Finally I have some spare time to actually sit down and write
something ant even this only because I'm in the 6.48 in the morning train for
London and apart of sleeping I have nothing better to do. It's been a while
since my last post and I think I lost my blogging commitment somewhere.
Assuming I ever had any. Anyway, that is not really relevant to what I wanted
to write about.
What is your first thought when you thing about developers'
communities? Mine always was something around free t-shirts and having a fun. I
still think the same way but cool and free t-shirts were recently replaced by
hard work. Luckily fun is still there. Why hard work then? Well, if you are not
from my area you may not know but I've started a user group and it's a whole
lot of work. I've never suspected that there are so many things to do and to
manage but even if I would I will do that again. It's a great experience and
even better satisfaction when you see people coming over for a meeting.
It's taking a while to write that, maybe because I'm working
on my DDD presentation in the same time. Back to the user group thing.
Everything really started over a year go when I thought about this for a very
first time. Since then I was talking and promising that I will start one soon
and those were empty promises for a long while. Finally I grabbed enough
courage and determination and started. The very first thing was to have a web
site. After a quick look around I decided to use the offer Kentico has for user
groups which includes a free hosting. Perfect, no costs involved. After a few
days of work the site was up and running. Then I had to face the greatest challenge
and find at least a few members. A quick
chat with my manager and all my colleagues had the group in their objectives.
I'm joking of course but it's roughly how I started; by spreading the news
among everyone I knew; and it worked. At this moment the counter hit over 60
members which seem to be not very bad for the area I hope.
The very first meeting was a huge stress. Not only the meeting
itself but also organisational aspects of it. I had to find a venue that would
suit people from all locations around, which will have required facilities,
close to a bar and cheap. Yes, money was the biggest problem I had to face and
I have to admit I'm quite lucky here for my manager agreed to sponsor it. It is
however difficult, especially if you don't know the area very well like me.
Finally the very first meeting was a big success with 25 people, great
presentations and my lack of experience and confidence. Now, when I'm close to
the fourth meeting next week I feel like veteran and you know what? It feels
Over last few months I had to manage many, many things. I
had to find another venue that will be cheaper, preferable free, because I
couldn't assume I will always be able to pay. I had to find some sponsors to
have swags to give away because people love swags. Then I had to find speakers
who will come over here to show something. It's challenge and quite a lot of
work sometimes but I've never regret I started. I have feeling I'm doing
something good and it feels just great.
Middle of nowhere
If you are thinking
about setting a group then stop and just do it. You will never regret.
05-09-2009 5:37 PM