Guest post by Robert Schiefer, Software Architect at EBSCO
Planning is underway for a brand new technology meetup group in Birmingham. The Birmingham .NET Meetup is for .NET professionals and hobbyists looking to continuously improve their craft. They hope to cover a broad spectrum of topics, from C# language features to software delivery and everything in between.
Robb Schiefer and Blake Helms are co-organizers for the group which has a tentative first meetup scheduled for May of 2016. Over 35 members have already signed up on their Meetup page with little to no advertising, so the group is poised to be heavily attended. When asked about the new group Robb had the following comment:
“C#/.NET is one the most popular programming language in Birmingham with companies, both large and small, employing a large number of developers on the Microsoft stack. We hope to bring those developers together on a monthly basis to network, learn from each other and improve their skills so they can be more effective in the workplace.”
Being first released in 2002, the .NET framework is a mature platform that many companies rely on for the stability of their business. C# (the programming language most often associated with the .NET framework) is consistently listed in the top five most popular programming languages each year in most surveys. A Mashable article last year stated in Alabama C# was the “most tweeted” and had “the most jobs and least competition” based on data from a common programmer Q&A website. So Birmingham and .NET seem like a great fit.
Each meetup event will allow time for networking, provide an informative talk by a knowledge presenter and best of all free food. The group is still trying to work out the details and asks any interested developers to fill out a quick survey to help in the planning process.
“User groups can be tricky to get right. You have to keep the content interesting and find a convenient time/location for the majority of attendees. We are really hoping the survey helps us meet the needs of our local .NET community,” Schiefer said.
The group is also still looking for corporate funding to help pay for the costs of running the group. The funds will primarily be used for food and giveaways at the events. If your company can help in this area, reach out to the Robb or Blake for more information via their Meetup page.
User groups are a great way to engage in the developer community beyond your immediate work environment. If you manage developers, encourage them to find a user group and attend. If you are a developer, go share your experiences and learn from others at the next applicable user group event.
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