• Why do people attend JUG meetings?
• Product Education
• Job Opportunities
• Are JUGs vendor specific?
• Are all JUGs “public”?
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…
• 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• Received an outdated distribution list in an email.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
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
• 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.
• Meetings initially vendor sponsored:
• Only 25% of talk could be a product pitch.
• Droplets, Solarmetrics, etc.
• Non-sponsored meetings members kicked in $5 to
• Began connecting with local authors to present.
• Mined connections at COOUG for additional
• No connection with Sun until ~2006.
• 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
• 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
• Improve your local community.
• Foster innovation.
• Recruit talented developers.
• Running a JUG requires effort and dedication.
• JUGs take time to mature and will change over
• 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.
• Running a JUG is not much different than running a
• 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
• 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 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
• 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
• Logos convey the personality and character of the
• 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
• Coders usually don’t make good graphic artists.
• 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)
• 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
• Java Ranch
• JUG community is local
• Start-off with a Wordpress.com 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.
• Recruiting never stops.
• Personal connections are the most important.
• Encourage members to recruit coworkers and
• 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.
State technology groups
www.ct.org (Connecticut Technology Council)
• Major social sites:
• Membership privacy
• Circumvention of sponsorship rules
• $75 for six months
• Any member can assume control
• Poor response rate
• Meeting location should be consistent.
• Meet regularly and predictably.
• Avoid time around holidays:
• Weeks before Christmas – shopping/traffic
• 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!
• Meeting location is important for the success of a
• 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.
Considerations for a venue:
• Does the venue require you use a specific vendor
• 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.
Potential Meeting locations:
• Local Libraries
• Limited hours
• Restrictions on meetings per year.
• Cabella‟s has catered meeting rooms.
• A/V capabilities
• Provide liability insurance, A/V capabilities.
• Can cost hundreds of dollars.
Potential meeting locations: (continued)
• Often have catering requirements.
• Room fees may apply.
• Events must often be student organized/connected.
• Government Incubators
• Many state governments want to sponsor business
• Will provide meeting space.
• 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
• Meetings should have structure!
• Typical agenda:
• 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.
• Make a point of keeping all attendees engaged.
• 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.
• Speakers – lining up good speakers is always a
• 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
Dealing with speakers:
• Always request a copy of the presentation in
• 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
• Encourage interaction at meetings.
• Be wary of those who want to lead but haven‟t
• Discourage discussions of politics.
• Delegate tasks:
• Sending/reviewing emails
• JUG newsletter
• Meeting setup
• Speaker recruitment
• Tracking employment opportunities
• Personal information
• Distribution List
• Vendor Presentations
• Presentation Approvals
• Email Notification
• Cancellations due to weather
• Executive meeting minutes
• Social Media