Find Your Community of Likeminded Techies


A while back I while I was working in the SharePoint space, I decided it was time to expand my general knowledge and understanding of SharePoint, and truly join a community of likeminded SharePoint geeks. I had already been going online to help find relevant assistance, training, and guidance from community leaders around the world, but this was a one-way flow of information; people blogged their experiences, I used their solutions and recommendations.


It was time to participate more directly in the community, meet people, and share. At that time, was not yet what it is today so I searched for local community user groups in my region. I am from Sacramento, California, which is a good-sized city, but I am also about an hour and a half from San Francisco, a much larger technology hub. By searching for Sacramento SharePoint User Group, San Francisco SharePoint User Group, and even expanding to California SharePoint User Group, I was able to get a good grip on what communities already existed near me.


If I were new to the community today, my first steps would be to go to and let them help me find a community that already exists. Chances are you will find that someone has already started a group of people with similar interests. At this point, if it is not on Meetup, a routine gathering of people with a specific interest in a region doesn’t exist, or that is at least my experience. There are of course exceptions to this rule, as well as other community groups, but to get started today, I would start with


Once I was able to get a toehold in the community, I was able to use this to learn of other community gatherings, in my space, such as SharePoint Saturdays. Further, a few local community leaders were able to connect me with community experts outside of our region, which of course then snowballed into a larger and larger community of friends and colleagues.


More than just Meetups


Meetups and user groups are certainly a great place to meet others within your local community, but I found I wanted to proactively meet others that are not just a short drive away. Success was found by engaging with others via blogs and Twitter.


When I got stuck on a SharePoint problem, like most others, I got online, typed in my question, and found answers. Most answers at the time came from peoples’ blogs. I would follow those that I found useful and began interacting with these community experts via the blog comment sections as well as via Twitter.


Ah, Twitter. Twitter is a valuable tool for finding and building connections with industry experts. I personally started following community leaders and members that I found most insightful and in line with my interests. By watching my feed, in particular likes and retweets, I slowly built up my network of experts. I got the most value by interacting with those that I followed. Replying, liking, and communicating with others, slowly building connections.

Now for me, the true value came when I began attending industry events such as SharePoint Conference, or Microsoft Ignite. Since I had already built an online network of likeminded people, I was not alone. The experience of meeting the experts, authors, and pros was fascinating for sure, but the kicker was that many of them already knew who I was as I had pre-built connections via blogs, comments, community projects, Twitter, and more.

If you are looking to join a community of developers and IT Pros, get started now. Join a meetup, use that Twitter account you have lying around and start to follow a few people you might have seen mentioned. Check out who they are following and slowly build your network. When you have a problem, look it up and notice who is providing you the best answer. Follow their blog, follow them on Twitter. Join the conversation. I can guarantee you will get out at least, if not much more, than you put in.

0 Replies