High Praise for Tech-Ed Community from a Java Guy

So I didn't make the trip to Tech-Ed this year, but I do get to read everything about it.  Via Eking I found this entry from a Java developer (N. Alex Rupp) attending Tech-Ed. I've included some choice quotes.

TechEd 2004, Day 01

I must admit, it was a little odd being a Java guy walking into a room full of .NET User Group Leaders from all around the country...

What really fascinated me about the UG Leaders Summit was that the .NET Group Leaders from around the country knew each other, had their own community structure, and genuinely seemed to enjoy being around each other. These guys were rowdy. They were having a good time. And it wasn't just because we each got a 30 oz bottle of Tequila at the end of the meeting. People were really positive and nice. This was a slight cultural change for me, because all too often I find the Open Source Java community to be extremely high strung and competitive--sometimes to the point of being vicious. I like to think of the dynamic of our community as an extreme form of tough love. I haven't worked a lot with the Java User Group communities from around the country, and I have an inkling that things are a bit different in those circles than they are in the Jakarta / JBoss / TSS / Bile Blog OS Javasphere that used to form my only umbilical link to our community. (For the record, I don't think this "tough love" culture extends into the Java.net community--the folks from Sun's "shining city on the hill" are pretty amiable)...

Essentially, what INETA and Microsoft are trying to do is outgrok the ASF on community building. And from what I just saw, they're way ahead of the curve. In their words, "we're trying to get it. You can help us REALLY get it." And by "get it" I think they mean to figure out how to have a successful user community in every city and on every major college campus in the world. I'm speculating, but it's hard not to smell ambition this raw.

The secret to their success as an organization, in their words, is that they focus on "the community and individual developers", something which I think the ASF has been rightly and repeatedly criticised on in recent days. As far as these guys are concerned, "the developers ARE the customers." They put a lot of work into developer-building, mentoring, developer guidance, etc....

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