Why Join a Salesforce Developer Group

Why Join A Salesforce Developer Group?

Background

I came to Saleforce from a Microsoft centric .NET background. Florida has a very active .NET developer community so I sort of “grew up” in an environment that empowered developers through developer groups and code camps. I attended numerous dev group meetings and spoke at several code camps within a days’s drive of my location. I also presented to user groups on a topics that I had expertise in.

As a result of my experience with developer groups, when I first moved over to Salesforce I looked around for a local developer group. Unfortunately, there was no local group and the nearest group was 130 miles away from me. So I set about starting a local group. I got in touch with Salesforce about my desire to start a local group and they were receptive to the idea and helped me form and promote the group.

Jacksonville Salesforce Developer Group

So let me introduce the Jacksonville Salesforce Developer Group. We are an active group with monthly meetings on topics that are of interest to Saleforce developers. Our core group is small but we are growing with a total membership of 201 developers (as of this post) and the future for the group looks promising. We have members that are experienced developers as well as ISVs and new developers along with some Salesforce Admins that want to develop custom code for their Salesforce organization.

Why Join?

You may be asking “why should I join a developer group?”. I think the real question is “why haven’t you joined already?”. There are so many ways you can learn from a developer group that I can’t mention them all but I’ll cover a few reasons.

  1. Learn new approaches and coding techniques from your peers: We regularly have Salesforce MVPs and other user group leaders speak to our group about new tools that make our jobs easier as well as new stuff from Salesforce that affect how we write code.
  2. Problem solve with your peers: Do you have a coding or admin problem at work that you are struggling to solve. If so then bring it up during our open discussion time and let the combined wisdom and experiences of the group help you solve the problem.
  3. Share your knowledge and experience: Chances are you have solved issues at work that could help other developers who are struggling. You can also attend one of our Salesforce Bootcamps and help as a mentor to new developers who are just learning or you can volunteer to help lead a Bootcamp. We only had one Bootcamp last year but I hope we can do one a quarter next year as they are a great way for new developers to learn.
  4. Become a speaker: A great way to increase you communications or speaking skills is to volunteer to present at one of our meetings. Noting keeps you on your toes and really teaches you like teaching others. Plus its a good way to give back to the community for everything that the community has done for you.
  5. Job opportunities and networking: You have probably hear the old adage “its not what you know but who you know”. That applies to a developer group as well. Members of the group share job opportunities that they know of and recruiters often contact group members when they are looking to fill Salesforce developer positions

How do I find a Salesforce Developer Group

Finding a developer group is easy. There are currently 210 Meetups around the world with a total of 59,413 members. That is a whopping big community so chances are there is a group near you and if there isn’t, lots of groups stream their meetings live on the internet. To find a group you can go to Salesforce Developer Meetups and check the map for your area. You can also navigate over to https://developer.salesforce.com/ and click on “Community” then click on “Developer Groups”. If you are anywhere near Jacksonville, Florida then use the link near the beginning of this article and come join us. Or, you can contact me directly for information on my group.

And now a personal note

I have benefitted personally from starting, leading and just being a member of the Jacksonville Salesforce Developer Group. It has kept me on track in my Salesforce career. It has also introduced me to some of the rock stars in the Salesforce community that have helped by mentoring me. As a Developer Group Leader I have access to a private Slack group with other group leaders and MVPs that has proven useful in guiding my career as well as answering my questions when I am stumped by a problem or just need some guidance. I have many new friends in the local group and I look forward to seeing them each month (second Wednesday of the month).

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