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INIETA Europe March 2009 Newsletter  
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In this issue...
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bullet imageSpring is here!
bullet imageCall for UG Presentation
bullet imageCommunity activities
bullet imageOur communities: VBUG
bullet imageSurvey results (I)
bullet imageCommunity benefits
bullet imageUpcoming events
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Sponsors...

Microsoft

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Spring  is here...

Spring is here, time has really been flying! I can't believe that it is already March. We have been very busy here at INETA working on some great benefits for the developer community.

You might have noticed a theme going on with us at INETA with the "volunteers" thing. Well, it's true, a grass roots organization like INETA runs by members who are actually user group leaders dealing with the day in day out tasks of managing our lives AND our user groups will always need all the help it can get.

But it does not have to be someone that belongs directly to a committee or sitting at one of our tables in TechEd.

Sometimes a world of good can come from a simple word from you, our members and readers. Just covering one example here, let's take a look at the many code camps that are going on all over Europe. We know they are popular from the feedback we get and the number of them we are asked to cover or report on. Logic would say they couldn't all be successful but so far we appear to be batting a thousand with those kinds of events.

On an organizational stand point one could say, why not? They are being held by people who are successfully running their user groups so why wouldn't a single, albeit complex, event work every time? Well then, if this is the case, perhaps we need more of them and perhaps we need to cover more of them as well. And this is where you, our erstwhile potential volunteer comes in.
We would like to hear from all of you who have had recent code camps to tell us how they went and perhaps share with your fellow INETIANS a tip or two about how you made them successful or what makes then successful on their own.

We, the volunteers of INETA, are committed to working as a team to help give you the resources you need to help bring quality content and community spirit to your meetings. As we continue the process of building up our services and programs to support our growing community, we are continuously looking for new team members to help us in our various endeavors. Understanding that availability for volunteer work may vary amongst many of you, we appreciate all levels of involvement.

For some this might include a permanent role in one of our teams such as Marketing, Technology or Community Activities. For others, it may be writing a short article for our newsletter or website covering an important topic or exciting event in your area. To learn more about how you can get involved with our various divisions, teams and programs, please email board@ineta-europe.org.

We would love to hear from you!

As President, I am always interested in hearing from our members. So if you have any suggestions on things we are doing well, things we can improve or areas you would like us to discuss, please send an email to damir.tomicic@ineta-europe.org to let me know. I look forward to hearing from you!

Damir Tomicic's Photo



Damir Tomicic
President, INETA Europe
damir.tomicic@ineta-europe.org

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Call For UG Presentation

We want your UG! Yes, INETA Europe wants to know a little bit about your User Group. It is an opportunity to know other Europe’s .NET enthusiastic developers and make a little bit of networking between us. It’s sure you share common goals, activities and interest, so we are interested in our UG to be presented by people who better knows them, you.

So, in each Newsletter We will be providing a space to present one User Group. Is very important to follow some clear rules in order to have a common structure and a way to know the most important information about them:

  • We are presenting our User Group, that is called… and we are settle in…
  • Our focus is… (.NET technologies, SQL Server, ASP.NET… etc.).
  • We usually meet in (country, place, dates…).
  • We organize in-person/on-line meetings with an average of xx attendees…
  • For this year, one of or main goals is…
  • The most important thing you should know about us is…

Don't forget, you shouldn't exceed 200 words, remember our Newsletter should be short and there are many contents to talk about.

So remember INETA Europe wants to know you and your User Group, and this is one more channel to communicate with your Europe community. We are all waiting for you.

Miguel Lopez's Photo





Miguel Lopez
Vice President Marketing INETA Europe
miguel.lopez@ineta-europe.org

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Community activities...
 

Spring is coming and all the User Groups are waking up from winter slow-down! Would you and your User Group like to prepare exciting and Community driven event like:

CodeCamp:

INETA UG’s examples: htp://www.code-camp.nl, http://codecamp.mscommunity.net/English/Overview.aspx, http://www.codecamp.pl/pl/Homepage.aspx, http://www.flickr.com/photos/vladanstrigo/collections/72157602353446506 or wiki: http://www.thedevcommunity.org/codecamps/manifesto.aspx).

KulenDayzspecial:

 regional 3-day event http://kulendayz.mscommunity.net/?

Let us know to help you in a several ways:
  1. put you in touch with people that already did it – they have “Do’s and do not do…” and “framework” to help you started
  2. give you list of sponsors and their direct contacts
  3. offer you speaker and cover her/his expenses
  4. help you in some other way

So – let us know – we are here to help you out!

Tomislav Bronzin Photo




Tomislav Bronzin,
Vice President Community Activities INETA Europe
Tomislav.Bronzin@ineta-europe.org

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Europe communities at a glance: VBUG, in UK.
 

Tim Leung (Vice President of VBUG) talks about the VBUG usergroup (www.vbug.com):

VBUG Event cofee
VBUG are a UK based developer community. The origin of our name stems from the fact that we began life as the ‘Visual Basic User Group’ approximately 15 years ago.

Today, we focus on almost all Microsoft tools and technologies. We are recognized by the Institute of Analysts and Programmers and often collaborate with other UK usergroups.

