For decades, user groups have existed for various computer-related communities. Most that are related to software development focus on a role (developer, architect, tester, etc.), a technology (.NET), a programming language (Visual Basic, C++, etc.), or a product (Visual FoxPro, SQL Server, etc.).
While focused user groups are excellent endeavors that grow community knowledge, I think they can unwittingly form silos of expertise across the software development life cycle. I don’t think anyone would disagree that having a greater comprehension of the entire software development life cycle (SDLC) is beneficial for every member of the SDLC team.
Now there’s a user group that attempts to embrace the entire SDLC team with Team System at its core. Down under in Melbourne, Australia, Joe Sango has formed what I believe is the first Visual Studio Team System User Group (Melbourne Team System User Group). With encouragement and support from the local Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Dave Lemphers, this group shows lots of promise.
Are you interested in starting a Team System User Group in your area? Check-out the support you can get from the Codezone User Group Experience and INETA/Culminis (Start a User Group) and the resources available to you (Resources for Your User Group).