Meetup-LogoSince mid-2016, ParkMyCloud has served as a co-organizer with BlackSky for our local AWS user group. Each month, we gather 50-100 AWS users in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC area to learn, share technical knowledge, and have a good time.

There are tons of AWS meetups throughout the country and the world. If there’s one near you, we’d highly recommend checking it out. If there’s not, consider starting one up! Comment below or reach out through the meetup page if you want some pointers on how to do that.

Here are three reasons you should attend an AWS user group:


Different user groups and meetups will organize the “learning” portion in different ways. For our local group, we tend to have two to three different presentations on AWS technologies and use cases. For example, our recent talks have covered continuous compliance, backends for IoT modules, and various security topics. The great thing is that as a user group, anyone is eligible to present and share what they’ve learned in AWS – so you can contribute, too.

From these presentations and from talking with peers, not only will you get new ideas – you’ll find that some of the problems you thought you were facing alone are actually common challenges. Meeting up with other users gives you a chance to commiserate and to learn that these problems are solvable – some much needed encouragement!

Additionally, if AWS participates in your local user group, you have the opportunity to get insights into new or upcoming products and more.


Maybe you think “networking” is best left to the sales and marketing folks. I’d urge you to think twice. Every time our group meets, I see people making connections – about job openings and business opportunities, sure. But there’s also the joy of being able to talk shop with someone who understands – sharing tips, tricks, and cool stuff you’ve been doing. See the above note on commiseration, too.

Free Food

Generally, a sponsor will provide food – and if you’re lucky, beer – for the event, in exchange for the opportunity to address the group. Who can say no to free food? (And don’t discount the sponsors from the “learning” portion either – they’ve identified the group as a good audience for a reason! )


By the way, for those based in or traveling through the DC area, we’d love to see you at our next AWS user group event! See the meetup page for attendee information, and information for speaking or sponsoring at the event.

About Katy Stalcup

Katy Stalcup is the Director of Marketing for ParkMyCloud, where she’s responsible for a wide variety of content development, campaigns, and events. Since ParkMyCloud's founding, she's evangelized its message of simple cost savings and automation (seriously, in the words of one of our customers, "There is literally no reason not to use ParkMyCloud"). Katy is a Northern Virginia native who is happy to contribute to the region’s growing reputation as an East Coast gathering point for technology innovation - particularly as a graduate of the Alexandria, VA Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She also earned bachelor’s degrees in communication and psychology from Virginia Tech. In her free time, she enjoys reading novels, playing strategy board games, and travel both near and far.