To illustrate the diversity of our meetings, we have held events on Visio, Biztalk, SQL Server and Windows media center in 2009 alone. Meetings are held throughout various locations and the most active regions include London, the Thames Valley and Newcastle.

Attendance at these events can range from around 10 to 70 people. Online meetings via LiveMeeting are also held from time to time.

Our traditional annual conference is a 2 day event attracting top name speakers and up to 200 delegates. For this year, we would like to attract new attendees, help those who wish to speak at meetings and make a positive contribution towards the UK developer community.

The most important thing to know about our group is that we are approachable and happy to discuss any activity which would benefit the Microsoft development community as a whole.

Tim Leung's Photo





Tim Leung
Vicepresident of VBUG
 

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INETA Europe Community Survey Tech•Ed Developers 2008 (I)
 

As you may know, from last November we started a survey between developers and IT professional members and no members of INETA Europe in order to know a little bit more about our services and how to improve our relationship with our communities around Europe.

Have passed almost four months since that, and more than near 200 of you have answered our 10 questions about present and future possible services you are interest in INETA Europe is able to offer.

First of all, a big thanks to all of you. Thank you for having dedicated ten minutes of your time to make your personal contribution with INETA Europe and the European community.

And second, a few words about the results of the survey…

People from more than 32 different countries have participated in the survey, especially presence from Turkey, United Kingdom, Russia and Spain.

82.5% of people were from INETA Developer UG’s, 21% from Culminis, 9.60% from PASS and the rest of people were for other associations.

There are over 30% of UG in the survey that have used INETA Europe services, mainly Bureau of Speakers.
About INETA Europe offered services, 77. 20% of people value as highly important sponsorship support for their UG events. 75.75% value as highly important to establish a country level bureau of speakers, and 62.35% value specially European Bureau of speakers.

In next issue, we will continue talking about the results of this survey and about the desired services for most people of our communities.

So, we expect to apply these results to day to day to improve your benefits from the INETA Europe developers and IT associations, because our power is you. 

Miguel Lopez's Photo




Miguel Lopez
Vice President Marketing INETA Europe
miguel.lopez@ineta-europe.org

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A few of the benefits of being in a user group association
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UGSS community logo

With the help of Culminis and INETA, we have just finished running our first satisfaction survey of user group leaders and members around the world. I’ll be reporting back to you all on more of the things we have learnt from the results of this survey and what we intend to change as a result of your input next month, but there was one thing in particular that stood out. In the survey we asked you for suggestions as to things that you needed to help your user group be more successful. We got a lot of great ideas, which broke down into several categories:

  1. New ideas which gave us real food for thought.
  2. Suggestions which were really for the user group community rather than Microsoft (we will share these with you so that you take advantage of each others experience).
  3. Suggestions we had considered, but which we can’t help with at this point for some reason.
  4. Requests for things which are already available to you.

This last group surprised us, but we quickly realized that this was a clear message from you that we need to do a better job of communicating with you. We have put up a “Special Offers” tab on User Group Support Services (http://www.usergroupsupportservices.com) which lists some of the key benefits provided to you because you are a member of Culminis or INETA, and we are working with both associations to similarly promote these benefits on their sites.

Anyway, here is a list of some of the things you had asked for which you can already get if your user group is a member of Culminis, INETA or PASS : -

“I would like to get User Group Meetings recorded, I can rarely get to London, and the Manchester region does not have a very active user group”, “Meeting recording so they are available for watching at a later date”
Every user group is entitled to a free Live Meeting account – this can be used to record presentations and also to allow members who can’t get to a meeting to “dial in” and see presentations etc. With a webcam and microphone it’s possible to do full video conferencing. If you don’t have a LiveMeeting account and would like one, please contact your association.

“Provide a common website portal for user groups to use”, “Support user groups with appropriate collaboration software (i.e. SharePoint hosted by MS)”.

Culminis and much of INETA already provide hosted SharePoint web sites for their members. There is no charge for this, all you need to do is contact your association and ask for one. The sites are “bare bones” to begin with, so you need to be able to configure and manage them so that they meet your needs of course.
In addition to this, all the associations have “user group locator tools”, where prospective members can find the nearest user group which is of interest to them. Part of the information provided is a link to the web site address, however many groups haven’t registered or kept thei information up to date. A user group locator tool has also just been introduced as part of the launch of the User Group Support Services tool at http://www.usergroupsupportservices.com, so you should also make sure your details are up to date on this site as well.

“Specific Topics and/or concepts, configuration and troubleshooting. I'd like to see more demos and simulations of these real world concepts”, “ I would like to have more Microsoft resources made available to me as a User Group leader so that we can provide even better content to our members”.

We have almost a hundred pieces of content specifically focused at user group events available through UGSS. Each item has been created (or rewritten) for your use, and we have provided a built in feedback mechanism with the content so that you can tell us what works and what doesn’t. Again, you can find this content through the UGSS site. Not only do we provide content and the means to tell us what you think about it, we also provide ways for you to tell us what else you need. Please let us know how well our content works for you and what else you need!

