge but I go along because Drupal and WordPress run on PHP so it helps to understand it as a themer). It's usually pretty developer orientated, but they do have other topics such the a recent one on design frameworks.
Twitter: @phpne
Google Group

North East Bytes (Microsoft User Group)

When: 3rd Wednesday of the month
Where: Claremont Building at Newcastle University
Dealing with MS-ey things such as .NET, Sharepoint etc. 
Twitter: @nebytes
Site: www.nebytes.net/

Maker Space Drop In Sessions

When: 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month
Where: Maker Space, 1 Coquet Street, NE1 2QE
Not so much a meetup as a chance to work on making/hacking things and see other interesting projects. (I have to admit I haven't made it to one of their sessions as of yet, but mean to.)


When: varies
Where: Centre for Life (usually) 
Another I keep intending to get to but never make it, Dorkbot is an interesting mix of tech and science talks.
Site: http://www.makerspace.org.uk/dorkbot/

Ruby North East

When: last Tuesday of the month
Where: Post Office NE1
Formerly Newcastle Ruby (which was started in 2006). Talks about Ruby: apparently aims at newbies as well as advanced tech people. Pizza!
Twitter: @rubynortheast
Site: http://rubynortheast.com/

Drupal North East

When: last Wednesday of the month
Where: Salsa Cafe, Westgate Road
New but solid group (there are a number of Drupal devs and even Drupal shops in the North East) talking all things Drupal. Salsa Bar has cheap alcohol and good value food (note: the “light snack” options are only a light snack if you've been doing manual labour).
Twitter: @drupalne
Site: www.drupalnortheast.org.uk

Tyneside LinuxGroup

When: First Saturday (!) of the month
Where: Centre for Life
All things linuxey. I think they're very brave to have meetings on Saturday afternoons, but apparently they have a good turnout.
Site: http://www.tyneside.lug.org.uk

The Geekest Drink

When: a Friday night (varies, usually once every 2 months)
Where: a pub. Which one changes.
Rather than being about networking, the Geekest Drink is about geeks getting together and having beer. (Or whatever alcoholic or non-alcholic beverage takes your fancy). Usually has badges too.
Twitter: @geekestdrink
Site: http://thegeekestdrink.com

How to find other events.

Aside from word of mouth via Twitter, Lanyrd, Meetup, and Eventbrite are useful for finding out about local events. I also recommend looking at the UKUXEvents Calendar and, more locally, the calendar run by Makerspace (both Skeptics in the Pub and Bright Club sound interesting).

Know of any others? Let me know.