Starting an OTS in London - Let's build a London Team!

The proposed meetup date is Tuesday, December 17, 6:30pm. Shall we meet the day before, or even on the same day, say in the afternoon?

So I work til 6 so I don’t think I can meet in the afternoon I’m afraid, but maybe the evening before would work? Where’s good to meet? I work near Spitalfields / Shoreditch, but happy to meet in the middle. Not sure if Danielle’s on this thread yet, hopefully we can all meet up!

Hello, Danielle is now on this thread :slight_smile: Are you suggesting that we get together the evening of Monday the 16th? This is also the evening of Flossie drinks in London shall we meet there and plan? Here is the link: Let me know your feedback!

Hello all
Georgia told me about this thread after having suggested a meeting on meetup. I just thought I’d drop a line to say if there’s anything I can do to help, give me a shout- I’ll be happy to help.
Also, I was wondering what do you guys have in mind for this group, how do you see this working, what format do you think future meetups will take? Lacking experience in similar groups and meetings I’m curious to see how such a group functions.

I’ve got a Christmas Party to attend on Monday night, but can drop by the Flossies do, say for an hour. Would that work? We can agree on the time.

Hi and welcome Camus!
So maybe is nice to give to @camus and @coderinheels an intro about Opentechschool, who we are and what’s the goal of this group so you have a better idea about what we will going to do.

I’m Giorgia, i’m based in Berlin and I’m part of the first Opentechschool organization born in Berlin 1 and half year ago.
Recently I’ve been in London, at Flossie conf., to present our idea and our model and there I met several people interest in it. In particular @vikkiread and @Dane11e.
Opentechschool is already in different city like Stockholm, Tel-aviv, Nairobi, Melbourn, Zürich, Brussel,… So we decided to start a new chapter in London and see how people like it.

What is opentechschool? You can find everything on our website:

but basically we are a community offerering free workshops and meetup aimed to empower people and make beginners learn and start code. Actually we do more than just code, we cover everything is tech related.
(Javascript, Python, Html/css, Arduino, Android, Processing, …)
We do several different event from 1/2 days workshops, to regular follows up, to monthly meetups, to collaborate with Conference and so on.
We are super open, we keep all our materials online where everybody can fork and use, on our website there is all the infos for start a new ots in your city or for just take some format and run somewhere. You don’t nee to ask us anything, you can take and use our material.
We believe that every city is different so every group can decided what is the best to do in that city, we have just 3 basic rules:

  • Be open (all gender, races, ages ,experience levels,…)
  • Be Free/free of charge
  • Be hands-on/ no teaching just coaching

All our events are based on voluntary, so coaches give their free time to help people.

At the moment, the idea is to get more people involved in the core organization group(that anyway will be always open to growing) in order to find a place, a workshop and start with the first workshop after the holiday

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Thanks for that Giorgia, it’s very helpful. So @vikkiread, @camus, shall we meet with Danielle on Monday, the 16th, in the evening, at Flossies’ Christmas meetup?

@anaketa - thanks a lot for the info- highly appreciated! I think I’ve got some reading to do ( I’m a bit ashamed I haven’t done so yet to be honest. I will come back to this thread if I have any questions or ideas.

@coderinheels - I think I’ll wait for the group meeting for contributing- being a parent I’d rather focus my time and energy on one session. I suppose we will discuss on the 17/12 whatever you guys will discuss the day before, so that everyone could contribute ; )

No worries @camus. We’ll share whatever will be discussed on the evening of the 16th. @vikkiread, I’ve just re-read the thread and from an earlier message you are good for a Monday evening meeting. So let’s go ahead and meet up with Danielle at Flossies’ Christmas do on Monday evening. I can get there for 6:30pm. Does that work for you?

Yep sounds good, looking forward to meeting you guys in person. See you Monday!

Great! See you @Dane11e and @vikkiread on Monday at 6:30pm.



I will not be going to the flossie meeting this evening as we will not be having the Open Tech Course tomorrow and I have been called into a last minute meeting this evening.

Please can we have another meeting to discuss, I think that we are planning one in Jan? Or before then? Let me know!

Kind regards,


OK, no worries, thanks for letting us know! When would you like to meet? I’m not sure when the meeting in Jan will be, I think we’re trying to get space at Google Campus and then set up the meeting. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to meet in London before next year now (sorry!) but happy to Google Hangout or email or whatever if you want to chat sooner

I"m happy to do it via Google Hangout, just let me know suggested dates

Hi Guys, sorry for some reason I was not receiving these messages. How does a google hangout sound before 2pm on Saturday the 4th of Jan or after 2pm on Sunday the 5th of Jan?

