The Developers Guild Hosts 200th Meeting!

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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.


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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.

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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.

For more information about the Guild, please visit www.developersguild.org, or join their Meetup group.

Call for Speakers

Have you ever had the experience of solving a complex programming problem in a unique way?

Have you been playing with some new technology or platform, like Xamarin or AngularJS?

Have you become interested in looking at process as much as product?

Have you thought you might like to share your ideas and solutions with a wider network of developers?

If any of these statements applies to you, the Enterprise Developers Guild wants to hear from you! Your ideas, solutions, and interests could make a great presentation. We all love seeing how others solve problems in new and unique ways.

The Enterprise Developers Guild meets the fourth Tuesday of every month, except December, at the Microsoft Campus in Charlotte, NC. Please contact us if you would like to be a presenter at an upcoming Guild meeting. We have openings throughout the year.

Asking for your permission

To All Our Valued Enterprise Developers Guild Members,

I hate SPAM. I’m sure that you do too.

That’s why I’ve asked my web team here at the Guild to be diligent not just to meet the email privacy laws, but to exceed them. To support that goal, we have recently upgraded our email opt-in policy. We value our members, actively protect your privacy, and will never ever share your email address with others.

So why are you getting this email?

At one time or another, you have given us your email address. We want to make sure that you really want to continue receiving emails from us, so I’m asking for your permission. Our communications via email will exclusively be sent to our permission-based mailing list. We don’t want you to miss out on these announcements, so we need you to subscribe now.

Our emails will not only include the latest Guild news, events, and developer community announcements, it will also include:

  • Monthly meeting announcements (like the one we sent on the 15th – http://eepurl.com/MptSL)
  • Invitations to conferences and special events
  • Exclusive discounts and free stuff

If you’d rather not receive any further emails of this type from us, please contact us with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject. While we hate to see you go, we’ll immediately remove you from our list.

If you would like to continue receiving emails from us, please click on the following link to join the new Guild mailing list: http://eepurl.com/I0SA9. The new mailing list is powered by MailChimp who uses a double opt-in process. Be sure to check your email to confirm your subscription when prompted!

Please contact us if you encounter any problems or have questions about the subscription process. We hope you’ll give us an opportunity to continue to communicate with you via email. Thanks and we look forward to seeing you soon at one of our monthly meetings!

Best regards,

Bill Jones Jr., MVP
President and Co-Founder
Enterprise Developers Guild

Do you want to continue receiving emails from us?‏

The Enterprise Developers Guild would like to continue to send you the latest Guild news, events, and developer community announcements via email. We greatly respect your privacy. We hate spam too! We will never ever share your email address.

If you’d rather not receive any further emails of this type from us, please contact us with the word unsubscribe in the message body. While we hate to see you go, we’ll immediately remove you from our list.

If you would like to continue receiving emails from us, please click on the following link to join the new Guild mailing list: http://eepurl.com/I0SA9. The new mailing list is powered by MailChimp who uses a double opt-in process. Be sure to check your email to confirm your subscription when prompted!

While you are at it, here are some other ways you can connect with the Guild and other members:

Please contact us if you have any problems or questions about the subscription process. We hope you’ll give us an opportunity to continue to communicate with you via email. Thanks and we look forward to seeing you soon at one of our monthly meetings!

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.