Lisa McNicol

Docker Community Spotlight: Nimret Sandhu

Nimret Sandhu.jpg

Nimret Sandhu has shown himself to be a key player in the success of the Docker Seattle Meetup group; and now with almost 2000 eager members,  organizing engaging events has become quite the responsibility! On top of his busy work schedule at Dev9, his extracurricular activities and a family life, Nimret took the time to tell us his Docker story, his favorite thing about the Docker Community and also departed with some words of wisdom for anyone just starting a meetup group.


Tell us about your first experience with Docker. What drew you to joining as an organizer for the Docker Seattle Meetup group?

My first experience with Docker was when our company, Dev9, looked into partnering with this up-and-coming startup named Docker a couple of years ago. Since I’m a long time *nix user who’s been exposed to solaris zones, bsd jails, etc. in the past, I looked into it, and immediately realized the potential. Once I downloaded and played around with it, I was so blown away by the technology that I started evangelizing it to our clients. I gave a talk on it and volunteered to help out with the Docker Seattle Meetup. I had already been running the Seattle Java User’s Group for a few years, and it was quite natural for me to volunteer to join the Docker Seattle Meetup group since I am quite passionate about technology.

Now that you use Docker, how do you use it and what do you use it for?

In my role as Director of Technology for Dev9, I am expected to delve into technical nuances when necessary while also managing multiple teams for clients in the Seattle area. Accelerated, rapid development is critical. Docker allows me to experiment with various enterprise-related technologies, primarily in the Java and JavaScript space. Projects are typically software development and/or Continuous Delivery leveraging tools such as the JVM, Jenkins, Spring Boot etc.

Docker is extremely easy to work with and provides a convenient way to package a solution together. I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful in accelerating my speed of development.

What are some aspects you love about organizing Docker Meetup events? 

I love the energy and diversity within the Docker community. People really have an interest in this tech and the domain. When people take the time to show up, it makes a big difference. We always have a great turnout and people are very engaged.

What I love about organizing the events is that we have such a wide variety of presentations. A mix from vendors, companies who use the technology, or people who are playing around with it for their own needs. It’s a great forum to exchange ideas, network and even find the next opportunity.

What advice would you give to a new organizer that just started their Docker Meetup group?

  • Start small, but start. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  • Get the word out. Put info on community calendars (i.e. WTIA, Geekwire) and applicable places that people read. You can even mention this event at another meet-up. Look into mailing lists for start-ups or small organizations.
  • Coordinate with people who run other meetups to leverage synergies.
  • Ask for volunteers and companies to help.
  • Seek sponsorships – many local businesses and companies are interested in hosting, providing food or being involved in other ways.
  • Attend other meetups to gain tips and thoughts from the organizers. Network with them on-going.

What do you do when you are not organizing meetup events?

As the Director of Technology for Dev9, I lead teams of software developers and am responsible for the projects we have in the Seattle area. Most of the projects are server-side, client-side and mobile. I help assemble teams, assist business development efforts, conduct up-front assessments for clients, hire and retain staff, and manage projects to ensure customer satisfaction and best practices in modern software development techniques. I am also the chair of the Seattle Java Users Group (SeaJUG), and have been for the last decade. I am on multiple Advisory Boards with the University of Washington Professional and Continuous Education program and help set direction and content in technology, ensuring that the programs stay up-to-date. Most importantly, I’m a father to my two lovely daughters and enjoy family time in general.

Take look at my Geek of the Week feature for more info!

Motto or personal mantra?

Work hard, play hard.


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Lisa McNicol

Docker Community Spotlight: Nimret Sandhu

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