vstsimage Have you ..

  • ever wondered what more you could get out of your Team System product? 
  • come up with a cool extension, add-in, or way of using Team System and wanted to talk about it?
  • ever wanted to swap war stories about your VSTS or TFS implementation with other Team System users?
  • wanted to learn more about what other cool stuff you could do with Team System?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above (or inserted your own!), then read on, this post is for you!

Since I moved to Colorado several months ago, I've met several wonderful, passionate VSTS users who have asked me about a VSTS User Group.  The Denver VS User Group is enormously popular, and as a result there seem to be quite a few folks who would like to start something similar that focuses on Team System.

To be clear, this proposed group is not to replace or compete with the VS User Group, but rather to offer a complement which gives a larger voice to the VSTS community.

I'm envisioning either a monthly or bi-monthly meeting schedule, depending on demand, meeting in the evening.  Ideally, I'd love to see at least 20 people at each meeting, and grow membership organically.

What does it take to get a user group started?

Meeting Space I'm working to secure Microsoft office space at the Denver Tech Center.  We can hold roughly 100 people each meeting.
Community Leadership We'd need a couple of folks from the community to take the lead in lining up meeting speakers and maintaining a member list.
I'm happy to work to get this thing started and be the "official Microsoft sponsor", but UG's are most successful when driven by a community.
Meeting Sponsors Typically, a vendor would "sponsor" a meeting, providing food, drinks, and maybe a door prize.  In return the vendor gets some floor time.  This helps keep membership dues FREE or at least dirt cheap.
Money Per above, I hope to set this group up to minimize any dues.  The only reasons I could see needing any kind of dues would to pay for any web hosting or other service, or any potential labs or field trips.  At worst, dues would be extremely, extremely affordable.
People This is where you come in!  We need people to not only attend, but speak/present.

If you've ever met me or read this blog, you know how passionate I am about Visual Studio Team System.  What I've found is that the more people use it, the more passionate they become as well.  I'm not getting paid to start a user group, nor will I.  I just honestly think it could be a powerful medium for Team System users around the area to further enrich their value, and meet other great people in the process!

Please let me know your thoughts either by leaving a comment to this post, or emailing me directly.  I'm interested in hearing insight on feasibility, willingness to participate and/or present, ideal meeting schedules, etc.

Sincerely,

Steve