Community Megaphone and a Post-INETA Future

megaphone_trns2As I noted a few months ago, INETA North America is ceasing operations and wrapping up loose ends. As part of that wrap-up, the INETA board asked if I would be willing to help with community continuity through the website I created, Community Megaphone. The idea was for INETA to encourage folks on their mailing list to join a list I set up to discuss the future of Community Megaphone, and what kinds of features might help fill some of the gaps left behind by the end of INETA North America.

With this post, I’d also like to offer others in the developer community the same opportunity. You can join the mailing list, which is for the purpose of providing ongoing updates on the future plans for Community Megaphone. And if you don’t want to join a mailing list, but still want to provide feedback or ideas on features that would be useful for user group leaders, speakers, and attendees of developer community events, you can do so on the Community Megaphone Uservoice page, or the Feedback page on the Community Megaphone site.

I’m looking forward to the feedback of the community, and finding better ways to serve the developer community, and I hope you’ll share your feedback, too.

The End of An Era – INETA Shutting Down

[Update – I will likely continue to update this post periodically to include names and facts that I, in my imperfect memory, did not originally include, as they are brought to my attention or I find them through other posts. Please drop me a note if you know someone who deserves credit here that I missed. Thanks!]

I received an email this morning announcing that INETA, after more than a decade of supporting .NET user groups, sponsoring speakers for those groups, and more, will be ceasing operations at the end of 2015.


INETA was started back in the early 2000s, at the outset of the .NET developer community, as an organization to foster community-led user groups, and help them grow. It was also instrumental in the career growth of many folks in the community, myself included. The founding board members of INETA were Bill Evjen, Keith Pleas, Dave Noderer, Keith Franklin and Brian Loesgen. [Thanks to Julie Lerman for helping refresh my memory on the history of INETA’s founding]

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Why I Think ALL Technical User Groups Should be on Meetup

This post may well come out sounding like an ad for Not my intent, but so be it if that’s how it comes across.

I’ll also state clearly that I don’t have any formal connection with Meetup, although I am a co-organizer of the DC/Baltimore Windows App Developers Meetup, and I’ve also written a couple of APIMASH Starter Kits that leverage the Meetup API.

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A Knockout in Charlottesville

Just saw the agenda for the next meeting of the Charlottesville .NET User Group, which is tomorrow night (Feb. 16th), and it looks awesome. The title is Knockout.js, MVC with Style & .Net 4.5. They’re doing a triple-header featuring:

  • Joel Cochran talking about the Knockout.js MVVM library for JavaScript
  • Kristy Moon talking about MVC with Style
  • Stuart Leitch talking about async features in VB and C# (and a bit on Windows 8)

That’s quite a lineup, and I’m wishing I could make it for the meeting (Dane Morgridge and I will be recording a new episode of the Community Megaphone Podcast that evening), but if you’re available, I would strongly suggest making it out for this meeting.

image_2And a bit of speaker trivia…Kristy Moon, who was one of the wonderful volunteers for last year’s inaugural MADExpo conference, volunteered her talents this year to give our website a fresh new look for MADExpo 2012. Personally, I think it looks great.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from three of the most talented folks I know in the Mid-Atlantic!

Charlottesville .NET meets a the McIntire School of Commerce at UVA. You can find a nice map of the location on the Charlottesville .NET UG website.

Dave Ward’s Advice to Programmers

In a nutshell…“write about programming.”

blanknotebook_2Longer version (the quote comes from an interview Dave did with The Code Project):

What advice would you offer to an up-and-coming programmer?

Write about programming. Start a blog, answer questions on The Code Project or Stack Overflow, or whatever else suits you, but find some way to write about programming.

I can’t count how many times I began writing about something I thought I knew thoroughly, only to find that I had to fill in several important gaps in my knowledge to write about it competently. Just as important, you have to learn topics more comprehensively to distill and teach them in simple terms. The combination of writing about programming and making that writing as clear and simple as you can is a powerful exercise.”

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