I realized that, for me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of being in the technology field is having the opportunity to exchange ideas with other technology professionals. A rich dialog with other professionals helps me become introduced to new ideas, new techniques, and possibilities that I may not have encountered had I simply relied on my own personal experiences. Networking is also a great recruiting tool to identify talented folks that you might want to join your company as openings are created.
I wanted to share just a few groups that I am personally aware of because I have attended.
This group was started as, and continues to be, an informal gathering to discuss Agile. Beyond that, there is no single focus or formal agenda. The meetings are typically on the first Monday of each month at 5:30 PM. For September, the meeting will be on the 13th of September due to the Labor Day holiday, but still at 5:30. We meet at Hacienda on Miami Street. The Michiana Agile Practitioners group resides on LinkedIn.
This user group, obviously focused on .NET, is currently in the process of planning a “Tech Fest” to be held on September 18th. The day will be broken into two tracks, one focused on development, and the other with a focus IT. You can view the agenda for Tech Fest on the MADNUG site. Press Ganey was generous and is going to host the tech fest in their training center.
If you’re up for a road trip, this MeetUp is worth it. Meeting in downtown Chicago at 5:30 Central, you can get most of the regular work day in and still make it to the meeting on time. The attendees typically have a broad range of experience with Agile, from “exploring” to people that many would consider “expert.” The meetings are held on a monthly basis, and the topics are advertised at least weeks ahead of time. The number of attendees is limited to 30, so an early RSVP is required. Most months, I attend with at least one other coworker or guest. Carpooling makes the drive go by quickly, and most times we are back to South Bend and off the toll road by 10:30. If you’re interested, feel free to contact me and join the carpool.
What others are you familiar with?
I used Google to look for additional groups, and pretty much came up empty. Are there other technology user groups that you are familiar with and would recommend?