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JavaOne 2013: Organizing Your Local Community
 

JavaOne 2013: Organizing Your Local Community

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JUG Sunday talk @ JavaOne 2013.

JUG Sunday talk @ JavaOne 2013.

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  • After attending this session, if you are interested in starting a JUG

JavaOne 2013: Organizing Your Local Community JavaOne 2013: Organizing Your Local Community Presentation Transcript

  • R Y A N C U P R A K J A V A O N E 2 0 1 3 ORGANIZING YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY
  • BACKGROUND What is a User Group?
  • BACKGROUND • Why do people attend JUG meetings? • Education • Product Education • Networking • Recruitment • Job Opportunities • Community • Are JUGs vendor specific? • Are all JUGs “public”?
  • BACKGROUND How did I end up running a JUG? • Attended a COOUG board meeting 2002. • COOUG was the oldest OO user group in the country. • Non-profit 501c organization with full executive board. • Founded 1993 in Hartford, CT. • Several thousand members and many well known speakers. • Spawned several SIGs: • Java SIG ~ 1999 • .NET SIG • RUP SIG • Business Rules SIG • COOUG ceased existence around 2004. • .NET and Java SIG have continued…
  • BACKGROUND • Volunteered at October 2002 board meeting to lead up the effort to restart the “Java SIG.” • Recently graduated. • Didn‟t know anyone at COOUG. • Attended only a handful of meetings. • Initially no clue where to start. • Previous Java SIG leader was MIA • Received an outdated distribution list in an email. • Organization was dormant
  • CTJAVA HISTORY History of CT Java User Group (www.ctjava.org) • Started initially at CSC in East Hartford, CT. • Goal to recruit Java developers to CSC (internet bubble 1999). • SIG continued to meet even after the bubble burst. • Founding leaders were a group of friends. • By 2002 original founders had drifted away. • Organization was in cardiac arrest. • Assumed control in October of 2002 – re-launched in January of 2003.
  • CTJAVA HISTORY • Meetings initially vendor sponsored: • Only 25% of talk could be a product pitch. • Droplets, Solarmetrics, etc. • Non-sponsored meetings members kicked in $5 to cover food. • Began connecting with local authors to present. • Mined connections at COOUG for additional presenters. • No connection with Sun until ~2006.
  • CTJAVA HISTORY • Meetings held every 3rd Tuesday. • Joint meetings with other SIGs. • Eventually acquired ctjava.org and ctjug.org domain names for the JUG. • Organized conference in 2007 • 3 tracks • 110 attendees • Small room for sponsoring companies • Added second meeting location in 2011 near Stamford CT.
  • DS JUG • Started DS Java User Group in 2012. • DS Java user group internal to DS (3ds.com) • Leverages internal social networking (SWYM). • Blogging, Polling, Wiki, etc. • DS encourages internal communities. • Any employee can start a community. • User group spans business units. • Membership spread across the globe.
  • WHY RUN A JUG • Improve organizational/people skills. • Build connections outside of work. • Gain insight into technical trends. • Connect with other Java developers and companies. • Improve your local community. • Foster innovation. • Recruit talented developers.
  • LESSONS LEARNED • Running a JUG requires effort and dedication. • JUGs take time to mature and will change over time. • JUGs cost money: • Time is money! • Raffle tickets for books. • Cups/napkins/plates for food. • Gas/transit to JUG meetings. • Web hosting. • A new JUG will require an initial investment.
  • LESSONS LEARNED • Running a JUG is not much different than running a business. • Marketing – attracting new „customers‟ • Financial planning – paying for pizza /venue/ insurance. • Sales – recruiting sponsors • Java rockstar not required • Coding skills != good leader • Appreciate that there are many different technologies and approaches to solving problems. • Don‟t get discouraged when few people show-up at a meeting – can be traffic, project deadlines,
  • STARTING A JUG • Start with a core group of friends or coworkers. • Start the JUG at work: • Facilities already provided. • Attendees share common interests. • Meetings can be held at lunch without logistics. • Expand the JUG outside of the company over time. • Plan ahead for meetings: • Always have the „next‟ meeting schedule. • Maintain a regular schedule.
  • STARTING A JUG • Legal entity required? • Types of entities: • Non-profits (501c) • Sole proprietorship • LLC • S or C corporation • Entity taxes • State sales taxes • Annual reports • Trade names
  • STARTING A JUG • Opening a JUG bank account: • Trade name required (unless incorporated) • Business account – credit card • Chase Bank – free checking with minimum of 5 charges • Only open an account if accepting money: • Monthly hosting fees • Venue rentals • Some sponsors will not pay an individual • Beware of taxes!
  • LOGOS • Logos are very important for a JUG. • Purpose of a logo: • Leave a lasting impression. • Visual representation of a brand. • Used by sponsors to promote their involvement in the community. • Catches the attention of current and prospective members. • Help form the community‟s identity: • Same function as a jersey for a sports team or a flag for a state. • Logos convey the personality and character of the organization.
  • LOGOS • Logo design is more complicated than it appears. • Use vector graphics. • Beware of copyrights – stock art is dangerous. • Complicated graphics are bad. • Using color for visual effects • Fonts! • Coders usually don’t make good graphic artists.
  • LOGOS • Professional designers > $2000 for a simple logo. • Provides multiple iterations. • Letterhead, greyscale renditions, etc. • Business cards • Online logo services can be good. • Provide multiple iterations • Used LogoDesignTeam.com for CT Java ($150) • Multiple designers on a project • Common questions asked by a designer: • Type of logo: (textual/iconic/illustrative) • Special font requests • Preferred colors • Maximum color cost (printing charges by the color)
