The Meetup is Dead, Long Live the Meetup!

Jacek Laskowski
Feb 5 · 4 min read

This post describes the reasons to run a brand new Warsaw Data Engineering meetup group (and shutting down the existing group Warsaw Scala Enthusiasts). Join us!


I’ve been thinking about this for some time, but somehow couldn’t find enough courage. As new resolutions for the new year 2020 pilled up it was more evident that I need to clean up the professional activities of mine a little bit (else I’ll be doomed to fail early and often).

On Sunday, Feb 2nd, I announced a new meetup of the Warsaw Scala Enthusiasts group that was to be held on Tue, Feb 4th. You’re reading it right, that happened not earlier than 2 days before the meetup! I was surprised how quickly and how many people started to sign up! In the end, 16 people signed up (I consider it a personal record given all the things I’m describing in this post).

The topic was Stream Processing of Versioned Data with Delta Lake and Apache Spark and was all about the things I’m passioned about these days, i.e. stream processing, Delta Lake and my beloved Apache Spark (can’t wait to see 3.0 released!)

As you may have noticed, there is no Scala among the tools.

It was that the Warsaw Scala Enthusiasts group was discussing Scala as often as…Java or SQL (and it could easily be called Warsaw Scala Java SQL Enthusiasts or similar). The point is that Scala became the tool we’d been using but the center of gravity of the group were tools like Apache Spark (most of the time) and Delta Lake (recently) with a bit of Apache Kafka and SQL.

We did use Scala to develop Spark applications (because we were Scala devs mainly after all), but we all wanted to see how things shape up elsewhere. We have always been curious what others use to process data in distributed fashion (whether it is in batches or as streams).

It was obvious we’ve been interested in distributed data processing (execution engines, data storage, batch and stream processing). Scala became a language to express our needs as software engineers.


That’s why on Tue, Feb 4th, 2020, the date of the meetup of the Warsaw Scala Enthusiasts group I announced that this was the last meetup of the group and I’m shutting it down.

“Why are you stepping down?” panel

(I’m simply stepping down as the organizer not closing the group which gives a chance for someone else to take it over if there’s a need).

After many years of my passion for Scala, after many Scala-focused meetups (aka scalania), and with 799 members, I think it’s time to do what I think many would agree me doing long ago. Sorry, I’m not very decisive.

Since my interests are no longer with Scala only, but more with distributed data processing (which is as much Scala as SQL, Python, or even Java), I think it was a wise move to do.


The other reasons to close the Warsaw Scala Enthusiasts group were as follows (in no particular order):

  1. The name focused on Scala. That was not the primary focus of the meetups anymore. It did give a false impression of what we’re doing and may have scared off may potential participants (and limited how much and who we all could learn from)
  2. Let’s admit it: Scala is no longer in the center of my professional interests. I enjoy using the language, but there are other languages for the systems I’m interested in. I seem to be more often with SQL, Python and even Java (again!)
  3. There is a very vibrant Scala meetup in Warsaw. No need to duplicate the efforts and unnecessarily “partition” the Warsaw Scala community (NIH syndrome)
  4. I’ve not quite liked receiving emails to announce Scala-focused events as a leader of Warsaw Scala Enthusiasts group
  5. Wanted to start afresh and vacuum inactive members (and find out what comes out of such occasional cleanup)
  6. I simply want to experience how it’s like to focus on a very small like-minded people who live in Warsaw Poland and want to become pros, technology- and speaking-wise

NB: the first meetup of the Warsaw Scala Enthusiasts group was on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 in the company Javart on Postępu 21 street in Warsaw Poland. Not much left same since.

There were 105 events.

The Meetup is Dead, Long Live the Meetup!


Clap if you like it. Let me know what you think in the Responses section below. Thanks.

Jacek Laskowski

Written by

Spark and Kafka Consultant, Developer and Trainer (publishing at https://bit.ly/spark-structured-streaming and https://jaceklaskowski.gitbooks.io/apache-kafka)

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