The story is short. The damage is long.
Once upon a time, we had a mailing list. Our MSFT Developer Evangelist started it so that he could reach out to us, whom he called his “influencers.” Inclusion on it meant you had done something to impress him. This is the first thing I learned about that list, from its creator:
My main goals with the **** live groups thing:
Connect Microsoft Positive Influencers with Each Other in Florida
Enable MS+ influencers in Florida to benefit from their relationships, and establish new ones
The rules are simple, do good stuff for the community, you stay in. Be a bupkus, get kicked out.
I truly value everyone on this list. Ya’ll rock. Thanks for making my job more fun.
And so it went, for as long as it went. I cannot express how useful that simple Live Groups Mailing List was. It got me speakers for my Group meetings, gave me one solitary address to let the rest of Florida know when our Code Camp was going to be, early notice of useful things, it introduced me to people all over Florida and beyond, and those people became good friends of mine. And I haven’t even scratched the surface. But by God, we communicated.
Until it went away. So that we could use the flaming pile of poo of social media tools, Yammer.
I’m starting to learn MVC. Believe me, I know how lame that sounds in late 2012.
I’m using Pluralsight (SO worth it) to catch up pretty quickly, however. I still remember how to style a layout, I’m working on a project that I can build incrementally, and nothing new I’ve encountered so far is over my head.
But I still have two “issues.”
Starting today, posts are going to be a lot more frequent, a lot less fluffy, and a lot more goal-oriented.
This is going to come across a little militant. I get fired up about the weirdest things. I also cry at the dumbest times. My brain works differently, but hey. I pay good money to renew this domain for my annual post, so here it is.
I own my home in a golf course community. By virtue of the rules of ownership, that makes me a member of the golf course I own my home at, a privilege which I pay good, hard-earned money for from my job that I work Monday through Friday. And even though it doesn’t say “retirement community” on the sign outside our tree-lined entryway, you can regularly catch one of the oldsters who lives around here, referring to it even on the intarwebz as exactly that.
You know what, though?
The oldsters can think what they want, and they will. But it doesn’t change some facts:
- A school bus comes through here.
- The best female player here is a 6 handicap. She plays for her High School team.
- My regular foursome is all working people.
- More and more people here are younger, if you go by height and hair color.
Revolution gonna come.
Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not a SQL DBA.
Yet, here I am at Tampa SQL Saturday (#62), the community event for SQL DBAs.
My involvement in the SQL DBA Community is supposed to be tangential at best. I work with SQL as a software developer, which means my job, to hear it from the people who normally present or attend a SQL Saturday, is mostly to annoy the people who DO go to that event. Or work with them.
The tribal lines are clear and definite between devs and DBAs. The jokes are well-worn. One presenter even said that any SQL DBA could do my job, in not so many words. (“Developer Bad”, I just heard.) You can’t go to an event like this without hearing at least once or twice that “this is the BEST community.” Like we’re in a competition.
But I still go to SQL Saturdays. And I will continue to go. I’m not a martyr, there are plenty like me, and the people whose job it is to put an event like this together, and to provide the experience, are barely half-serious about the dev as adversary thing. I know my role, I adore these people, many of whom are my dear friends, and there’s plenty of content I can use, even if I can’t use all of it.
I still belong here. And if you use a piece of it, you do, too.
So over at her blog, Karla Landrum comes out of the gate with an idea I’ve given some thought about every once in a while: making a network for out-of-town speakers at Group monthly meetings and Code Camps to stay with people in the community when the show comes to that town. It’s a good one, and the hospitality needs to happen more.
I’ve had two experiences as a guest, and in either case, although there were differences between the hosts and setups, it’s a good thing that definitely saves money and can cement the bond between guest and host. For example, the cheapest room at the preferred hotel for our recent Code Camp went for $100. That kind of money, while not exhorbitant in Florida, can be the difference between going and not going to an event.
Here in SW Florida, Code Camp is our only major draw all year, and although I didn’t push it too hard to the audience at large for this year’s that we held recently, I offered to put up a couple of my closest friends who I thought might come to speak. Prior commitments kept them from taking me up on my offer of guest room with separate bath, and to date, through three Code Camps, I haven’t hosted yet.
There are cleanliness and other issues to be worked out in advance, but the amount of assistance this practice gives to our respective communities, especially if practiced in any kind of significant numbers, would be immense. Saved resources means more events, and that’s always good for a community.
What do you think?
So, I spent the last half of last week in Portland, OR (where I used to live) for my best friend’s wedding. We’ve known each other for fifteen years, first in the political community, and then also in what is recognized as the “soccer community.” What I’m about to describe to you next, was about a micron of what went on since Wednesday night, but it’s perfect. And it’s community, all the way.
I saw this on Jorge (@sqlchicken) Segarra’s blog, who got it from Paul Randal, etc. It’s one of those chain posts, but it asks a good question, and I like it, so here it go.
It asks you to define what three events brought you to where you are – the “here.” In this case, “here” is where I became a .Net developer community leader, and a person who fervently, passionately believes in the power of community.
Here are mine, as best as I can self-analyze:
This is where I’ll post, podcast, and provide resources about the concept and power of community. We’re basically talking about the act of getting together for mutual benefit.
Stay tuned – I hope to have some interesting conversations along the journey!