I’m starting in on my fourth year in Portland (tenth in Oregon!) and I have a handful of technical group meetings I attend. If you’re looking for an exhaustive list, look to Web Things Considered. Below are my thoughts on the ones I know.
Monthly gathering for area developers, designers, entrepreneurs, early-stage companies, and those who want to meet them. I helped start it and, as with any group (especially new ones), it takes a lot to keep it going. We’ve had a lot of good discussions and I’ve met some great people. I’m continually amazed at the enormous supply of talent in Portland. Web Innovators has been a good way to get those people out of the woodwork (or from behind the computer, as the case may be).
Another plus for me is that attendees haven’t been married to a technology. Sure, we all have our pet languages and programs, but I think that Web Innovators haven’t been militant about it shows that we understand innovating is about being flexible.
Open Source Entrepreneurs:
POSSE, as we call it, is a group of people who believe OS can help businesses succeed. Portland has emerged as a mecca for the Open Source movement. POSSE is poised to make a big difference and hopefully be an example for future groups across the US and internationally.
It’s an invite-only, dues-paying sort of group, but if you’re into OS I encourage you to contact me. I’d be happy to bring you to a meeting.
I’ve heard DevGroup described as a place to see Macromedia product demos and just a front for its sponsors. I’ve picked and chose based on the topics and been pleased with what I’ve seen. It gets an wide range of types of attendees. And since the group helps put on Webvisions, it means they get some good speakers coming through town.
I’m not actually a member of PDX PM, but I’ve gone to a few meetings. If you use Perl much and live in Portland, there’s really no excuse for not going to this group. In no other city is there a higher O’Reilly author per capita ratio.
Go to one of their Lightning Talk meetings to get a great overview of the type of topics the group discusses.