It’s still dark and gloomy outside and it doesn’t look like things are going to be any different in February. To keep your spirits high, make sure you get involved in some of the exciting meetups happening this month.

Digital Bristol Week 2015

Monday 2nd – 8th February 2015 – 10amVarious locations, Bristol

Our fabulous city is hosting a fantastic selection of free events for Digital Bristol Week. There’ll be stimulating discussions about the future of digital teach and hands-on workshops and training with experts. Here’s a couple of tasters of what you can see/do:
Rails Kids: Cookies (that’s us!) and our friends at Simpleweb will be hosting a number of workshops aimed at helping the younger generation to learn some code. If you are, or know anyone aged 12-18 then this is the perfect opportunity to experience some hands-on programming!
Open doors : Organised by Bristol Media, this event creates an opportunity for creative businesses to showcase their work to a new audience and demonstrate the huge diversity and talent in the sector. Featuring work from Bristol Games Hub, Team Rubber, e3 and plenty more!
The Business Day : Discover how to get the best from your assets and people and receive advice on networking and funding from some of the best in the biz. With input from Aardman, Channel 4, saintnicks and others, there’s plenty of support and ideas for you.

Bath Network Marketing Meetup

Monday 2nd February 2015 – 6:45pmThe Huntsman, 1 Terrace Walk, North Parade, Bath, BA1 1LY

Come and share your views and experiences of network marketing. You’ll learn from others about the ways to build and develop your network and maybe you’ll help someone with theirs!

Bristol Java Meetup: Java Application Performance Monitoring

Tuesday 3rd February 2015 – 7pmBrightpearl Office, New Bond House, Bristol, BS2 9AG

This is the place to be if you’re interested in discussing or learning about Java technologies. Topics this month include application performance monitoring using various tools, including NewRelic. Eat pizza, drink a beer and chat all things Java.

Business West: Ready for Business

Tuesday 3rd February 2015 – 10amBusiness West, Leigh Court Business Centre, Abbots Leigh, Bristol, BS8 3RA

This is a unique business startup programme that helps potential entrepreneurs improve their chances of success.
You’ll receive advice on developing ideas, creating a business plan and generating support for your business.

Meanbee Hack Night

Wednesday 4th February 2015 – 6pmMeanbee, 30 Westgate Buildings, Bat, BA1 1EF

The first hack night this month invites developers and designers to hang out. You can make progress on your own project or team up with others to help “ship it”. It’s a great opportunity to bounce ideas off one another and have some good food and drink in the process.

Set Social

Wednesday 4th February 2015 – 6pmBath Road Studios, 470 Bath Road, Bristol, BS4 3HG

Join The Set for an informal networking night. If you’re in the creative industry then it’s the perfect place to meet, think and create with like-minded people over some free drinks and nibbles.

Cahootify: Talk about making projects happen

Thursday 5th February 2015 – 7:30pmThe Elephant public house, 20 St Nicholas Street, Bristol, BS1 1UB

Meet, drink, network and make projects happen!
You’ll get to hear from the keynote speaker, Michael Culkin (not related to Macaulay), who has starred in films such as “Candyman” and “The Fifth Element”.
There will be an opportunity for those who are involved in a current project to share what they’re up to and whether they’re looking for any collaborators.
Finally, a couple of Cinefii’s bite-size dailies might be shown.

BathSPARK: Coffee and Networking at the Hub

Thursday 5th February 2015 – 10:30amThe Guild Coworking Hub, High Street, Bath, BA1 5EB

Those who are fans of the drop in coffee mornings are in for a real treat; they’re back!
If you’ve never heard of them before, you’ll be a fan soon. They act as a place to network in a very informal environment where you can come along and meet others who work in the tech industry.
It’s a place to connect people, spark ideas and create introductions. So whether you’re an industry veteran or new to the area, feel free to pop down.

Bristol Business Parents

Monday 9th February 2015 – 10:45am

There are some very exciting happenings this month!
You’ll have an opportunity to chat with other business parents before the guest speaker from local business charity BRAVE works their magic. This month they’ll be chatting all about the help available for small businesses.

#SWUX: ‘Are design frameworks like “Material Design” a good idea?’

Tuesday 10th February 2015 – 7pmEMO Unlimited, One Glass Wharf, Bristol, BS2 0EL

From Google’s “Material” design language to Apple’s iOS human interface guidelines, designers have a growing range of design frameworks at their disposal. The question is, should we use them? Are we sacrificing distinctiveness or reducing the effort users have to put in to learning our websites and apps?
SWUX will be exploring the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. Plus, you’ll have the chance to team up with some of your fellow SWUX pals to create and present your own design framework.
Then pop to the Good Yard for drinks afterwards.

PHPSW: Running PHP fast

Wednesday 11th February 2015 – 7pmBrightpearl, New Bond House, Bond Street, Bristol, BS2 9AG

This month is all about monitoring, analysing and optimising the performance of your PHP apps! Learn to tune Nginx and finding all about performance hotspots in PHP applications.

#Bristech: ‘Agile is not (always) the answer’ and ‘Choose your words wisely’

Thursday 12th February 2015 – 7pmEngine Shed, Bristol Temple Meads, Stations Approach, Bristol, BS1 6QH

Lego enthusiast Thom Leggett discusses the three different ways in which you can evaluate which kind of process is appropriate for your team and your practices.
The second talk is from Softwire‘s technical lead, Dave Simons on UX writing and how our words can influence people. You’ll also find out how you can leverage your words to make your software work for both end-users and yourselves.

