Barry Hess, a “local” Ruby programmer, posted about his experience with the Ruby Users of Minnesota. I’ve attended a number of meetings there as well and my experience, so far, matches much of his … just put a few years into the future since I didn’t attend until 2010. This quote is the one that really stuck out to me:
It turns out being there is well over half the battle.
I can attest that this is true. I have yet to present, but I have met more than a few people just by attending, and this is without any discernible programming skill. I always have a great time up there and enjoy the opportunity to just be around really smart people.
I always hope that some of their “smartness” rubs off on me.
So, get out there and get involved with your local user groups and communities, you’ll never regret it.
I use “local” in quotations because I drive 2+ hours to get to the meetings. Like I said, it is still worth it.