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How often do you attend local Java User Group meetings?

10+ times a year
9% (43 votes)
5-9 times a year
5% (24 votes)
1-4 times a year
12% (59 votes)
Less than once a year
6% (29 votes)
45% (221 votes)
I don't have a local JUG
23% (115 votes)
Total votes: 491



I'm shocked that so many people voted "never." For those people who never attend, I'd be curious to know why.

How far would you travel?

For me it would be an hour to 90 minutes each way (i.e. two to three hours total) travelling to the nearest JUG that I know of. I have better things to do with my time.


Maybe because we "never"-voters have a real life? User groups are something you do when you are young and have too much time on your hand.

Later, after you have done that computing thing for decades from 9 to 12 hours a day to make a living, you just don't want to spend more time talking about computers. There are more interesting and more urgent things to spend your time than arguing with half drunken fanatic fanboyz about the finer details of the Java programming language or the never ending stream of Sun f*ckups. It is much more rewarding to cultivate social relationships with people outside the programming business and of course with the wife and kids.

There are also much better ways to learn and keep up to date than spending time in a user group. For example reading a book, an article on the web or in a computer magazine. I don't get much out of a 30 Minute PowerPoint presentation. You know, the kind of presentation user groups like to use as an alibi to get drunk afterwards, done by someone who had a quick glimpse at some textbook before creating the presentation. You can't condense complex issues into such presentations without omitting important details.

I was surprised how much Sun used to stress user group relations when Java was young. You know, the times when didn't have Sun's corporate web layout and was using applets on the site (only to later drop them like hot potatoes). On such applet was right on the front page. It was an applet showing the various user groups around the world. I never understood why Sun was caring for the frat boys but not the professional software developer.


That's a very bad view of the UG world. Of course I think you're wrong. Yes, all UGs benefit from the enthusiasm and time of younger people, but if you look at the most successful JUGs in the world, they aren't driven by drunk babies. On the contrary, people like Daniel De Oliveira (DFJUG), Stephan Janssen (BeJUG), Bruno Souza (SouJava), Gregg Sporar and many others (like me) are guys closer to the 40th birthday than to the 20th. Wife and kids included. And, please, don't consider a JUG meeting only a way to hear 30 minutes PPT presentations. There's much more than that. Meetings are one of the best ways I know to socialize, meet new faces and (yes!) make new *real* business. F.Gianneschi - JUG Sardegna, Italy