“Have speakers coming from outside my location”, “Need finance to organize the user group event and need more hands/support. We would like to get speakers paid/supplied by Microsoft, for local user group events”
Microsoft and the associations all provide funds to help you with your events. These funds are of course limited in nature, but one of the reasons for them is so that you can help speakers with their expenses when they present at your meetings. There are some conditions you need to comply with to get this financial support of course; including being a member of Culminis, INETA or PASS and letting us know after the event how it went. You can see the detailed terms and conditions on the UGSS site. Obviously, one thing we look for is user groups making the most effective use of these funds, so if you “share” an event with another group when you are having a speaker travel to present that will be looked on more favorably, and conversely if you want to fly a speaker half-way around the world you are very unlikely to get funding.

We also recently came to a global agreement with Toastmasters. Toastmasters are keen to work with your user group to help you build your own speakers. They will work with you to do anything from just come to a meeting and provide a few suggestions to setting up a complete Toastmasters club within your user group. To involve ToastMasters in your user group, all you need to do is contact their head office at

CorporateRelations@Toastmasters.org and mention that you are a member of Culminis, INETA or PASS.
I’ve only mentioned some of the benefits that Microsoft and the associations jointly provide to you as a user group within your association. There are many more, such as a free TechNet Direct Online subscription to each user group or access to free online training via MSDN RampUp. Please do take advantage of them!

Good Luck with your user group!

Graham Watson's Photo




Graham Watson
User Group Relationship Manager, Microsoft

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Upcoming events...
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  • SQLBits IV - 28 Mar 2009
    SQLBits is a free-to-attend SQL Server tech conference, organised by the SQL Server community for the SQL Server community. Topics covered include DBA, developer and BI.
  •  Windows Azure Update - 31 Mar 2009.

    We would like to invite you to a session titled ?Windows Azure Update, What it is & What it isn?t? including a Q&A session with 3 x members of the Azure team from Microsoft Corp along with a session that introduces ?UK AzureNET? which is the name of what we hope evolves into UK Azure User Group / community! Please see agenda below along with speakers bio and registration details below:- Agenda 6.15pm - 6.30pm Arrive and Registration 6.30pm - 7:30pm Azure Update ?What it is &a...

  • Barcamp Bournemouth -
    04 Apr 2009 Barcamp Bournemouth is an unconference for anyone involved in the Tech, Digital and Web industries. Tickets are free, but signing up here does not guarantee a place. Further information will be posted as the event draws closer.
  • VBUG London:
    What’s good in .NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010 - 07 Apr 2009 Alex Mackey will go through some of the new features in the future release of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0. "We will take a look at some of the
  • VBUG Bracknell:
    Microsoft Virtual Earth - Beyond Earth Viewing - 07 Apr 2009 Join us for an evening in Bracknell where our guest speaker Johannes Kebeck will be giving a presentation on Microsoft Virtual Earth. Since the so
  • jQuery - An Introduction -
    08 Apr 2009 Abstract A new client-side framework has been taking the internet by storm, many have already been mesmerised by the power of such a small javascript library. And "what is the name of this fantastic framework?" I hear you ask, "jQuery" is my reply. jQuery is a robust javascript framework with a very small footprint (15kb minified and GZipped) which makes the complicated aspects of javascript very simple. From traversing the Document Object Model to complex AJAX functionality, jQuery can do i...
  • Two DBAs walk in to a room of Developers... -
    14 Apr 2009 Did you hear the one about the two DBAs that walked into a room full of developers? If you want to find out what happened then come along and let Martin Bell and Satya SK Jayanty (our two intrepid DBAs) show you before heading off to the pub to have a good laugh about it all. Talk Description TBC Speaker Biography Martin Bell is a dashing and attractive redhead and you would never guess that he has been a freelance computer consultant in the UK for over 23 years. He?s worked on many relationa...
  • DLS's in C# 3.5 -
    14 Apr 2009 Ian Cooper returns to Oxford again to talk about DSL's, and how it's so much easier in C# 3.5. We'll also be giving out SWAG and serving up hot pizza!
  • Vista Squad - Back in Training -
    15 Apr 2009 ASP.NET MVC, I think its like Marmite - you either love it or hate it. Sebastian Lambla will be with us this month for a fantastic talk convincing us (or not?) on the MVC framework from Microsoft. Eileen Brown will follow up for our IT Pros on Unified Comms which is something I'm really looking forward to.
  • dotnet Cologne 2009 -
    The community conference for WPF and Silverlight on May 15th The .NET user groups of Cologne (www.dnug-koeln.de) and Bonn (www.bonn-to-code.net) have joint forces to organize a community conference focusing on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Silverlight. The conference will take place on May 15th at the new Microsoft offices in Cologne and offers a full day with 12 sessions in 2 tracks for only 15 Euros. The sessions cover a wide range of topics and the overall goal is to get away from the flashy, but useless, demos that sometimes hurt more than they help the reputation of WPF and Silverlight. Instead, the conference will have a strong focus on "real life" applications. Registration and more information at www.dotnet-cologne.de. Roland Weigelt
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