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What’s So Great About User Groups

User groups provide so many benefits for those looking to get ahead in their career.  User Groups share a common commitment to provide a venue for sharing experience, insight, and knowledge about computing, for the benefit of their members.  I don’t think I’m really telling you anything you don’t already know, but I want to build the case to push you to the point to actually attend a meeting. 

For those of you that are new to IT or at least new to the SQL side of IT you have the most to benefit from joining a user group.  Not only will you learn something new every meeting but it’s also a great way to network.

Most user groups often have recruiters and other people looking to hire attending as a way to find those interested in a job.  Many groups try and make it a point to connect these two parties at some point before or after the meeting.

It’s also a great way to find answers to problems your having at work.  If your having trouble solving a problem at work your surrounded by many professionals that have probably had the same problem at some point in their career.  You’re in a room full of people that want to help so why not ask. 

I’m a member of JSSUG (Jacksonville SQL Server User Group).  I think it has given me many opportunities including building my confidence in giving a speaking.  Many groups are in need of speakers so it would be great to volunteer your services even if you are still gaining experience speaking on IT.

Hopefully this would convince those who have yet to go to a meeting to see the benefits of getting involved.  Maybe it could convince those who have been to make it consistently because you’re likely to get something different every meeting and it’s a great way to keep your skills up to date.

Devin Knight

Devin is a BI consultant at Pragmatic Works Consulting. Previously, he has tech edited the book Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services and was an author in the book Knight's 24-Hour Trainer: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. Devin has spoken at past conferences like PASS and at several SQL Saturday events. He is a contributing member to the Business Intelligence Special Interest Group (SIG) for PASS as a leader in the SSIS Focus Group. Making his home in Jacksonville, FL, Devin is a participating member of the local users’ group (JSSUG).


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