Saturday, 18 January 2014

User Group Visit to San Francisco

Why am I in San Francisco? 

Is it:
  • A micro brewery pub crawl?
  • The fact it's almost 20°C tomorrow?
  • To attend a Brazilian BBQ in January? 
These things are certainly going to be a nice bonus of being here, however that's not the main reason. I'm here representing the London Java Community at Oracle's big annual user group leaders convention. The purpose of the conference is to bring leaders of a variety of different Oracle user groups together to discuss best practices and drive improvement of communities and involvement for all those concerned. Particularly this year the topics I am interested in and will be participating in are:
  • Using social media - I'm particularly interested in discussing handling negative discussion and feedback via this extremely public forum.
  • Turning members into leaders and growing speaker talent. This has been an active stream in the LJC and Trisha Gee and team have been doing a fantastic job of running workshop and helping people gain the courage to make that first talk. 
  • Gamifiying your user group experience and improving user group content. I'm mainly interested in this because I get motivated by badges and awards for certain things. I think it could put a fun spin on how we run certain events in the LJC.
I plan to blog about interesting conversations and what comes out of these themes over the course of the week. The summit will only be the beginning of the discussions and I look forward to seeing more about what our members think to some of the ideas and which may work for us. 

When discussing any kind of conference and benefits of conferences I always say that it doesn't have to be a specific talk that motivates you but a catalyst to change. All the major turning points in my career have been down to ideas gained at conferences. It will be interesting to be involved in a non technical conference across a range of different products, experiences and backgrounds. 

I have very kindly had partial sponsorship from the LJC and the JCP Program Office to be here this week and I can't thank them both enough for the opportunity. 

I am now a JCP Executive Committee Representative

Why are the JCP helping to sponsor my visit here? After 3 years of working on JSRs with the London Java Community with the LJC JCP committee I have now stepped up my involvement and represent the LJC directly with other JCP executive committee members. I am attending my first face-to-face meeting at the end of this week. I'm really thrilled to be working with so many fantastic organisations and individuals to help maintain and form standards within Java. As the meeting has official minutes it's unlikely I will post anything further. 

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