An Austin Meetup, Praxis-Style

About me

I’m a Partner Manager at Builtfirst where I manage relationships with SaaS partners like HubSpot, Zendesk, Brex & more. I participated in (& organized a meetup for) a startup apprenticeship program, Praxis.

You can find me at a park playing sports, a concert, or wine tasting.

LinkedIn

Last week, a bunch of young professionals working in tech gathered in Austin to hang out for the week and explore the city.

An Austinite reading that would probably say ” okay… and what’s new?”.

What was unique about these young professionals was that none of them took time off work. In fact, many worked together in the same room. It felt truly special to spend time both professionally and personally with other young, ambitious individuals that all have the flexibility of working from anywhere. In the evenings, we got to know each other and did fun activities daily. “Work hard, play hard”, right?

This post serves as a memoir of the trip and a few lessons I learned from organizing it:

  • Working remotely by yourself is lonely (duh). Spending time with people doing similar work helps motivate and focus you.
  • Event planning is quite stressful. When you’re spending time with “your people”, you’ll have fun no matter what you’re doing.
  • While coworking spaces exist, it can still feel isolating and difficult to network. This experience leaves me desiring a community-based coworking space.

Remote Work is Isolating

I see LinkedIn posts every day touting remote work as the best way to work. These opinion pieces are typically written by parents wanting to spend time with family, introverts who don’t like socializing with coworkers, or writers who need quiet focus time.

These are all valid opinions. My take as a young professional that thrives on thoughtful conversations and collaboration? A 2-3 days/week hybrid model is ideal for many, especially young professionals looking to quickly develop their careers, get valuable insight and feedback from others, and maybe even… socialize with other humans. 😲

I live far away from work so the solution? Invite all of my Praxis friends who work remotely for startups to hang out with me (& hopefully move to Austin).

Working in a coworking space with friends was incredibly productive. But more on that later.

What Makes Austin So Great?

Curious what y’all Praxians missed out on? How would I sell you on Austin? Here was yours truly’s itinerary.

  • Sunday: Jack Harlow, just one example of the prolific music scene in Austin. We were his biggest headliner, ever!
  • Tuesday: Bowling, pool, and air hockey for cheap at Union Underground (on UT campus)
  • Wednesday: Seeing Spazmatics live, the most entertaining cover band out there. 80’s classic rock and pop perfectly performed with some hilarious moments. We really rocket out.
  • Thursday: Board games and videogames. The highlight was Secret Hitler, a classic party game and perfect for our group size.
  • Friday: Cosmic Coffee & Beer. Went for dinner at the delicious food trucks, stuck around for the tasty beverages and laid-back atmosphere Austin outdoor bars are known for. Then to my apartment’s rooftop lounge overlooking downtown!
  • Saturday: An action-packed day of adventure.
    • A few of us enjoyed a beer and throwing disc golf at Live Oak Brewery to kick off the day.
    • We then headed to Zilker Park to lounge on picnic blankets, play cornhole, volleyball, spikeball, and throw around a football.
    • Our afternoon was spent relaxing on the tranquil Colorado River kayaking/paddle boarding. Shout out to Rowing Dock for the hookup.
    • Our evening was spent with a local Austinite friend as our tour guide exploring South Congress, a historic street running through downtown with fantastic views of downtown, the Capitol, and the river. We stopped for Amy’s Ice Cream, browsed art and candy shops, and eventually made it down to the South Congress Avenue Bridge to watch 1.5 million bats fly around. A unique experience to say the least.
    • We ended the night at the Texas Toy Museum, which had thousands of toys to browse and a sweet selection of classic games & arcade machines.

Highlights from the Week

Sophy made an awesome TikTok:

@sophymcnamara

♬ original sound – SOPHY MCNAMARA⚡️

And below are some pics that captured some of the week’s highlights.

  • IMG 8802 1
    Cosmic Coffee & Beer
  • IMG 0318 1 scaled
    Union Underground UT Squad
  • IMG 0319 1 scaled
    Backyard Praxis Wednesday
  • Coworking at WeWork
    Coworking at WeWork
  • IMG 0350 1 scaled
    Zilker squad
  • IMG 0336 scaled
    Dalton's Apartment
  • IMG 0310 scaled
    Spazmatics
  • IMG 2412 scaled
    Sophy, Alle, Josh, Zoe, & MK
  • IMG 8805
    The lovely Alle, Rachel, & Kaytriona
  • Nate Captured by Godzilla
    Nate Captured by Godzilla
  • Josh's Dope Convertible
    Josh's Dope Convertible
  • IMG 2303 scaled
    Pool loungers- Mason, Rachel & Charlie
  • IMG 2409 scaled
    Sophy & Alle
  • Free Mini Book Library ft. Mason
    Free Mini Book Library ft. Mason
  • Jonathon is sick
    Jonathon is sick
  • Dalton & Alle @Jack Harlow
    Dalton & Alle @Jack Harlow
  • Texas Toy Museum
    Texas Toy Museum
  • Downtown Mural
    Downtown Mural
  • South Congress Views
    South Congress Views
  • IMG 0339 scaled
    Downtown Cityscape
  • Ramen Tatsu-ya
    Ramen Tatsu-ya
  • Cosmic Logo
    Cosmic Logo
  • Jack Harlow
    Jack Harlow

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves quite a bit. In fact, many want to move to Austin (I’ll be here, patiently waiting).

I won’t pretend organizing all of this wasn’t incredibly stressful. I wish I could’ve enjoyed it the same way those who’d never been to Austin did. We probably didn’t need to do half of what we did, but I’m glad we did.

But ensuring everyone had the time of their lives? Priceless.

Remote Work, Together?

One of the highlights of the week was working together in person:

Coworking at WeWork

Jonathon Lopez, Jonathan Stevens, Sophy McNamara, and I had a blast getting stuff done! We had “mini-breaks” where we chatted about what we were working on. I got some expert help in setting up HubSpot, which has been incredibly helpful.

Giving each other input and feedback on what we’re working on doesn’t require us to be all on the same team. Working for a startup means juggling a lot of different ideas and often getting a fresh outside perspective is exactly what you need.

Working from anywhere is sexy, but when you can work from anywhere, where do you go?

Hopefully, we all continue hanging out in new & interesting places a few times every year. As remote workers should (if they have the means).

What if there was a coworking space with like-minded people? If you missed this Praxis meetup, maybe we’ll all be working together at the next one. 🤔

Thank you to everyone that came out and made this a special week and to Praxis for building an awesome community. How else could we have gathered such dope people together?

What do y’all think? Should I become a professional event planner? How can I convince you, reader, to move to Austin? Looking forward to your thoughts.

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