Data Driven Tech Radar

Welcome to the Data Driven Tech Radar, a joint effort between GoDataDriven and Implicit-Explicit showing you what's hot and happening across the world's tech scene.

This technology radar is different. Instead of pushing our expert opinion (which is probably wrong anyway), we use algorithms and the wisdom of the crowd to answer three important questions: What are the important tech communities? How active are they? What do they talk about?


Read full explanation…

Why another Tech Radar?

Software technology is a lot like fashion. That's nice if you're into following trendwatchers. If tech is your business however, it makes sense to look for something more fact based. Look no further: this is the Data Driven Tech Radar. The problem with most other tech radar publications, is that it's impossible for a small group of experts to predict the future of the world wide tech scene based purely on their personal experience (experts are often wrong; 2008 financial crisis anyone?). We use data and the wisdom of the crowd instead. Did you know that in Amsterdam alone, there are over 320 active tech meetup groups which held 1,310 events in 2015 that attracted 51,446 attendances from a crowd of almost 15,000 unique technologists? That's a lot of wisdom.

Also, we don't believe there is much value in predicting the next big individual technology. Instead we focus on communities and movements. In this radar you will not find us foretelling that perhaps Docker is the next big thing. Instead we will tell you that the DevOps, Programmable Infrastructure and Cloud community is trending. We'll leave it up to you to join that community and learn which individual technologies are being explored. This radar is here to help you make informed decisions; not follow the latest trend per se.

How does it work?

It's always been our observation that real technology decisions are driven by the practicioners (in spite of even the most aggressive upper management push for whatever it is they accidentally bought on the golf course). So, we went to the source: what do the practicioners spend their evenings and weekends on. We went for the meetups. is in essence an event based social network. There are groups that organise real life events which people attend in order to learn about new technologies. As with all (social) networks, a lot can be learned from looking at network structure. We look at communities, activity and content. That is: Which sub-groups exist in the network? How often do they get together? What do they talk about? Fact based.

To answer the above questions, we sourced a data set from's API and used algorithms for network community detection and natural language processing. Here, we take a more in-depth look at the communities that were most active last year. We've named these communities for convenience.

Amsterdam: City of Startups and Innovation


The top 10 tech communities in Amsterdam, based on activity trend in 2015.

  1. Startups and Innovation
  2. Devops, Programmable Infrastructure and Cloud
  3. Big Data and Data Science
  4. Front End Development
  5. Internet of Things and Smart Cities
  6. PHP and General Web Development
  7. Futurists and Quantified Self
  8. User Experience and Design
  9. Mobile App Development
  10. Functional Languages and Scalable Systems

The Amsterdam scene is dominated by talks about startups and innovating like one. More than anything else, tech people in Amsterdam want their surroundings to be as cool as Twitter in 2007, as disruptive as Uber and as innovative as Google.

Remaining communities in the top 10 focus on different technical aspects of building systems using the latest and greatest in tech and paint the Amsterdam scene as a refreshingly modern software development ecosystem.

Scroll down for a deeper insight into the most important meetup events per community, activiy & trend charts, and Q&A with the most important players in the field.

Community Activiy: Long Term Trend

For each community that the algorithm extracted from the Meetup network, we look at real world activity amongst community members to establish trends in public interest over time.

(Move your mouse over the legend to highlight and unselect communities.)

Communities: a Closer Look

For each community that the algorithm extracted from the Meetup network, we present the most influential Meetup groups and users based on their activity. We also show you the actual activity numbers for these groups.

(Click the tabs to change the information below to a different community.)

