We've been getting a number of inquiries as to "What the heck is this event?", "Why should I bother going?" and "What's in it for me?". I thought I'd spend a little time on this post to elaborate what's going on and really help expose the diamond in the rough. I'm stoked about these events as part of our launch activities - they are something we've never done before and something that we feel will bring a lot of value to the communities we visit.
First off... they are being put on as a partnership with User Communities / Professional Associations that serve as LOCAL resources to you. This includes CIPS, ICTC and UserGroups that we work with like WITPRO, VANTUG or SQLPASS. This is a social event (i.e. FUN) that will allow you to connect to other IT Professionals (Dev, IT Pro, Specialists, PMP, CISSP - etc) to establish new relationships and nurture existing ones. We've opened the doors to anyone to come in, from any group or any background - regardless of your affiliation to or opinion of Microsoft. The only requirement is that you come to the event prepared to share your experiences and engage in conversation.
Besides being a social event (I mentioned fun, right?) there will be some actual work going on during the evening as well. Our plans are facilitate an interactive discussion to gain insight and share experiences on changes that are affecting us all in the ICT industry in Canada. How are we going to do that? Well, let me share the details of the actual evening flow:
- Intros - welcome and overview of the night.
- State of the industry - perspective from CIPS (Canadian Information Processing Society) & ICTC (Information & Communications Technology Council).
- Technology Demo - showing some high value pieces of new technology and how they could be implemented into your environment with minimal change.
- Community story - perspective on the impact that participating actively in your LOCAL community and the rewards it brings.
- Learning Circles - a "vote with your feet" concept of discussing 5 topics with a facilitator and bringing back the groups findings to the larger group.
- Social Networking - meet other experts and LOCAL resources to strengthen your support infrastructure LOCAL to you - in your community.
The cool factor - besides meeting your local experts and IT community - are the learning circles. Picture it - we're discussing the 5 topics across 14 geographies with IT professionals and bringing all the learning's together in order to share them back across Canada. Talk about a picture / heat map of issues facing IT professionals in Canada accompanied with possible community driven resolutions / observations. You get to have your say and input into your solution for addressing these challenges and we're going to take it public for all to benefit. Cool indeed!
What are the resources you're getting by participating in this?
- A workshop Workbook that will be used as a guide in the discussion and as a resource after the event.
- Blog Posts / Podcasts taken during the events where members of the community team will be talking / interviewing members from the workshop and sharing their observations throughout the process.
- A growing resource page that will summarize the collective insight after the final event concludes as well as ongoing interviews/podcasts that have been recorded during the sessions. Anyone can have their content submitted for inclusion - provided it's relevant. 🙂
- In cities where there are no Technical Readiness Events - we're working to secure the funding to include resource kits. This would be for Victoria, Regina, Saskatoon, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Halifax. What's in side the resource Kits? stay tuned. 🙂
This evening event is really a celebration of being involved in the ICT profession and a forum for us to get together to discuss issues that affect our daily lives and take the time to think proactively about what we can do to impact change for the better of the profession and ourselves.
I urge you to sign up as soon as possible! Space is limited. Forward the blog post link for details to others in your community who might not be actively engaged with the Community Team - remember - all are welcome.