Indianapolis, Indiana, like most major cities, is home to organizations large and small that rely heavily on the various Information Technology functions to conduct their business. Consequently, IT professionals in Indy have formed several local user groups to share their knowledge and passion with their fellow technology enthusiasts. The scope of these groups covers a lot of ground, from .NET to Java to SQL and beyond. A good survey of these groups, although I’m not sure that it’s completely up-to-date, can be found at the Indianapolis User Groups web site (http://www.indyusergroups.com/). In this space, I want to take a look at a few of the more active technology groups in Indianapolis today.
Indianapolis Java User Group (IndyJUG)
IndyJUG, as the name implies, is the local place for Java enthusiasts to congregate and discuss the various J technologies. A perusal of the IndyJUG web site shows that the group hosts (semi-) regular meetings and a discussion forum, as well as providing links to various Java resources. The forum typically generates 5-10 message per month, and the group has been meeting a handful of times per year. I would describe this group as being moderately active, particularly in comparison to other nearby Java groups, such as the Central Ohio Java Users Group (COJUG) http://www.cojug.org/. I spent several years in Columbus, OH, during the early-to-mid 2000s, and COJUG was really vibrant in terms of member participation and enthusiasm. Part of the discrepancy between the groups’ participation levels may have been due to the fact that .NET was not very mature at the time. Add to that Indy’s apparent penchant for the Microsoft stack (see IndyNDA discussion below), and it’s not too surprising that the local Java community isn’t always popping.
Indianapolis .NET Developers Association (IndyNDA)
This is undoubtedly the pre-eminent technology group in Central Indiana, as evidenced by the large community of IT professionals who participate in IndyNDA functions, including monthly meetings that have been a constant since 2001. Indy Tech Fest, hosted by IndyNDA in coordination with Indy Pass, is arguably the most anticipated local IT event in a given year. Indy’s strong .NET focus definitely lends itself to the support of IndyNDA, as local developers are always hungry for access to the information and experts that this group brings to town.
Indianapolis Professional Association for SQL Server (IndyPASS)
IndyPASS shares much in common with IndyDNA, the most notable of which is a passionate member base who are dedicated to exploiting Microsoft technologies to the fullest. Like IndyNDA, IndyPASS holds monthly meetings and hosts an active web site to bring its members together. As mentioned above, IndyPASS also co-sponsors the yearly Indy Tech Fest.
As in many areas of modern life, Indianapolis’ technical arena offers many opportunities for local IT workers to stay involved in their professions. Check out these technical groups and others to find Indy developers who share your interests.