April 20, 2015 by Mike Hillwig
Last Thursday was our monthly user group meeting at New England SQL. Our speaker was Andy Novick, and he was talking about SQL’s Hekaton technology.
As usual, I opened the meeting with announcements and then and did a little networking event. We like to call it mandatory fun. The idea is to get people moving around and talking to each other. I’m a firm believer that if you sit next to someone you already know, you’re absolutely doing it wrong. User groups are about networking as much as they are about learning about the technology.
I broke the group into five smaller groups and gave them a task. Everyone in the small group was supposed to share a challenge they had in their environment that day and the group was to give them suggestions on how they might resolve it. For example, in the group I was in, we had a guy whose database objects aren’t the same as what’s in source control. Another group was talking about a performance problem. The chatter was lively. People were sharing their problems and solutions. This is what a community does.
I love doing this. It gets people talking. Sometimes I just make people stand up and great the people sitting next to them.
My colleagues who are introverts hate this. They’re precisely the ones who need to be introducing themselves to others.