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I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.

LinkedIn Groups

I’ve written a few posts now about LinkedIn, and for now still find it be the best fit for me as far as a networking tool. If you prefer something else, that works too! But if you’ve decided to use LinkedIn, groups should be a part of your strategy, and I want to cover why and how.

Right now I’m a member of only a few groups; the Orlando SQL group, PASS, SSC, and a couple others. Orlando has about 50 members, SSC over a thousand. I don’t participate much in the few discussions that happen within the groups (so far anyway), but I like it as an easy way to keep up with news about and within the group because I get a weekly digest (which you can disable). Once you’re a group member:

  • It gives you a way to post a message to a targeted audience. In general I see this used badly, but maybe I’m over critical. If you were going to say something to 1000+ people, make sure it’s relevant and succinct, and don’t repeat it every two days!
  • It is another way to introduce yourself when making a connection. You can pick any group as a reason for the connection, and while I still take a quick look, I get little spam from the group as far as connection requests
  • It has a built in job board, almost perfect for user groups as a way to support their sponsors and members. Almost perfect because no direct way to charge those placing the position openings, but I guess that isn’t all bad.

Some groups are open, some require ‘approval’ to join. Decent management tools if you want to start a group, and they just announced sub groups which might be interesting for a larger group like PASS or SSC.

Bottom line is that joining groups is a way to reach a much larger network without diluting your personal network. I suppose you could join 100 groups or more along that line of thought, but I think it’s reasonable to join groups that interest you. For example, I’m also a member of the Space Coast Users Group group (group squared?) so I can keep up with their news, and the same for Tampa.

If you explore this, look beyond just the pure SQL groups. I see lots of groups here in Orlando that just facilitate networking, and I’m waiting to hear back from a couple people about how well that works out, but I think it’s worth trying – especially if you need to practice your networking skills.


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