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We must live vastly different lives. Otherwise, why would anyone want to spend their spare social time in job hunt mode? Sometimes I want to foster relationships I already have, not eternally be working on new ones.

Seems like the folks here go to conferences not to learn something, but to be part of a network and get a job; they go to programming/hacking/toying events or clubs not because they are interested in that hobby but to be part of a network and get a job; they call people to have news about them not because they like them but because they may use them later as a tool to get a job; they take part in open source projects despite having no problem to solve and no will to solve a user problem, but in order to build a portfolio and get a job. I find it very sad: always a main motivation which is job and money; no genuine interest in what they take part, not a bit of altruism either.

That's very cynical view of networking and I am very much offended by it.

I go to events and conferences because I am genuinely interested in them, I go there to listen to insightful presentations and talk to fellow programmers about interesting things, the motivation is never to "get a job later", that would be sick. The "networking effect" comes much later when you become close enough to naturally tap on them for job opportunities without feeling awkward or anything.

In other words, you don't go for conferences to find job opportunities, that's not the end, but the natural effect of knowing a lot of awesome people with the same interest as you.

Heck, I dare to go one step further to say that the purpose of a full-time job for me is just to meet more awesome programmers.

I feel you. In the last decade I have had to dial my outside tech/networking way back due to other obligations.

You can pick a few meetups (or even just one) to focus on, or you can be on the lookout when you meet casual acquaintances (perhaps at other social events).

I wouldn't want to spend all my social time in work hunting mode, but a small regular investment can pay dividends (depending on how happy you are in your current position).

Another reason to do such activities is the opportunity to help others. I love when I am talking to others and find out about a position that isn't a fit for me, but may be great for someone else I know. Hooking up two acquaintances in a possibly mutual beneficial way is low energy (not too much work) and yet high impact (people remember who helped them get a job).

I discovered this can be as easy as clicking"like" on a LinkedIn in post: http://www.mooreds.com/wordpress/archives/2180

It's not "job hunt mode", it's "face time mode". You want to be visible, and you want people to be aware of your capabilities. If you're accomplishing that in ways that don't cut into your other social activities, that sounds ideal.

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