Go to a User Group

  • annroth

    SSC Rookie

    Points: 29

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Go to a User Group

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    This is great editorial. Some good advice. Many should take it.

    However, for myself I enjoy the freedom that online communities give me. I network a lot by the simple fact of working freelance. If I was entering the industry now, or had relatively recently joined (< 5 years), or worked at a single place for a long time then I would certainly be tempted.

    Truth is that one thing stops me: need vs work/life balance.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • chrisn-585491

    SSCoach

    Points: 15866

    Attendance dropped last year at the local PASS group due to stupid politics. There was a schism in the leadership and the group lost a lot of the people, (some are nationally known in the SQL Server world), that made it what is was... :crying:

    Also user groups require effort. Everyone wants to attend, very few want to help or take the time to teach or present. I've helped revive a local programming user group over the last two years, time to step aside and see if it flies on it's own.

  • phonetictalk

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3572

    Couldn't agree more with the editorial. I found my current job through a user group. And if I were a hiring manager, I'd be approaching people at a user group long before sifting through anonymous CVs.

    User groups are work to run, though to some extent they're as much or as little work as you make them. Definitely hard if it's a 1 person operation though.

    Leonard
    Madison, WI

  • Sarah Wagner

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3178

    I have been attending user groups on and off for years... Where is the beer?

  • Miles Neale

    SSChampion

    Points: 13147

    Love the editorial and the advice. Thank you!

    Those starting today have a distinct advantage over old timers. Back in the 70's there were no support groups, really none. Know as DP then we often wondered if that meant Data Processing or Dislocated Persons. In some ways they were the same. We were often on an adventure alone. But today there are many resources that give those who will use them great advantage.

    Years ago the only help was in the IBM manual which was written by someone you would never meet and there was no way you could ask questions. You were on your own and doing some of those creative things was a huge challenge for there was no code examples, few built-in formulas and functions, and few if any peers to talk it over with. Today you can get well down the road to a solution by drawing on the experience and willingness to share of others.

    It amazes me to day that many feel they should do it themselves and not ask for help. The idea is to get something done, not to prove you can do it by yourself.

    I'll pipe down now and get back to work. 🙂

    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • chrisn-585491

    SSCoach

    Points: 15866

    I have been attending user groups on and off for years... Where is the beer?

    We have beer, (on tap), where we meet. But most people decline since there is also soda.

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    Everything was changed by the Internet. You could tap in to anyone who posting demonstrating that they could do something (albeit sometimes they couldn't). I consider myself lucky to have avoided punched cards and tapes but experienced coding pre-IDE (Integrated Development Environment) as well as assembler etc. This meant that, as we all do, I benefited from those that went before me without the pain but learnt what was going on in the development lifecycle from the ground up.

    This means that little scares me (except when given permissions to a production database) and I have a rudimentary understanding of how it all works - that may change with quantum computing but I expect it to take at least a decade to hit the "desktop" (if at all).

    Of course, feeling confident certainly doesn't equate to me being an expert at everything nor could I do everything within a reasonable timescale. What I feel it gives me (along with my education) is the basis to grasp what I need with the help around me. I guess User Groups are another great source of support and learning for some. I certainly wouldn't knock them.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Miles Neale

    SSChampion

    Points: 13147

    Well said Gaz. Appreciate your input as always.

    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    chrisn-585491 (6/19/2014)


    I have been attending user groups on and off for years... Where is the beer?

    We have beer, (on tap), where we meet. But most people decline since there is also soda.

    If I was to go I guess I would prefer a two part event. Technical then social. In which case I'd drink water to start off. Then...erm...I might have a sherbet or two :Whistling:

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

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