October 19, 2011 § 3 Comments
Before I start I probably should say that while I don’t have hard data to back this up, I’ve seen a large number of JUG’s be created in the past 2-3 years, more than 10 years after Java was first introduced, accounting for maybe as much as half of today’s active JUGs. In France alone, there is more than a dozen active JUGs that were created, all in the last 3-4 years. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of interest for Java, quite the opposite.
I don’t run a JUG nor am I really active in one but I’ve been visiting many of them in the past few years (they tend to be the format that I like best), I’ve seen a good number of them take off, some crash, and I interact with several JUG leaders on a regular basis, so I thought I’d share the ingredients that I believe are key to a successful JUG.
First, you need to have a venue. It may sound obvious but the lack of a regular (hopefully free-of-charge) room for your meetings is often the reason for JUG activity going down or simply disappearing. Universities seems to be the best solution after company meeting rooms.
Second, you need sponsors. While this can cover for Pizza & Beer (or Wine & Cheese, you decide), maybe more importantly this should help you cover for your speakers expenses (travel + hotel). While those speakers employed by large companies should be able to expense their entire travel, you don’t want to miss out on the independent consultants. Another option is to have formal JUG members paying a yearly fee. This works well once you have a well established set of events, including maybe a yearly (international) conference.
Third, last, and not least – you need good content. This is content that addresses your JUG’s interests and it doesn’t have to be always about bleeding edge technology of the latest and greatest JVM language. Some folks take JUG’s as a training, others mostly as a get-together, and probably also a good chunk as a way to stay on top of what’s new in the Java ecosystem. You need to balance different topics but my recommendation would be to have a small set of folks decide on the agenda. Voting or large groups of folks deciding don’t usually work too well.
While all of the above probably applies for any technology user group, JUG’s are a bit special because they are loosely federated by mailing lists and interactions are facilitated by Sun initially and now by Oracle. If you are starting a JUG, you probably want to read about it on this all-in-one page, be listed on java-user-groups and start chatting with fellow JUG leaders, they are a great bunch and will most certainly have tips for you.
I should of course not forget to mention that you’ll need energy and passion to keep a JUG running. Lot’s of it!
October 17, 2011 Comments Off
JavaOne was good this year but that was just the beginning of traveling for my month of October.
I’m just back from a very well-attended inaugural session at the Lava JUG (in Clermont Ferrand, France) covering Java 7 (together with Julien) and some JavaOne 2011 news. The event had 120+ participants. So pictures here. It’s always great to hear about new JUGs popping up close to 15 years after the creation of Java (more on JUGs in a future entry).
This coming week, I’ll be in Romania:
• Cluj Napoca on Wednesday 19th, 2011 in the Golden Tulip Hotel. Send email to register.
• Bucharest on the next day: Thursday 20th, 2011 in the Intercontinental. See event page for details.
The week after (October 27th), I’m participating in fOSSa in Lyon, France. This is, as the name implies, an Free/Libre open source software conference and I’m happy to see that Serli’s Jerome Petit is also listed as a speaker to discuss the benefits he see for his company in their numerous open source contributions (GlassFish and others). Let this talk enlighten many others!
September 12, 2011 Comments Off
• JUG Summer Camp le 16 septembre, déjà une tradition (La Rochelle)
• Soirée CDI au Mars JUG le 20 septembre (Marseille)
• Programme NormandyJUG, début le 20 septembre (Rouen)
• Open World Forum fait la Java, le 23 septembre (Paris)
Le tout donc sur une semaine et toutes ces conférences/réunions sont gratuites.
July 18, 2011 Comments Off