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Cultivate Your Career Today -- Join A User Group

Posted by sunahouston on November 9, 2009 at 10:04 AM PST

Java Evangelist Carol McDonald sent me a snippet from this blogger:

" User Groups: If you live near a major metropolitan area, it's easy to get involved in the local user groups that are there. Most user groups meet once a month, so they don't consume too many evenings when your family expects you to be home. Don't be a passive participant; get involved. Talk about what you've been learning in your spare time. Help organize the group. Get to know the other people in the group...."

On the JUG leader's mailing list we've had many discussion(s) about the networking power of a Java User Group. Perhaps one of my favorite posts was by Java Champion Yakov Fain of Java Developer Journal. In his JDJ article: "Our JUGs need a Push-Up", Yakov makes some excellent points--quoted below...and things I've seen at a JUG meeting.

Benefits of a Java User Group:

" For Java programmers: A great way to keep up with new Java technologies. It also gives you a chance to network with your peers, which always helps in getting a job."

" For business: Instead of paying head-hunters hefty finder fees every time you need to hire a Java developer, create a home for your local JUG by letting them use one of your conference rooms one evening a month."

" For students: JUGs give you a chance to learn what's happening in the real business world and maybe find an internship or summer job."

" For headhunters: Your local JUG may give you an access to a pool of Java developers."

" For authors: It's a good way to promote your books. Don't be shy though; always give away a free copy of your book."

Yakov also goes on in this article to describe "How to set up a Java User Group". Yakov Fain spoke at the very first Java Champions BOF at JavaOne in 2006. He also wrote about his experience joining the Java Champions project in another JDJ Article which I still have on my desk at work. Yakov has a new podcast project called No BS IT -- expect a "non-politically correct" approach to this podcast.

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Lastly, slightly off topic, but there's going to be (I think) a really good JUG meeting when the Silicon Valley JavaFX User Group holds its very first meeting at the GooglePlex on Dec 9th. The speaker will be Richard Bair from Sun's JavaFX team... very technical + he's also from the SWING team. more info here. I plan on being there to check it out.

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Comments

Hiring Managers at a User Group meeting? Probably not, But...

Just a clarification here from one of the mailing lists that I am on... True, most hiring managers may not go to a user group meeting, but that's not to say..that I haven't seen technical recruiters at a JUG meeting because... I have.... some of the recruiters even sponsor meetings and are JUG Leaders themselves... Best examples are: