Meeting local developers

· by Steve · Read in about 2 min · (363 Words)

As you probably already know, I live on a tiny island just off the French coast. Many of you might not realise just how small it is - about 78 square kilometers in total and about 62,000 people. The upside is the quality of life is a lot better than many places, one of the downsides is that a small population and a significant economic skew towards financial services means there aren’t that many software development people about. I know that I’ve often felt rather isolated and wondered how many other people worked in this field locally - I knew a few, and I luckily got to work on larger teams in the UK mainland fairly regularly in my previous job, but overall the perception was that our profession was quite marginalised, with most IT demand being for network / server administrators, desktop support and managers. Certainly when attending local BCS meetings the subject matter was mostly oriented to that. It’s one of the reasons I appreciate the Internet so much, since there I can be a active member of a huge community.

Last night however I attended a meeting of the Guernsey Developers User Group, which was actually quite well attended. I knew a few people there already but there were quite a few people I didn’t know, and a larger group than I expected, so that’s a good sign. And best of all, the presentation subject matter has a good chance of actually being relevant to our developer existences 😀I’ve volunteered to get involved to help it keep going, and started posting things on their site, as has Damien, and hopefully it will continue.

Due to the local emphasis on financial services I get the impression the vast majority of attendees are using .Net/SQL Server on various business projects, and as such what I do is likely to come across as a bit, um, weird (unless they’re busy making “3D Investment Growth Planning Warrior” and I’m just not aware of it - it could happen). But all the core skills are the same, as I’ve learned transferring my skills from business development, so I expect it will be a useful forum.