Meetup Groups That Matter:

  1. Silicon Drinkabout Amsterdam
  2. Hackers & Founders (Amsterdam, NL)
  3. Innovative startups & fast growing tech companies
  4. Amsterdam Startup Boot Businesses Meetup
  5. Amsterdam OpenCoffee @ Launchdesk Boven de Balie
  6. Amsterdam Startup Founder 101

People That Matter:

  Events hosted Group organiser? Event host?
Remco Janssen
Silicon Drinkabout Amsterdam 47
Marijn M
Silicon Drinkabout Amsterdam 46
James Bryan Graves
Hackers & Founders (Amsterdam, NL) 10
Jan-Jaap Verhoeve
Silicon Drinkabout Amsterdam 44
Adine Rooyackers
Silicon Drinkabout Amsterdam 44

Community Activity in 2015:

Meetup Groups That Matter:

  1. Docker Randstad
  2. Software Circus
  3. OpenStack Netherlands
  4. DevOps Amsterdam
  5. AWS user group NL
  6. Ansible Benelux
  7. Openstack & Ceph User Group Amsterdam
  8. Dutch Puppet User Group
  9. Dutch Devops Engineers

People That Matter:

  Events hosted Group organiser? Event host?
Mark Robert Coleman
Software Circus 20
Docker Randstad 14
Harm Boertien
DevOps Amsterdam 7
OpenStack Netherlands 6
Thomas Toftlund Krag
DevOps Amsterdam 7
AWS user group NL 7

Community Activity in 2015:

Meetup Groups That Matter:

  1. Amsterdam Data Science Meetup
  2. Big Data, Amsterdam
  3. Data Donderdag
  4. Amsterdam Apache Spark Meetup
  5. Graph Database - Amsterdam
  6. The Amsterdam Applied Machine Learning Meetup Group
  7. amst-R-dam
  8. Big Data Developers in Amsterdam
  9. DataMission - Data and Digital Technology for Humanity

People That Matter:

  Events hosted Group organiser? Event host?
Caroline van Impelen
Amsterdam Data Science Meetup 14
Elena Poughia
Big Data, Amsterdam 4
Friso van Vollenhoven
Amsterdam Apache Spark Meetup 2
The Amsterdam Applied Machine Learning Meetup Group 3
Rob Dielemans
Data Donderdag 5
Rutger Wetzels
Data Donderdag 5

Community Activity in 2015:

Meetup Groups That Matter:

  1. Frontend Developer Meetup Amsterdam
  2. NLHTML5
  3. Meteor NL
  4. AngularJS Amsterdam Meetup
  5. Utrecht JavaScript Meetup
  6. Amsterdam HTML / CSS
  7. Dutch AngularJS group
  8. AmsterdamJS
  9. React.Amsterdam

People That Matter:

  Events hosted Group organiser? Event host?
Luke Thomas
Frontend Developer Meetup Amsterdam 7
AngularJS Amsterdam Meetup 5
Lia Mast
Paul Verbeek
Lukas van Driel
Meteor NL 6
AmsterdamJS 3

Community Activity in 2015:

Meetup Groups That Matter:

  1. Internet-of-Things Meetup Amsterdam
  2. Dutch DIY Bio Group
  3. Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab
  4. IoTNL - Internet of Things founders & employees
  5. Amsterdam iBeacon Living Lab
  6. FIWARE LAB NL Utrecht Meetup
  7. Technologia Incognita Hackerspace Events

People That Matter:

  Events hosted Group organiser? Event host?
Pieter van Boheemen
Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab 22
Dutch DIY Bio Group 66
jc (Jonathan Carter)
Amsterdam iBeacon Living Lab 1
Internet-of-Things Meetup Amsterdam 12
Hans Crijns
Internet-of-Things Meetup Amsterdam 14
Lucas Evers
Dutch DIY Bio Group 45
Wienke Giezeman
Internet-of-Things Meetup Amsterdam 19

Community Activity in 2015:

Meetup Groups That Matter:

  1. AmsterdamPHP
  2. DomCode
  3. PHPAmersfoort

People That Matter:

  Events hosted Group organiser? Event host?
Rafael Dohms
AmsterdamPHP 21
Pascal de Vink
AmsterdamPHP 13
Jakub Gadkowski
AmsterdamPHP 13
Jeroen Groeneweg
AmsterdamPHP 14
Lucas van Lierop
DomCode 13

Community Activity in 2015:

Meetup Groups That Matter:

