I was a little astonished by this article in the local paper, as I had heard nothing about this meeting. I love this quote: “I’m surprised it hasn’t happened before“. 🙁 I have worked so hard to get the local media interested in Vermont.NET but they have never written anything about the user group. I have always thought it would be a great benefit to our members to be known by the local business community. So though the user group is known worldwide, and we have had up to 50 attendees at past meetings, the group and it’s notorious leader seem to be somewhat invisible at a certain level locally. Perhaps the problem is that the user group is not part of a local business association.
Nevertheless, I’m really happy that this is going to happen and I have gotten a nice introduction to the folks who are heading it up. Hopefully this will be a big help to me in promoting the user group and the resources provided by it’s members to the local (Vermont-wide) business community as well as helping to promote the fact that there is a lot of leading edge work being done in our area.
Burlington-area software companies decided they need to form an association
Local software developers gathered in Burlington on Wednesday to explore whether they share enough in common to create an association.
The 35 software developers attending a luncheon at the Wyndham Burlington were in agreement — an association would fill a void.
“I’m surprised it hasn’t happened before,” said Don Schramm, general manager of Data Systems Inc., who organized the meeting. “People are really feeling isolated out there and there seems to be a genuine need for some type of organi- zation.”
Many at the meeting were company owners. The largest company has 35 employees, but many were one-person operations, Schramm said.
Schramm was surprised by the diversity of the group. None of the companies at the meeting were direct competitors, he said. The group ranged from medical software developers to developers for non-profits, education and wholesalers, said Bruce Seifer, assistant director of Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office.
CEDO sponsored the meeting, covering the $17-a-plate lunch and sending out invitations to 70 area companies. CEDO played a similar role in launching the South End Arts and Business Association years ago, Seifer said.
Attendees agreed that an association could serve as a catalyst for everything from networking to sharing office space to facilitating employee training.
The group said that the first order of business would be to create a database that informs them of who is out there in the local area, Seifer said.
Fewer than half the people at the luncheon knew each other, Seifer said. Networking could be useful for a variety of purposes, including teaming up for marketing studies and referring work to local companies, keeping jobs and income in the local economy.
“I see there’s an opportunity for people to work together,” Seifer said.
Eleven at the meeting signed up to form a steering committee to create an association.
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