Enterprise Developers Guild: Enriching the IT Talent in the Carolinas

Editor’s Note: This article was originally written and published by Logical Advantage. We would like to thank them for their kind words and effort to research our undocumented history.

It seems the buzz around the IT industry lately has been largely focused on the supply and demand issues for trained talent. What many don’t realize is that training in the technology sector doesn’t simply end when you’ve received your diploma.

Whether you’ve just completed your undergrad, or you’ve received your doctorate from MIT, the rapid development of technology creates a constant flow of lessons to be learned, even to the most experienced developers.

Why is constant knowledge so important? It’s simple: job security. Many IT pros are hired to complete special projects, and upon completion, the organization assesses the continued need of the contractor’s specific skills. Although permanent positions are occasionally created, there is no sure bet, and the free agents must keep current in order to qualify for the next project. The question now is, without burying yourself in more student loans, HOW?

Cue the Enterprise Developers Guild.

Started in August 1998, the Guild has created a vital community where gurus can share knowledge of very specific technology. The group’s training sessions focus on Microsoft technology, with the goal of assisting contract software developers in the exploration of new processes. Additionally, the Guild aims to develop a network of professionals in which knowledge can be shared, and skills can further be – for lack of a better term – developed.

Bill Jones, Microsoft MVP and Co-Founder of the Enterprise Developers Guild, describes the group’s motives, stating, “We realized we couldn’t train in-depth, but we could help developers decide what to focus on – what emerging technologies would impact them in the near term by introducing them to the various technical topics.”

The magnanimous leadership of Jones, also association President, along with an enthusiastic company of active board members, has nurtured the society to its modern presence. What began as a network of 200 local developers has since gained enormous momentum, obtaining a dedicated following of nearly 3,000 professionals.

On April 30th, 2005, the Guild expanded their monthly training to kick-off the first annual Charlotte Code Camp. The daylong event was the first of its kind locally and is described by Mark Wilson, association First Vice President and evangelist, as having “more than 20 hours of hard-hitting technical content.”

When asked what spurred the camp’s creation, Jones stated, “We saw a lot of change coming and no easy way for contract developers to get training.”

As the program evolved, user groups from around the region took interest, prompting the name change from Charlotte Code Camp, to Carolina Code Camp. With the added diversification, the Enterprise Developers Guild had created one of the most influential training platforms for IT talent in the Carolinas.

Since its pilot, the trademark event experienced monumental growth, with an initial attendance of 100 guests to its current attendance of nearly 300. Additionally, the agenda has seen many upgrades, including the integration of hands-on labs and informal “Chalk Talks” hosted by Microsoft MVP’s authors, and of course, local developers.

The Enterprise Developers Guild and Carolina Code Camp owe much of their success to the support of key individuals and organizations such as Logical Advantage. Logical Advantage has been an active sponsor of the association’s efforts for over a decade, providing credible speakers, and a relentless amount of pizza for the monthly gatherings. Dan Thyer, CTO and Co-founder of Logical Advantage, along with the firm’s Senior .Net Developer, Mark Wilson, are both prideful members of the steering committee, and go above and beyond their roles, hosting the group’s website, and holding elite positions within their parliament.

But Logical Advantage owes a lot to The Enterprise Developers Guild. You see, in it’s early years, Thyer, held a dynamic presentation on an asp.net technology at one of the monthly meetings. That evening the Thyer’s skills sparked the interest of someone monumental – Logical Advantage’s first client. Since that night, Logical Advantage has been one of the fastest growing IT consulting firms in the area.

This year’s Carolina Code Camp is scheduled for May 4th at the CPCC Levine campus. If coding in .NET is your passion, or even just your hobby, sign up for the camp. You’re bound to get in-depth exposure to exciting new developer technologies, and you’ll probably make a friend or two while you’re at it. For more information on the Enterprise Developers Guild, or to register for Carolina Code Camp 2013, visit www.developersguild.org and learn how you can develop skills, develop knowledge, and develop friends.