  1. Permanent Beta
  2. Internet-of-Things Meetup Amsterdam
  3. Hackathon Meetup
  4. Techionista's Coding Class for women
  5. Agile Holland
  6. Internet of Things Utrecht
  7. Bitcoin Wednesday Amsterdam

People That Matter:

  Events hosted Group organiser? Event host?
Kim van den Berg
Permanent Beta 28
Jan-Henk Bouman
Permanent Beta 25
Permanent Beta 13

Community Activity in 2015:

Meetup Groups That Matter:

  1. Amsterdam UX
  2. Behavior Design AMS
  3. ProductTank AMS
  4. UX-NL Meetup
  5. Design Thinking Amsterdam
  6. Amsterdam - Remote User Testing
  7. Designer & Creator Hangout
  8. Amsterdam UX Cocktail Hours
  9. UX Designers HQ Amsterdam
  10. Ladies that UX Amsterdam Meetup

People That Matter:

  Events hosted Group organiser? Event host?
Tatiana Sidorenkova
Amsterdam UX 12
David Montero
Amsterdam UX 13
Wilbert Baan
Behavior Design AMS 4
Iskander Smit
Behavior Design AMS 4
marco van heerde
Behavior Design AMS 4

Community Activity in 2015:

Meetup Groups That Matter:

  1. Appsterdam
  2. CocoaHeadsNL

People That Matter:

  Events hosted Group organiser? Event host?
Mike Lee
Appsterdam 101
Jeroen Leenarts
CocoaHeadsNL 18
Niels van Hoorn
CocoaHeadsNL 18
Bart Hoffman
CocoaHeadsNL 15
Martinus Meiborg
Appsterdam 3

Community Activity in 2015:

Meetup Groups That Matter:

  1. Amsterdam.scala
  2. Elastic User Group NL
  3. The Amsterdam Clojure Meetup Group
  4. FP AMS
  5. Netherlands Cassandra Users - by DataStax -
  6. Reactive Amsterdam
  7. Scala Utrecht

People That Matter:

  Events hosted Group organiser? Event host?
Joost Heijkoop
Amsterdam.scala 18
Jeroen Rosenberg
Amsterdam.scala 16
Amsterdam.scala 14
Boaz Leskes
Elastic User Group NL 4
Carlo Sciolla
The Amsterdam Clojure Meetup Group 12

Community Activity in 2015:

Community Quotes:

We've asked some of the most active and locally influential people from the communities to share their views and observations learned from actively participating in the Amsterdam Tech Scene.

From the Startups and Innovation community:

Located in a country with one of the highest broadband internet speeds in the world, well connected with Europe and the rest of the world, and with a high quality of life, Amsterdam is the perfect place to launch innovations. Over the last years a rich startup eco-system has emerged, fired up by accelerators such as Rockstart and StartupBootcamp and an increasing number of corporates that open up for startup collaboration.

Ernst Keyzer, Former Director of KPMG Innovative Startups
From the Futurists and Quantified Self community:

The most exciting developments in our society today hapen when art, technology and science meet. This is where the creative and innovative ideas which contribute to solutions to every large issue of our time. The way I see innovation is that changes come about so rapidly that there simply is no time to create permanent solutions. And this is not a bad thing. We are going to have to get used to taking care of business by applying solutions that are, by defenition, of a temporary nature. A start-up mentality is very important when you want to work like this.

Kim van den Berg, Co-Organiser of the Permanent Beta Meetup Group
From the User Experience and Design community:

When I arrived to Amsterdam from Sydney about 4 years ago I didn’t expect to encounter such a vibrant startup scene, fuelled by its young and multicultural population, a privileged location in the heart of Europe, a comfortable size with amazing repurposed spaces, and the Dutch cultural interest in innovation and design. During this last 3 years I have observed an incremental interest in UX, with people transitioning from many and diverse disciplines into one of the many fields of UX. When we took over the Amsterdam UX meet up it counted roughly 600 members, which has threefolded in two years, still growing with new members every month and with increasing demand for more and diverse events. This city is tech hungry, design hungry, talent hungry.

