Alabama Tech Events

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The Future of BSDA – Thursday March 11, 2009

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As some of the attendees know, attendance at the BSDA meetings has been deteriorating over the last year. As one of the oldest groups in Birmingham, the Birmingham Software Developers Association has been serving the community since the late 1970s. As technology has evolved so too has the focus of the organization changed. For the last few years the primary focus has been around Microsoft .Net development.

The reasons for low attendance are many. In some cases, members have had to move in order to stay employed due to the faulty economy. Being an older group retirement has also played a part. Additionally, the need for in person attendance to get education has dwindled. Online webinars, forums, and blogs have made it easier to get information and education. Finally, competition in Birmingham plays a big part. Birmingham is blessed with many, many user groups, with narrow focuses which feed people’s needs better than the general “programming” focus of BSDA. In just the Microsoft arena alone there are groups for Silverlight, .Net, SharePoint, and SQL Server. In addition there are many groups devoted to open source technologies such as JAVA and Ruby.

This plethora of riches has caused a drift of members away from the group. With the shift in focus of BSDA toward .Net, many have suggested a merger of the BSDA with the BUG.NET user group so as to focus the .Net community into one place. The BUG.NET group has also indicated they would be welcome to such a merge of interests. Finally, at the February meeting an official move to vote was made to do just that. Subsequently it was moved that further discussion be tabled and voted on at the March meeting in order to give interested parties a chance to attend, and that delay was approved.

This discussion and vote on the future of the BSDA will take place on Thursday, March 11 at the New Horizons meeting facility in Homewood. The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm with announcements and general discussion, the official vote will be held around 7 pm or a little after.

At this time there are three options:

1. The group continues. However, in order for this outcome there must be volunteers who will step up and take leadership positions. Without these volunteers this option is not viable.
2. The group disbands, it will have to be worked out what to do with any remaining funds.
3. The group merges with BUG.NET. Any funds left in the BSDA will be transferred to BUG.NET to be used for community events, swag, etc.

Other proposals from the floor will be considered at this meeting. If you would like to have a voice in the future of the BSDA please attend this important meeting.

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Written by arcanecode

March 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Posted in BSDA, Bug.Net

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