Bristol JS: Build Tools (Gulp/Grunt)

Thursday 12th February 2015 – 7pmEngine Shed, Bristol Temple Meads, Stations Approach, Bristol, BS1 6QH

At this meetup, you’ll through the basic similarities and differences between the main build tools and task runners that exist today, and then dive into specific examples that you can accomplish with build tools.
These will range from:
– concatenating and minifying CSS and JavaScript
– minifying images
– extracting ‘critical path‘ CSS to serve inline
There might even be a chance of some live coding!

Bath Ruby User Group: Introduction to Ruby

Thursday 12th February 2015 – 7pmCoworking Bath, The Guid, High Street, Bath, BA1 5EB

This month, Bath Ruby will be hosting an ‘Introduction to Ruby’, in association with Women Who Code and She Codes Bath. It’s for those who are interested in learning the language from fresh (or if you’re looking to brush up on the basics).
Despo Pentara, founder of Codebar will kick things of with a introductory talk, and then you’ll work through some tutorials for the rest of the evening.
All you need is a laptop and some enthusiasm!

Bristol Freelancers

Tuesday 17th February 2015 – 12pmSt Nicholas Market, All Saints Street, Bristol

This is a general gathering of Freelancers in and around St Nicholas Market. Grab some lunch and head into the market to beat the commuter rush. You can discuss ongoing projects with each other, bounce ideas off other freelancers, get some inspiration for the coming month and have a jolly nice lunch.

Chippenham Tech Chat: iOS Development & Twitter Analytics

Tuesday 17th February 2015 – 6:30pmMango’s offices, 2 Methuen park, Scisys Building, Chippenham, SN14 0GB

Learn all about iOS app development at this month’s techy meetup in Chippenham. You’ll also find out about doing text analytics with Python on a Twitter stream. Open to all who are interested!

The Simpleweb Challenge: Realtime

Tuesday 17th February 2015 – 6:30pmSimpleweb, Unit G, Albion Dockside Building, Hanover Place, Bristol, BS1 6UT

The lovely folks over at Simpleweb have teamed up with Pusher to challenge you to create a web or mobile app from scratch, based around real-time technology.
Scared? Don’t worry, you don’t have to be alone! You can work in teams of up to 3 people, and you’ll be able to take away some nifty prizes if you win.
You’ll have 3 and 1/2 hours to complete the challenge. Anyone is welcome, but it would be good to have an understanding of either Ruby, PHP and/or JavaScript.
There is one golden rule: no coding before the night. You’re welcome to research and gather any relevant docs beforehand, but the actual code can’t be started until the the challenge begins. And that includes you.

South West AWS User Group

Wednesday 18th February 2015 – 6:30pmEngine Shed, Temple Meads, Stations Approach, Bristol, BS1 6QH

Welcome to the first meetup for the new South West AWS User Group. There will be plenty of guest speakers, including Ian Massingham from AWS who will be discussing re:Invent and re:Cap, and demonstrating AWS Lambda.

World IA Day 2015

Saturday 21st February 2015 – 10:30amThe Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA

Celebrate World Information Architecture Day with Nomensa! The one-day free event is organised by a community of like-minded enthusiasts who share the goal of teaching, learning and shaping the future of IA. The day will see a mixture of lightening talks and educational presentations. Don’t miss it!

NodeSchool Bristol: 1-day event

Saturday 21st February 2015 – 10amMixRadio, Prudential Buildings, 11-19 Wine Street, Bristol, BS1 2PH

The first NodeSchool event in Bristol and it’s shaping up to be a good’un!
You’ll get to experience the choose-your-own-adventure style lessons on NodeSchool and begin using the terminal/command line to learn Node.js.
Not only that, but you’ll also have the opportunity to use NodeSchool to learn Git, JavaScript and other useful technologies.
Need any more convincing? There will be stickers for those who complete the lesson!
If you need help with the installation process then you will be given a helping hand. Otherwise, come along equipped with Node and a text-editor.

SouthWest VR Conference

Tuesday 24th February 2015 – 9amAt-Bristol Science Centre, Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB

Opposable Games invites you to the inaugural SouthWest VR conference!
The one-day event will focus on the ways virtual reality is set to shake up the entertainment industry by completely transforming the way we interact with film, games, TV and animation. There’ll be speakers from Oculus, Alchemy VR and virtual reality-focused games studio nDreams.
You’ll get a chance to try out the latest in VR technology and software too!

Bristol Open Source User Group: Talk Night #1

Wednesday 25th February 2015 – 7pm

The first talk is going to be held by Upayavira who will lead the discussion around the issues around open source licensing. The group encourages you to bring along your open source project problems and questions so everyone can gain a better understanding of how to license, build and maintain open source projects.

The Pulse: Startup Speed Dating

Thursday 26th February 2015 – 6:30pmToto’s Wine Bar, 125 Redcliffe Street, Bristol, BS1 6HU

Come along and meet budding CEOs to chat in a fast, structures format and possibly make the first step towards building a winning Founder partnership!
It’s networking, but more structured. The goal is to make some new contacts, stimulate ideas and find someone you can partner with (on a professional level, of course).

SWmobile: Hack Day

Saturday 28th February 2015 – 10amNoisy Little Monkey, C/O Aardman, Gasferry Road, Bristol, BS1 6UN

Finish the month off right with the first SWmobile Hack day!
Noisy Little Monkey will be playing host and providing beer, pizza and the space itself. Interestingly, they’ll also be revealing a few new creative ideas that they have up their sleeves.
Other sponsors and additional details will be announced soon, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.
There will be some awesome prizes for the best app/project followed by some well-deserved drinks at the nearby pub.

Photo by waferboard on Flickr