Well, what a great time to be a .NET developer! With all the changes that have been happening over the last year or so - with the new cross platform .NET Core, Azure, Microsoft's embracing of open source, and so much more!
So it surprised me that even though Oxford has a great developer scene, with JS Oxford, Oxford Ruby, Oxford Python, and plenty more - there wasn't really anything in the .NET space.
Well, that's now about to change!
Asking around the local community indicated that there would certainly be interest in a such a group - so after checking with my amazing wife, who even though she has her work cut out with our two kids, she still said it was fine - it was then decided!
My previous contract was working with Ridgeway - a local .NET web agency building very impressive sites on top of the Kentico platform. A fantastic company to work for, and an amazing group of people. I became good friends with the Development Manager there, who like me, is very passionate about technology and .NET development, and loves keeping up to date with the latest shiny dev trends. So I was thrilled when he agreed to also get involved in this exciting new venture!
The first steps were easy. Creating the various social media accounts - Twitter, Facebook, Meetup.com, a Trello group for planning, a Github orgaization, and even a Slack team! All the fun stuff! We even had a retweet from Scott Hanselman himself within a couple of hours after creating the Twitter account! Needless to say my Twitter notifications didn't stop for a while after that!
So now is where the real work begins. We obviously need to find a venue, but there's also making sure the content is good enough to make people want to come, and to continue to come again in the future. Both myself and Matt are new to public speaking, so that in itself will be a big challenge for us both. We're certainly hoping the community will want to get involved and also talk at the events.
I would also really like to see some form of coding challenge at each event. Whether that be everyone hacking on it on their own laptop, or perhaps some form of mob programming session where a keyboard is passed around is yet to be seen.
Whilst this is a .NET meetup, the topics aren't restricted to .NET only. It can be anything that a .NET developer might be interested in, which nowadays covers quite a lot of topics!
So we're clearly very early days at the moment, but it does feel like this has a huge potential to become something big! So please help us make it that way by spreading the word! Also, if you're an experienced developer and fancy getting up and doing a talk, then please get in touch!
The best way to be notified of our first event is to join the Meetup.com Group, but we'll post on all social network channels mentioned earlier in this post. So watch this space! ...