Sorry that I have been out of loop, I will try and check this more often but if you could email me at daniellenanton2 at gmail dot com, I will be able to read your messages with more certainty.

Update: Hi everyone,

We have now created our first event for Open Tech School London. Please find the link here and register if you are able to make it:

Hi everyone,
here there is the super useful doc made by @Dane11e regards to free/cheap venues in London.

thank you danielle, that’s great!

BELOW IS THE AGENDA for the First OTS London Meetup scheduled for January 21 at Maker’s Academy, London. The format might still change, but this will be the event flow during the evening. (Notes prepared by Danielle, with input from Vikki/Gen/Danielle.)


A. (Danielle)What is OTS

OTS General Format:

-Arrive, introductions, leader does an introduction, then it is generally bring your own devise and access the webpage; there will be one leader and coaches for every three people (all material is provided) and then follow along the online course, when there is something that the student doesnt understand they put up their hand and a coach will come along and help; there is a coach for every 3-4 people; very informal

B. (Vikki)Example of courses:

C. (Gen)What skills do we have (Survey - if not have time to respond to survey then they can present to the group)
What people want to teach and what they want to learn
-Beginners Python
-Beginners Javascript
-Beginners Web (HTML and CSS)

Find out how we will organize meetups and workshops:
-People can suggest events but do not create events without being an organiser or without a venue

Find out how we will coach learners:
-Not supposed to tell the answer, that they are wrong, guide them

Find out how to get involved and how/when organize the first workshop:
-Who (mentors and a leader) -Clearly denote student/mentor to keep correct ratio; ask them how we could fascilitate this
-What (subject)
-Where (the leader can help to fascilitate meeting places)
-When (date)

-Group discussion Get know each other better; technical knowledge/mentored before/any suggestions?

-Far rockaway free drinks?

Hi everyone,

Just writing up my notes for the meeting, please feel free to correct / comment / update as necessary. I’ll also post a link to this on meetup so more people can contribute to what happens next!

OTS London Meetup #1 : 21 January at Maker’s Academy


  • 5 minute intro to Maker’s Academy from Jordan
  • Introductions from everyone (about 30 people) about who they were, why they’d come along, and what they were interested in learning / teaching
  • Danielle covered what OTS is, and how it works
  • Vikki demonstrated what the courses look like, and what’s available on github
  • General discussion / Q+A


  • Lots of people know python, this would potentially be a good choice for an initial meet up
  • Lots of people are complete beginners to programming and so would like :
    • introductory courses
    • more information about what they could learn (so rather than “intro to html/css/js” or “intro to arduino”, they’d want choices like “intro to making websites” or “intro to making robots”, and info like “once you’ve done this course you’ll be able to make a basic website that displays your CV”
  • Some people would like more advanced courses, which may not have a curriculum on github yet. We briefly discussed forking what’s already there to add new curriculums for what’s missing
  • Several people suggested running a jam/dojo style event where people with an interest in a given topic could get together to practice rather than work through specific material; this may suit those who would like to learn more advanced skills.


  • Create a survey (on meetup?) to find out from the whole group:
    • what to learn (again phrased in goal-oriented way, rather than tech-oriented way, so “learning websites” not “learning CSS 3”)
    • what we’re able to provide coaches for
    • when and how frequently to run sessions
    • gauge interest in jam sessions (topic, frequency etc.)
  • Once we have survey results:
    • pick a session to run (hopefully one with an existing OTS curriculum on github)
    • find a venue
    • find coaches
    • create meet up event
  • (Optionally) Write up what curriculums we have available actually do, phrased in goal-oriented way to help new people who may be wanting to achieve a goal and might not be aware of tech required to do so
  • Start planning future events!
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Great summary @vikkiread! Nice starting point for our next Google Hangout on Sunday. One thing we need to talk about as well are the tools we will use to manage all these.

Great job as always girls! :slight_smile:
one thing about the “advanced group”: We use to do a learning group for some kind of topics. Currently we have Learning group for Python and Javascript.
Is a weekly or bi-weekly event where people get together for coding and working on some project. Is made on the help desk style, so there is no lesson, no material to follow. People come with their project and there are 1/2 coaches around to whom they can ask.

Python group is also more organize and every meetup cover a different Python topic (django, bio python,…)
I think is what you need :slight_smile:

When you created a survey, can you also send it to us? This thing is really interesting for us!