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What a typical user group looks like

I wanted to share with you what a typical user group meeting looks like.
I know that when I decided I wanted to go to a user group meeting I was pretty scared to go on my own. Go figure.
My first user group meeting was the VB.Net user group, run by Jackie Goldstein.  This photo is the a meeting of this same user group (you can see Jackie looking at the camera's direction on the lower right corner).
In the meeting the talk was about SQL reporting services and the presenter was Shai-bar lev.
As you can see people are asking, taking notes and generally having a good time while learning something valuable. Can you beat that?
the second photo is what usually happens after a user group meting: people stick around And geek out. here you can see Yosi, Udi and other folks talking about really geeky stuff. always fun and entertaining.
I wanted to encourage those of my readers that have never gone to a user group because they were shy or some other reason, to just go ahead a do it.
  • It's a great place to meet people and hear interesting Q&A on stuff that matters to you and your job.
  • Networking, networking, networking
  • 60-40 rule here says that 40% of the lectures at any user group will probably be less useful to you that you would have liked (and you can never know in advance if they will because it depends a lot on the presenter). on the 60% that are useful - it's usually really interesting and a great eye-opener. Therefore I usually try to attend as many user group meetings as I possibly can because when I find that one meeting that really helps - it repays big time for all the meetings that did not.
  • Stop living in a bubble. If you only do one thing in your job a user group is the place to go to discover new and exciting stuff. live a little. Learn a little.
  • Great for your resume: a person who goes to user group meetings is always a step ahead than a person that does not.
  • Get involved with community: you get a nice sense of camaraderie when you go to meetings. People have the same problems that you do and the same questions and fears. It's great to feel a part of something.
If you decide to go a to a user group - look me up and say hi. I'd love to chat a little.

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