We’re finally off the ground! On Monday August 18th, the Shreveport .NET User Group held its first meeting in the science lecture auditorium at Centenary College. We had 26 people in attendance, and Chris Koenig, developer evangelist from Microsoft, gave a great presentation on Silverlight 2.0. I thought he struck a good balance between high-level feature descriptions and technical detail. (I think the feedback forms bore this out; the few suggestions for Chris were about half “too detailed” and half “more detail.” 😉 )
The projector situation kind of made me sweat for a bit. The one in the room hadn’t been working, and I couldn’t get the spare one I brought to work right. Fortunately, the AV crew at Centenary was there about an hour before the meeting, and had the projector working by the time they left (about 15 minutes before people started showing up). Other than that, there weren’t any logistical difficulties to speak of.
Chris also gave us some great stuff from Microsoft for door prizes at the next few meeting, including a licenses for Visual Studio, Office, and Vista Ultimate, so we’ll have some pretty high-dollar stuff to give away. In addition, we’ve got some books coming from Microsoft Press and O’Reilly.
In retrospect, getting swag from software vendors was just about the easiest part of the process, and finding a good (read: “free”) location turned out to be the hardest part. What I really need to work on, though, is delegating some of the administrative tasks to other people. Chad Morgan and Chris Benard both helped out a lot with making this thing happen, but I probably should have recruited more help. On Chris’s Koenig’s advice, we may institute specific roles for people who want to be involved with leading the group. Someone to handle swag, someone to coordinate with the venue, someone to find local sponsors so we can continue to have pizza, etc.
All in all, I think it went pretty well, and we’ve at least got a start at increasing the level of involvement of local .NET developers in the programming community.