David Montero, Event host for the AmsterdamUX Meetup Group
From the Mobile App Development community:

For hundreds of years Amsterdam has been at the intersection of creativity and commerce, in a nation that values both intellect and empathy, but in a world that is increasingly hostile to these very things that make us human, there is no more important place or time than here and now.

Mike Lee, Creator of the Appsterdam Meetup Group, founder of the Appsterdam initiative
From the Front End Development community:

We started our meetups over 2 years ago now. It started with our placed candidates in a small pizza house, which was awesome. We then saw that people loved to talk about their work. We decided to build a platform where people could share their experiences and learn from others. I would like to think we helped put Frontend Development on the map ;) My clients were telling me that Frontend would explode but it was just whispers back then. This was over 3 years ago now. The timing of our service was pretty damn good. But we have been able to offer a true recruitment service based on the knowledge we gain from our own meetups. We also have companies and candidates feeling more comfortable to deal with us (as recruiters) because of this. The Amsterdam tech scene is actually relatively small but that is certainly changing. It is also traditionally Dutch which again is changing. What I mean by this is that companies coming into the scene realise that non-Dutch speakers can be easier to hire than the Dutch speakers themselves. There are more opportunities than ever before for developers which can also make it difficult to make the right choice. But that's a great thing of course. Frontend Development has taken over Amsterdam, there is very little doubt about that. We are getting calls everyday from companies needing help. Backend Developers are shifting across to Frontend Development. It's also more social than it has ever been before. There used to be the odd meetup here and there. But now there seem to be meetup group popping up all the time. This is making it a little more chaotic but again not a bad thing.

Luke Thomas, Organiser of the Frontend Developer Meetup Amsterdam and the AngularJS Amsterdam Meetup Groups
From the Big Data and Data Science community:

Nowadays, many organizations jump on the big data and data science train to get more valuable insights from their data so they can serve their customers better or to decrease operational costs and risks. I noticed the past couple of years that there is a knowledge gap when it comes to big data and data science, so at Anchormen, we try to bridge that gap by investing in free technical trainings and communities like meetup to ‘open source’ our knowledge and experience, which eventually creates awareness about the work we do and the things we believe in.

Rutger Wetzels, Co-Organiser of DataDonderdag (with Rob Dielemans and Mark van Rijmenam)
From the Devops, Programmable Infrastructure and Cloud community:

Over the last years it feels like the tech scene has grown exponentially. This is becoming a key city for tech in Europe with companies like Uber and Github opening offices and HashiCorp deciding to host their first European conference in Amsterdam.

Mark Coleman, Event host for the Docker Randstad Meetup Group and organiser of the Software Circus Meetup Group and conference
From the Internet of Things and Smart Cities community:

IoT, Smart Citizens and Makers are the bottom up forces that have driven Amsterdam towards being awarded as iCapital: most innovative city of Europe.

Pieter van Boheemen, Event host for the Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab Meetup Group and organiser of the Dutch DIY Bio Group Meetup Group
From the Functional Languages and Scalable Systems community:

The last couple of years functional programming has really taken off across the board. It has become prominent in the developer culture of most software development, to support developing advanced, complex and concurrent systems with confidence.

Joost Heijkoop, Event host for the Amsterdam.scala Meetup Group
From the PHP and General Web Development community:

The Tech market in Amsterdam is an amazing force. Over the past years it has grown to amazing new levels with participation of so many key players. The PHP segment of that market is still in rapid expansion, with companies that are not only developing great projects, but also building great relationships with the local developer communities. Its an exciting time to work with PHP in Amsterdam.

Rafael Dohms, Organiser of the AmsterdamPHP Meetup Group

Tech Scene Mind Map

Next to the community detction, we use natural language processing techniques to extract the topics that different communities discuss and how they are connected. In this view, a link between a community and a topic means that this topic is being discussed by that community. A link between topics means a that two topics are highly related in the context of this tech scene. This shows how different movements relate and overlap on a semantic level.

(Click and drag to move. Scroll to zoom.)

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