For the past two years I’ve been heavily involved with organising two user groups in Brisbane: BFPG and BNoSQL. Those of you out there who organise your own user groups no doubt know how much is involved in keeping these things going. My focus has been on building communities around the subject matter and trying to get attendance up. It was a tough gig.
For the most part I think I succeeded in what I set out to achieve. We’ve seen a steady growth in memberships along with the usual fluctuations in attendance, but on the whole the net effect has been really positive. The development community here in Brisbane is very strong and has a lot of passionate people backing it. I think it’ll continue to grow and flourish.
During my time as an organiser I’ve had an immense amount of fun, learned a bucketload, met some amazing people and formed some great friendships. But I’ve got to a point where I think there’s nothing more I can give to the groups as an organiser.
For groups to remain successful they need many things; the key one being change.
Organisers need to change. Focus needs to change. Ideas need to change. The group needs to get a fresh face periodically to stop it from stagnating. I feel that the time has come for me to step down as organiser and get other people to step up and make their mark, take the groups past where I can take them.
I also have personal reasons for making this decision and most of them revolve around the lack of time. I won’t bore you with all the details, but for my own sanity I need a break from it. I need to step down before I burn out and lose the desire to attend in any capacity. I’ve given it all I’ve got and I hope that in some way I’ve had a positive impact on the lives of the many techies that I know and respect here in sunny Brisbane.
As of the end of this year I will no longer be a user group organiser in Brisbane. At this point I have no plans to get back involved down the track, but I won’t say “never” either. I’ll be investing time in building up my own business, spending more time with the family and generally enjoying the lack of stress put on myself twice a month.
I want to thank this technical community for its support. It’s been an absolute joy seeing people get together at the events that I’ve helped create and I look forward to being part of the crowd from here on in.