  • WEBSITE • Don‟t spend too much time on the website! • Focus should be on the meetings. • JUG websites aren‟t destinations. • Plenty of online communities for sharing asking questions. • Stackoverflow • Java Ranch • OTN • JUG community is local • Start-off with a Wordpress.com website.
  • WEBSITE • Eapps provides discounted hosting to JUGs. • GlassFish/Tomcat/JBoss containers (pre-configured) • Email services – majordomo (moderated mailing lists) • Multi-homed VMs • Use Google Analytics to track traffic. • Consider using oAuth • Discussion boards: Google Groups, Java.net, etc.
  • RECRUITMENT • Recruiting never stops. • Personal connections are the most important. • Encourage members to recruit coworkers and friends. • Managers can be the best recruiters. • Recruiting is hard: • Direct marketing (postal mail) boasts a 4.4% response rate. • Email response rate is 0.12%. • Leverage human resources. • Encourage recruiters to promote JUG meetings.
  • RECRUITMENT State technology groups www.ct.org (Connecticut Technology Council)
  • SOCIAL MEDIA • Major social sites: • Facebook • LinkedIn • Twitter • Meetup • Concerns • Membership privacy • Circumvention of sponsorship rules • Meetup.com • $75 for six months • Any member can assume control • Poor response rate
  • SCHEDULING • Meeting location should be consistent. • Meet regularly and predictably. • Avoid time around holidays: • Weeks before Christmas – shopping/traffic concerns/company holidays. • Last week of August. • Religious holidays. • Pay attention to graduation season: • End of June for high school • Early May for college. • Avoid meeting dates around April 15th!
  • VENUES • Meeting location is important for the success of a group. • Location should be convenient for attendees. • Parking should be easy and free. • Should be near tech companies. • If meeting in the evening, meeting location: • Should be on the way home. • Near the office. • Facilities should include: • Overhead projector • Tables/seats for attendees.
  • VENUES Considerations for a venue: • Does the venue require you use a specific vendor for food? • Are you required to carry liability insurance? • Hotels will cover you for liability insurance. • Some companies will not cover you. • Liability insurance is important!! • Is security available? • University considerations: • Students will often show for free food. • Urban environment can result in “street” attendees.
  • VENUES Potential Meeting locations: • Local Libraries • Limited hours • Restrictions on meetings per year. • Restaurants • Cabella‟s has catered meeting rooms. • A/V capabilities • Hotels • Provide liability insurance, A/V capabilities. • Can cost hundreds of dollars.
  • VENUES Potential meeting locations: (continued) • Universities: • Often have catering requirements. • Room fees may apply. • Events must often be student organized/connected. • Government Incubators • Many state governments want to sponsor business development. • Will provide meeting space.
  • VENUES
  • ATTENDANCE • Track attendance – important tool in predicting who will/won‟t show. • Some members; • will always RSVP but never appear. • Will always show but never appear. • Attendance policies: • Removal from the registration list after x no-shows. • Removal from the list after not attending x meetings. • Require registration to attend: • EventBrite – www.eventbrite.com
  • MEETING STRUCTURE • Meetings should have structure! • Typical agenda: • Networking: • Have members introduce themselves and give some background on their motives for attending. • Provide name tags for attendees. • Formal announcements – JUG business • Meeting highlight – featured speaker or topic. • Raffles/QA • Make a point of keeping all attendees engaged.
  • MEETING TOPICS • Topics should vary during the year: • Java EE, Java, JVM langauges, Embedded, etc. • Have meetings on non-Java centric topics: • Image Processing,GIS, etc. • Vendor‟s can and do give good presentations. • Don‟t favor technologies – keep an open mind! • There is interest in uncool technologies (like Struts). • Conduct joint meetings with: • other local user groups. • chapters of the ACM and IEEE.
  • MEETING TOPICS Worthwhile vendor presentations: • Alfresco (alfresco.com) • AWS (amazon.com) • GIS – ESRI (www.esri.com) • JBoss Drools (jboss.org) • Android (jpasssion.com) • Lattix (lattix.com) • JRebel (jrebel.com) • Myln (tasktop.com) • Interactive Brokers (interactivebrokers.com) • BIRT (actuate.com) • SunSpots
  • SPEAKERS • Speakers – lining up good speakers is always a challenge. • Many people do not like public speaking! • Some people aren‟t good at presenting/teaching. • Putting together a presentation is time consuming. • Finding speakers: • Local members who have organized training talks at work. • Local authors • Pre-sales engineers • Contact publishers • Contact local universities • Recruit at conferences
  • SPEAKERS Dealing with speakers: • Always request a copy of the presentation in advance! • Vendors sometime give a useless high-level sales pitch. • Titles are important! • Be prepared to handle: • Complications - no-show presenter. • Hostile presenters who mistreat attendees. • Attendees who repeatedly interrupt the speaker and disrupt the presentation.
  • PARTICIPATION • Encourage interaction at meetings. • Be wary of those who want to lead but haven‟t participated. • Discourage discussions of politics. • Delegate tasks: • Sending/reviewing emails • JUG newsletter • Meeting setup • Food • Speaker recruitment • Tracking employment opportunities
  • POLICIES • Privacy • Personal information • Distribution List • Attendance • Sponsorship • Vendor Presentations • Presentation Approvals • Passwords • Email Notification • Cancellations due to weather • Executive meeting minutes • Social Media
  • Q&A Questions: rcuprak@gmail.com Connecticut Java User Group: www.ctjava.org Connecticut ACM Chapter: http://ctacm.wordpress.com