IT Events Update

I’d like to throw some information out there regarding IT/Networking events, user group meetings, code camps, etc.  You can find like minded individuals at all of these types of developer events.  There is a large supportive IT community out there, and I would encourage anyone who is in this industry to check out some of these events.

Links to some of the types of events I’ve attended this year – most of these types of events should be available in a community near you – although I don’t know where you could be reading this from :)

Toronto Code Camp

This is an annual one-day free event held on a Saturday in Toronto. This year it was held on April 25, 2009.  There were several tracks that were mostly geared towards .NET development.  It’s a great turnout with hundreds of IT developer professionals in the industry and a great networking event.  Among other people, I met Mark Arteaga, owner of Red Bit Development, who I had the chance to discuss mobile device application development with the .NET compact framework. Mark is a Microsoft MVP, so I picked his brain about how the program works and the process to becoming an MVP.  Many major cities are also hosting annual code camps.

Toronto SharePoint Code Camp

This is also an annual one day free event held on a Saturday in Toronto geared towards SharePoint.  This event really opened my eyes to how large the SharePoint community is.  SharePoint has really taken off and it seems that a lot of people are really jumping on the bandwagon.  As with the regular code camp, many major cities across North America are also hosting free annual SharePoint code camps.  A similar event is the SharePoint Saturday which is hosted in many cities including Toronto.

User Groups

User groups are a great way to get out there and support the developer community.  You have the opportunity to network with other developers, meet new people, and even present to the group.  There are many user groups available in many disciplines (including, VB.NET, SQL Server, Software Architecture, and Sharepoint).  They are a great way to introduce yourself to other members of the developer community.

I’ve personally attended the following user group meetings and have met some of the top people in our industry:    SharePoint user group (TSPUG), Visual Basic user group (TVBUG), and the Toronto IT Architecture user group.  The Toronto Visual Basic User Group was especially welcoming – the evening typically finishes off with drinks at a pub across the street.

All of these groups offer speaking or presenting opportunities for their members; I presented a presentation titled “The Basics of Software Architecture for the .NET Developer” at a coffee and code event for the London .NET user group last month.

iNeta provides support and resources to many user groups

Professional Developer Events

I’m planning on attending Tech Days 2009 in Toronto this year.  It has a great track and I’m looking forward to learning from the many speakers giving presentations at the event.  It also looks like it will be a great opportunity to network.

Business/ IT Networking

Almost every city has got these types of events.  Typically there is a presentation for the first half of the event followed by socializing and networking.  Very often these events are located at a bar or pub, so you can easily grab a beer or two if you like.  I’ve attended many of these types of events, and some have been useful and others haven’t.  It’s hit and miss, but still a great way to make contacts.

Meetup Groups

Almost every city has these too.  Basically, the purpose is just to get out to a bar or restaurant and mingle with other like minded individuals on topics such as Web 2.0, Web Design, Software, Podcasting, Blogging, or whatever… There are tons of these.  A good resource to see what’s available in your area is

Professional IT Groups

You can become a member of CIPS or just attend their events for a slightly higher cost than non members.  I’ve attended many of these events including topics on SQL Server 2008, .NET Development, Cloud Computing, and events where vendors or developers show off the cool software or products they’ve developed.  I’ve been sitting in on the executive meetings.  Our next event is the Annual General Assembly being held on September 10th.  This is an annual meeting where we will nominate and elect new executive committee members followed by a regular CIPS professional event.

CIPS also regularly partners with Microsoft for many of their events such as the Heroes Happen {here} series of events.  I was asked my local CIPS chapter president to lead a discussion group at this event.  It was a great opportunity, and we had a great discussion (see here); I really liked this event structure.

Canada’s Association of Information Technology Professionals

If anyone has any recommendations for similar events please let me know by leaving a comment….



About dandouglas
Dan Douglas is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is a professional independent Software Consultant and an experienced and proven subject matter expert, decision maker, and leader in the area of Software Development and Architecture. His professional experience represents over 15 years of architecting and developing highly successful large scale solutions. Dan also believes that properly empowering teams with trust and responsibility yields the greatest results. | For inquiries about Dan's software consulting practice, please see the contact page.  Dan has also built up a network of highly successful and professional Software Developers and Architects who are highly respected and can be called upon and used in conjunction with his own consulting practice to handle the largest of consulting projects.

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