One of the best things you can do for your tech career is to get involved with local user groups. I’ve been regularly attending some type of user group meetings since the early 2000s. They’ve all been Microsoft focused: .NET development, Windows Server/Infrastructure, and SharePoint.
We moved to Charlotte almost seven years ago and I sought out the local users groups. This blog post is to help anyone looking for info about the groups as I did back then.
Why do I attend user groups? Two primary reasons I guess: one, to learn something new. Even if the topic is something that I consider to be familiar with, I always end up learning something new. If it is a familiar topic, it’s good to see how others present it for the times that I need to explain it to others (I attended a OneNote presentation that fell into this category).
Second, it’s the networking. Meeting others in the tech community, hearing what they’re working on, what challenges they’ve run into, is always good to hear. One additional, huge benefit to the networking is for when it comes time to job search.
Anyway, here’s the list of groups that I know in the area:
Charlotte Area SharePoint User Group (CASUG) – Meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month at the Charlotte Microsoft offices. This group also After attending for a few years, I volunteered to help organize it, so I’m a little partial to this group.
Enterprise Developers Guild – Meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month at the Charlotte Microsoft offices. This is one of the strongest groups in Charlotte, with good leadership and attendance.
Carolina IT Pro Group (CITPG) – Meets on the 3rd Monday of each month, most recently at the Charlotte Microsoft offices. This is one of the oldest groups in Charlotte (from what I understand) and has a little different meeting format than the others.
Charlotte Office 365 User Group (MeetUp or Facebook) – A relatively new group that meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month, again at Microsoft. They also started a business user series of meetings that meet during the day (lunch), but I’m not sure what the schedule pattern is for those.
Charlotte PowerShell Users Group – I haven’t attended in a while, but they seem to still be going strong.
Here’s some more, but I’ve never attended:
Charlotte SQL Server User Group
If you’re familiar with these groups, please feel free to leave feedback in the comments.