Speaking opportunities at Vermont .NET? (And bragging about my user group)

Speaking opps?? Ha! There is no such thing! *I* don’t even get to speak at my own user group any more. Being VERMONT, it is kind of a popular venue. By November of 2003, I had all but 4 months of 2004 booked.

If you don’t happen to wander over to that site

here is a line up (more details here)

(This is going to require a mass of links – too tired – maybe later – sorry!!)

Jan Pat Hynds (INETA speaker but came on his own and I still want to keep thanking him!)
Feb Steve Smith(ASPAlliance) Sponsored by the Julie & Rich B&B
Mar Jason Beres(INETA Speaker who is also a new Infragistics employee and Infra is sponsoring)
Apr Joe Stagner(MS)/Trace Galloway (Altova) – it’s an XML night
May Tim Huckaby (INETA sponsored)
June Michele Leroux Bustamente (INETA Sponsored)
July Don Kiely (frequent flyer miles and Julie & Rich B&B sponsored)
August – Ali Agheraza (local brainiac plumber)
Sept – (hey maybe a spot for me???)
October – Rocky Lhotka (INETA sponsored)

phew

Generally all of the out of town speakers stay at our house and try to get here for the prior weekend to enjoy Vermont. Pat was going to but unfortunately it became not possible at the last minute and he drove all the way here and back on the same afternoon/evening (boston to Burlington – 4 hrs each way). Thom Robbins from Microsoft Waltham has done that and so did Shawn Wildermuth back in June 2002.

Another fun thing is that I’ve managed to find local companies to donate speaker gifts – something special from Vermont (eg gift basket of Vermont food products cheese, coffee, chocolate, syrup etc.) We have some pretty well known companies in the area and many of them are represented in the group. Gardener’s Supply, Green Mountain Coffee, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Karhu, Burton (okay the Burton guy – who is also becoming a famous bike racer! – went over to Gardener’s Supply) so I do have a good  pot to draw from. Last year, one member donated ski tickets at (my favorite ski place – Mad River Glen) for Chris Kinsman when he came here in March.

Now you see why I don’t get to talk at my own user group. These people are spoiled rotten with primo speakers. Heh. And I’m kidding. They are not rotten. They are the BEST and deserve this. Really it’s been awesome. THere are a lot of people in the group that are really working full time in .NET now at a pretty high level.

We have one young guy in the group, Neil Wacek, who was working on the Mono documentation before the user group even started. So he knew a ton before all the rest of us even knew how to spell dotnet. Another person, Roman Rehak, publishes lots of articles in Visual Studio Magazine has  become a national speaker (well International if you count DevTeach in Montreal) and was track chair for the PASS conference this past year. I expect to start seeing Roman on the bill for future big conferences – he really is a phenomenal presenter and knows his stuff inside and out.

So those two, well, they probably figured all of this out without benefit of the group. But really people are learning and it’s wonderful to see the transition. Hell, I hadn’t even installed VS.NET until after our 2nd meeting!! (And I had a live, working asp.net app by the 3rd…)

So back to the amazing speaker roster — it has been like that for our whole two years (Feb was 2nd yr anniversary). Here’s a page (need to update recent talks) of almost all of our past meetings.

Not bad for a little ol’ Vermont User Group, eh?

Why am I writing about this? I was thinking how it kinda sucked that I didn’t get to practice my upcoming presentation by doing it for the user group first. 🙂 But that’s okay.

Well, that was a LOT more fun than practicing my talk or writing code and now I’m just gonna go to bed! HAHAHA! (yes, it’s ONLY 10pm!)

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