Today, we're adding a new feature to the CDN-DEVs Weblog that features guest Canadian bloggers. In the first instalment, Nolan Zak provides some insight on .NET user groups in Canada.

Nolan Zak (Victoria .NET Developers Association President)

[Opinion] .NET User Groups are for Losers

It's probably just a bunch of geeks sitting around in their parents' basement babbling about inane and obscure compiler directives, right? Sounds lame.

I don't blame you for thinking that because I used to think that as well. But we couldn't have been more wrong. Ever since I got involved with the local .NET user group here in Victoria, BC my eyes have been opened and my opinion of user groups has done a complete 180.

If you drop by your local .NET user group meeting, you'll find the people in your local community who are engaged and passionate about current and future .NET technology and are using it in their daily lives. They get excited explaining how they solved problems in their job and are more than happy to pass the solution along to anyone who needs help.

These are the people who are building successful software with .NET. These are the people who are building rock-solid apps today in a way that makes them prepared for the innovations that are coming out tomorrow. In short, these are the people who are successful. These are the people who make all of their co-workers and the companies they work for successful. If hanging out with these people sounds lame I wouldn't bother coming.

Nolan Zak

Nolan Zak has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Victoria and he is the Lead Software Architect at Millennium Computer Systems in Victoria, BC. Daily job duties include designing and building robust ASP.NET application bits like security models, SOAP interfaces, data access, complex caching mechanisms, error handling, and overall design specs & guidelines. Current projects include solidifying the internal build process and converting the company's flagship product suite (15 applications) from ASP.NET 1.1 to ASP.NET 2.0. Nolan is also currently the president of the Victoria .NET Developers Association, his blog can be found here.