I’ve written it before but it bears repeating – the Long Island Systems User Group, aka LISUG (www.lisug.org) is my home LUG – Local User Group. The “UG” is simple here and very descriptive – a group of like-minded technology professionals, in my case, IBM i. The “L” however is more significant though because it screams closeness. Proximity. Nearness. And with those hopefully community.
Meeting an associate for the first time is generally a formal event. At the second encounter certain walls have already broken down. Share an experience or two and from that point forward you have some history and context. That’s what you get when you belong to a LUG – opportunity to regularly network with other professionals who understand the twists and turns of your locale and business climate. As you gain trust with your LUG associates perhaps you can discuss non-confidential but vital industry information. IT policies and procedures. Tips and techniques. Reciprocity prevails. Which leads me to my next point. Regularly attending my own LUG has allowed me to learn the breadth of knowledge and experience among the LISUG members. It soon became obvious that we needed to share some of this knowledge. Combine that with the ancillary benefit of having our members practice their public speaking skills and a new meeting format was created.
Earlier this month and for the second year in a row LISUG held it’s “Night of 1000 Stars.” During the normal semester top industry speakers from all facets of the IBM i community present to our group. But for this special event, we turned the tables and tapped into the vast technical knowledge that is embedded in our membership. The single requirement was that the topic be relevant to the IT community. Seven members with wildly varied but interesting topics responded to the call. Our format was simple – prepare a six to eight minute presentation, with or without slides. As Master of Ceremony I read each person’s bio and then brought that person up to the front of the room. For their participation each “star” was given a bottle of Long Island wine for their efforts. By the end of the night it was clear to all of us that this once a year meeting format was now a permanent year end addition to our roster. I highly encourage all LUGs to consider this type of meeting. The depth and wealth of your member’s technical knowledge is incredible; tapping into this resource can potentially provide seeds for entire sessions at future meetings.
Here is the 2015 star roster:
Charles Kaplan – “Simple Photography Website”
Mike Jacobs – “Encryption Depiction”
Clark Heiser – “Image Catalogs Made Easy”
John Lynch – “Using 2- Factor Authentication”
Steve Wolk – “The Most Useful Apps You Never Heard Of”
Alan Seiden – “IBM i Surprise”
Trevor Seeney – “iMagic / IBM i Magic Tricks”