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User Groups and Technical Communities

User groups and technical communities were formed to support individuals in their careers by offering networking and educational opportunities for various types of technology. Apex is proud to have been able to sponsor speakers at some user group meetings across the country.
User Groups
User Groups consist of members of like-minded technology professionals who come together, typically monthly, to discuss aspects related to a specific technology and best practices associated with use of that technology. They strive to provide "real life" opportunities for learning from the shared experience of the members. The mission of one of the user groups we’re involved with states they exist “to provide a forum for professional technologists focused on Microsoft .NET™ applications. The group provides members the ability to communicate, learn, share, inform and network.”
Resources to identify user groups:
  • Ask Apex employees, fellow co-workers or others in your network
  • Search online
    - Check on MeetUp 
    Web searches such as Googling 'Java User Group Atlanta'
    - Look for social media sites associated with the group - many user groups have active LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages or a 
       Twitter presence
    Search for global association sites, such as INETA: Internation .NET Association, SQLServerCenter,, IIBA
Why should you join a user group? 
  • To increase your technical knowledge through educational events
  • To network with individuals in the same industry
  • To learn about other technical groups, certification study groups, events, conferences, hackathons, etc… in the area
  • It is an opportunity to connect with hiring managers and recruiters 
Ways you can benefit user groups and yourself at the same time:
  • Promote the group to colleagues
  • Speak at an event or share insight on technical trends or resources 
  • Join the planning committee for the group or a specific event
  • Donate technical books to the group (and make more space on your bookshelf at the same time!)
Code Camps
Code Camps are planned days of learning about code and development. They are typically organized on by technical community leaders to help educate technologists, promote software development and best practices in the community, and create a forum for networking. 
Code Camps are created for the community and therefore:
  • Do not disclose attendee contact information to sponsors
  • Are often described as “unconferences”
  • Typically offer different tracks
  • Focus on your local or regional development community
  • Bring presenters who are typically members of the community
  • Are NOT a venue for advertisement or marketing presentations; it’s about professional development for the technical community, not sales plug-ins