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My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together
Ok – it’s new year’s resolution time – how about this one..
User groups (and blogs, in a less face-face manner) are an excellent way to meet like minded tech people in an informal setting and are a useful way to get information about how other people are doing things and current real-world trends/best practice.
But, none of this is possible without people stepping up and contributing – you don’t have to be a genius to contribute (look at me! :)) nor do you have to be in-charge of the largest planet munching datacentre laden with the most advanced, cutting edge tech in the world, even the humblest IT shop have something in the way of experience that they can contribute – what problems have you seen, and how did you fix them, what do you think would be useful, something creative you’ve built?
Public speaking isn’t my idea of absolute fun, it’s hard and you are putting yourself “out there” in anticipation that people will be interested; or at the very least be polite enough not to throw things at you.
Don’t feel you have to know everything about everything, it’s ok to say I don’t know, and throw it to the floor – the man who says he knows everything actually knows nothing! it could spark an interesting debate – you don’t get that kind of thing at formal conferences.
User groups are about users, not sponsors or vendors showing their wares – they have ample online and conference time for that (although sponsors are obviously an important part of it – as they pay for it!) so take advantage of the experience in the room
It’s also easy to start a blog, it’s easy to get your thoughts out there (however serial twitter RT’ers and blog-scrapers need not apply :)).
it’s also good personal and career development, even if it’s just about making you structure your thoughts properly – I wrote some thoughts on this a while back
If you have some ideas for user group presentation sessions, or indeed something different – just write up a proposal, it doesn’t need to be anything majorly formal – just an email with the salient points and submit it to the co-coordinators;
How long you would like: (keep it under 45mins)
Outline: agenda, key points and/or questions you would like to cover, what people would get from the session
Along similar lines – get a blog, get some thoughts, something you’ve fixed (with some pictures) even something you’d like to see in future versions – write it up, get it out there www.wordpress.com is all you need!
Go forth and contribute in 2010 .. 🙂