New Zealand is well known for its excellent .NET User Groups. And there are lot of activities going with the user groups especially in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Down here in Dunedin, though the frequency of sessions is not regular, we do have/had good and exciting sessions.
The only thing I saw missing was involvement of Microsoft Student Partners. Yes, each University in New Zealand have Microsoft Student Partners and Microsoft Student Champions promoting, learning and supporting Microsoft Technologies. To be more clear, its not an advertising campaign by the Students, but a great opportunity for Students to get to know more about Microsoft Technologies and also have a good interaction with the local Microsoft Community.
So I discussed this with my Academic Advisor Ryan Tarak and also with Darryl along with Dunedin .NET User Group organizers – Beric and Nathan. The main point was, we Student Partners take regular sessions in the Universities on latest Microsoft Technologies, so why don’t we make this as regular .NET User Group sessions and involve students too. This was not happening, rather, the user group sessions where mostly people from local industrial people and enthusiasts.
Darryl, Beric and Nathan gave us the opportunity to merge Microsoft Student Partners and Dunedin .NET User Group and now we could see more participation of students in sessions. And the presence of industrial people boosts students to meet them, discuss regarding current trends, job opportunities etc.,,
This has been one of my goals after being elected as Microsoft Student Partner and am happy that I was able to do it along with other Microsoft Student Champions here. I also highly encourage MSPs in other cities to interact with their local .NET User Group and see what can be done.