Today a group of five local developers got together for lunch to discuss ideas for a lunchtime .NET User Group. My own personal motivation is I love user groups and have been involved with one for many years, I cannot take another evening of my month and drive (I usually bike to work) all the way out to the far east side to attend the MadDotNet meeting.
This was mostly a logistical meeting – where would we meet, and which day of the month? As 80% of the attendees work in Fitchburg, we thought perhaps something not quite as far west would be preferable. I suggested Alt-n-Bach’s town tap, where my investment club meets. They have a nice menu and a quiet meeting room in the back, plus it’s right off the beltline, convenient for a lot of people. A quick call over there confirmed they are available most Wednesdays at lunchtime. Any other suggestions? One thing’s for certain, Rocky’s was too noisy and crowded to hold a serious meeting outside of its large theater.
The next question was, when to meet? This group thought Wednesdays was best, which works ok for me as I was thinking about switching from noontime Ultimate to morning hockey on Wednesdays anyway. The advantage to meeting on the same Wednesday as the regular MadDotNet group is that, if we have a speaker, they can hit both meetings on the same day. On the other hand it makes a long day for attendees who want to attend both meetings.
Lastly we thought we would start out socially, without formal presentations our guest speakers and just let this grow organically. Based on the conversations we had today, which covered topics such as frameworks, Fluent nHibernate, Silverlight, VS2010, Sharepoint, WCF, and much more, there is a TON to talk about and I think it will be great to share this information in a user group environment.