Editor’s Note: This article was originally written and published by Logical Advantage.
On January 24th, 2017, the Enterprise Developers Guild celebrated their 200th meeting with a full house.
The Enterprise Developers Guild (www.developersguild.org) is an independently run, volunteer user group that meets monthly to discuss and share information on a variety of Microsoft-centric technology topics. They offer an excellent way to receive a technical education and meet with peers to get more out of the latest Microsoft platforms, products, technologies, and resources.
The Guild was founded 18 years ago by Bill Jones, who led the group as president for 16 of those years. At the 200th meeting, Jones was awarded a certificate, recognizing the great work he’s put into the group. Dan Thyer, Mark Wilson and Syl Walker of Logical Advantage have all been on the board of the group for over a dozen years, and Logical Advantage was also recognized alongside two other companies for their long-term support of the group.
“A year of school is 180 days, and I feel like we all got way more than a year of education with our monthly meetings,” said Dan Thyer, CTO and Co-Founder of Logical Advantage.
Keep reading to hear from Vice President Syl Walker herself and to learn more about the group’s 200th meeting and the future of the Enterprise Developers Guild.
LA: What is your role in the Enterprise Guild, and how did you first get involved?
SW: I’m a Vice President, and formerly co-organizer of several Code Camps. I got involved because I was interested in switching from mainframe programming to Microsoft technologies – VB6, back then. A coworker, Bill Plummer, invited me to my first meeting, and I was hooked!
LA: Congratulations on your 200th meeting! What does it feel like to have watched the Developers Guild grow into what it is today?
Syl Walker (SW): “Startled” would be a good word. I looked up, and, somehow, all that work over the years has grown into an organization of close to 1,400 members!
LA: What made the 200th meeting different from the rest? How did you celebrate?
SW: We presented Bill Jones, Jr. with a certificate, honoring his founding and growing the Guild. We also recognized three long-time sponsors: Logical Advantage, Signature Consulting, and TEKsystems.
LA: Why was the Developers Guild first created?
SW: Bill Jones wanted to provide a means for independent consultants to keep current with technology; his–and our–vision is a group that provides peer training. Most of our presenters are local people who have found a technology that they’re passionate about and want to share with other developers.
LA: What has been your favorite memory with this group?
SW: Not so much one memory – my favorite thing about the Guild is the people – their passion for the craft of designing and developing good software, and their willingness to share that with the IT community. The networking opportunities are amazing.
LA: What do you think has been the greatest success to date?
SW: Staying relevant for almost 18 years! That’s a great success, and we’re not finished yet!
LA: What can participants expect to do or learn from the events, and how can they get involved?
SW: Our presenters will give participants an idea of what a language or technology can do, and hopefully ignite a spark of curiosity to go learn more.
To get involved, come to meetings, ask questions, network with other local developers, find a topic that excites you, and put together a presentation! Most of our presenters are local, everyday developers, with that spark of curiosity!
LA: What else would you like to add?
SW: At the risk of sounding maudlin, the Guild has inspired me to be a better developer, and to keep learning!
The Guild meets the fourth Tuesday of every month, except December, at the Microsoft Office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Free guest parking is available in designated spots at the front of the buildings. Meetings are from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Food and drinks are free courtesy of our meeting host.