It's been quite exciting over the last twelve months to see a number of new .NET user
groups spring up in the UK. I've got a high regard for user groups in general - they
often provide support (of both social and technical varieties), excellent technical
information and a better sense of community than I think we'd ever be able to offer
ourselves. Meeting up with other local developers can be helpful as a way to build
up contacts in the industry too, particularly for freelancers and contractors, and
you can learn a lot from hearing others' war stories of how they dealt with development
challenges. On a personal level, I've reason to be grateful to a couple of user groups
for giving me some of my first big breaks before I joined Microsoft.
Unfortunately it's quite difficult to find a list of local developer user groups on
the Microsoft web site; I'm trying to get that fixed, but in the meantime, here's
a list of groups that I'm aware of. Please drop
me a line if you're a member or co-ordinator of a relevant UK-based group that's
not on the list, and I'll update it.