IT User Groups Open Day

On Saturday I went to a IT User Groups Open Day in Melbourne. To try and describe it without using the words that make up its title: pretty much it was a collection of stalls with one or two people behind them, representing gatherings of normal people that have banded together and meet regularly to help out a particular targeted computing sub-community.

For instance there were Linux, Oracle, and SAP user groups (devoted to a particular technology); Java, ColdFusion and .NET (aimed at specific tools); spheres of interest like security were covered; and also methodologies and techniques like project management and extreme programming were also covered.

I have been interested in user groups for a few months as a way to talk to other developers in person and learn from them, and contribute to a developer's community in some way. So I walked around, grabbed brochures and talked to a few people. One guy who stood out was from the Melbourne Extreme Programming Enthusiasts who chased me downstairs to talk to me about the group. I think I'll go and check the group out.

I was there about an hour, and on the way home stopped at Borders bookstore to look around (for two hours). I don't know how you feel about bookstores, but I love 'em just for the sheer volume of knowledge and the chance to get a new book. Looking around for that period of time is not something you can do with wife and kids in tow, so Olivia, thanks for letting me go! End result: no books purchased, and I'm OK with that.

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