So here I am thinking of the next event. Should it be a topic on a new .NET Technology? A topic on a SQL Server 2008 R2 feature maybe? When should I deliver my next webcast? Which is the next local or regional event am I going to attend?
As I am thinking the above, I am also feeling the need to say a few words on Technical Communities. I guess that all people sometimes feel the need to philosophize things a bit.
A few days ago I had the pleasure to attend the Microsoft Regional CEE MVP Summit in Athens, Greece. I had the chance to meet in person with many people whom I only knew through emails and several social media on which we exchanged knowledge, ideas, and generally interacted on technical topics of common interest.
I must say, attending the Summit in Athens, was one of the best experiences of my life. When attending such events, you fully realize what the Technical Community is all about. You interact with great people sharing the passion for technology. You discuss with people sharing common interests on certain areas of technology. You share knowledge and you are glad that you are able to help a person learning a bit more on a specific topic. You are also glad that this person helps you learning something more on the technology topic of his/her expertise.
So what a Technical Community really is? Is it a mailing list on which you post questions on various technical issues you might be dealing with and wait for answers? Is it a platform on which you collaborate by answering various technical questions? Is it a forum, a blog maybe?
Well, a Technical Community is all the above plus much more. First of all, I believe that it is not just the platform that makes a Technical Community. The platforms and related tools make it easier to exchange knowledge and they have a significant role within a Community. Though, what really makes a Technical Community is the people. It is the people who share a passion for technology and have the willingness to exchange knowledge without requesting anything in return. It is the people who spend hours from their free time for helping others and feels really good for doing so. It is the people who constantly get more educated on their area of expertise and present in events, trying to help other people who are interested on those topics for learning even more, answering their questions and discuss with them.
A Community is actually an “environment” that helps its members to develop their skills through knowledge exchange via presentations, hands-on labs, online and offline discussions and many other activities. It helps its members to catch up with the latest technologies of common interest easier and more efficiently. It is a “place” where each individual puts effort and time for helping others because he believes in people. A Community is all about people and their need for belonging to a broader group of people within which they can share knowledge, exchange ideas, and share the passion and excitement on technology.
I feel that this is what a Technical Community is all about.