Linked In Dot-Net Users Group (LIDNUG)

I attended my first Linked .Net Users Group meeting online last night and really enjoyed it. I logged in early to make sure I wouldn't have problems and spent a half hour or so talking (VOIP) with Brian H. Madsen a Microsoft MVP & LIDNUG organizer in Perth, Australia. He was starting his work day Monday morning just as I was putting kids to bed half a world away Sunday night. I don't know why but I think that's just too cool... world-wide interconnectedness and stuff.

I will note that due to the worldwide nature of the group the scheduling can be somewhat inconvenient -- last nights meeting was from midnight to 1:30am in my time zone. I really enjoyed the talk but I was running on fumes by the end of it. On the plus side:

  • The meetings are free.
  • You don't have to be a member of LinkedIn to attend (though I am)
  • They have top notch speakers from around the world.
  • You get to make connections with programmers from around the world.

As I noted you don't have to become a member of LinkedIn to attend, though if you aren't you can't register as a member of the LIDNUG, so you won't qualify for prizes/drawings. I understand from Brian that some people who came up in the drawing for complete MSDN subscriptions were very upset to be disqualified because they weren't members (not LINDUGs decision per se... sponsors want goodies to go to members, and understandably so).

Anyway, Sara Ford, who is a Microsoft Program Manager out of Redmond, Washington, gave the talk last night. Sara heads up the CodePlex project, which is Microsoft's open source project hosting initiative (think SourceForge only by Microsoft) and her presentation was a detailed overview of CodePlex. It was an excellent talk overall; if I started an open source project I'd consider it and I wouldn't have before the talk, so kudos to Sara; she made a dent.

Bear in mind that while I program using Microsoft tools, I'm not a Microsoft fanboy, and remain strongly suspicious of Microsoft when it comes to open source. What makes me take a step back from this position is more my impression of Sara from the talk than from any credence that I give to Microsoft. She seemed really passionate about open source and even a bit of a rebel (which is always a redeeming quality when it comes to Microsoft employees).

The talk will be online in a few days along with other past talks. I look forward to listening to the it again in a more conscious state of mind; particularly the last 30 minutes, which, though I remember that part of the talk being very interesting, I can't recall the details of it... I'm pretty much worthless after 1am unless you pump me full of coffee, which wasn't really an option for a Sunday night at 1am (or I would've never gotten to sleep).

You should be able to attend future LIDNUG meetings through LiveMeeting here. You can also check for all future LIDNUG events on LinkedIn here.


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