Please Vote for the new Global Vice-Chair

If you are a UG Leader member of GITCA, please vote me running for Global Vice-Chair. If you have any question feel free to ask me or email me – Adnan.Rafik [at] GITCA [dot] ORG
Now that the deadline date of July 13 for nominations for the position of the GITCA Global Vice-Chair has passed we wish to inform you that two [2] valid applications have been received.
Accordingly there will be an election to decide who will be appointed to the position. You are receiving this email as the representative of record for your GITCA member organization and thus entitled to vote on behalf of your organization.
Each member organization is entitled to one [1] vote to be cast for either of the candidates.
All votes will be held in confidence.

If you wish to vote for ADNAN RAFIQUE please use the following:
Send email to
Subject: Vote for ADNAN RAFIQUE


Please include the name of your member organization in the body of the email so that we can validate the vote. Only those emails including the name of the member organization will be counted.
So please don’t forget as that will make more work for us by having to remind you.
We want all votes to count!
Please note all votes must be received by Monday, August 6 2012 in order to be counted.

Tips For Running A Successful User Group

Tips For Running A Successful User Group

I have been asked a number of times and as well as this is my personal experience too that setting up a new user group is quite easy comparing to running a successful user group.  There is no specific success recipe or steps to follow because user groups success depends on the many different things such as the group focus on the technology, the audience, group meeting location etc and in the context of location running a user group in a metro city is quite easier than in a small town.

The best thing to be is to ask yourself why your user group is not running or what are the challenges because most of the time challenges are same
User Group Sponsors
User Group Growth
User Group Venue / Location
theses are three basic challenges most the user group faces and yes there is a solution to beat those challenges.

The one of the most important thing ask yourself –
If you were to attend a user group why would you attend it?
If you were to sponsor a user group event why would you sponsor that event?

User Group plays a role of benefit to both the user community and the sponsor.  To a vendor they want to get closer to the audience or market to get the feedback to hear from the user community. So if your user group can help the user community and the vendors then your user group is on the right track.  To the user they always look for new products and technology and want to get deep details of the technology rather than just the features.

Social Media
I have seen very few user group leaders who make the use of social media but wouldn’t be great if all your user group members follow you on the twitter?  Same way you can start a discussion on Linked and Facebook. It is your choice which medium do you choose but personally I would go with Twitter and the LinkedIn.

Cross Promotion
I would call it the most important and strongest tool for the user group leaders. Cross promoting each other event can significantly increase your member growth because if you think that your attendees are usually system admins and they wear many hat and if they are attending your exchange group meeting they might also be interested in virtualization and other windows technologies so why not cross promote other user group and have them promote you and again use the social media on top of that.

User Group Resources



Some IT Related Notable Organizations A IT Pro Must know

FEAPOFederation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations

CAEAPCenter for the Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture     Profession

IP3Part of UN-founded and UNESCO-sanctioned IFIP, International     Professional Practice Partnership

ACM Association for Computing Machinery

CIPSCanadian Information Processing Society

CSIComputer Society of India

CSSAComputing Society of South Africa

AITPAssociation of IT Professionals

NPANetwork Professional Association

CiscoSystems Network Academy

ACCC & NCITDAssociation of Colleges and Technical Institutes & the     National Council of IT Deans

Independent groups – IFIP societies

Stephen Ibaraki Interviews of Prominent People in the Industry

Stephen Ibaraki Interviews of Prominent People in the Industry

Neil Simon, Microsoft Career Factor Idol Winner in Cloud Computing – The Azure Developer, Chief Scientist and Senior Engineer, Keynote Session Speaker “24 Hours in the Cloud”

Neil Simon is a computer scientist and software engineer from Dublin, Ireland, who has used computers since he first laid hands on one in 1982. Generally he is interested in supercomputing and solving very large computational problems, with a focus on making it all easier to do. He spent 7 years working as part of an exceptionally competent team of engineers on supercomputers. Around the same time, he realized that many of the problems which face users of very large computers were remarkably similar to those that would soon face an increasingly network-dependent consumer. In 2007, he joined Trinity College Dublin’s Computer Architecture Group and started working on his PhD. It became a quest to not only help users to get the most out of the resources that they already had, but to also enable new technologies.

Kevin Dicken: Microsoft Career Factor Idol Winner

Kevin is a college senior studying Management Information Systems at DBU in Dallas, TX. He grew up as a technology enthusiast and found his niche for helping those around him with their computer problems. As he moves towards graduation, he hopes to work as a business analyst for a large technology or security company. His ideal career would allow him to act as a liaison between tech staff and managers.

Rabeb Othmani, Microsoft Career Factor Idol Winner – Windows Phone 7 Developer, Imagine Cup Winner

Rabeb is a senior computer engineering student at The Faculty of Sciences of Tunis (FST). She specializes in User Experience Technologies including Silverlight, Windows Presentation Foundation, and Windows Phone 7, in addition to C# and .NET Technologies. Recently, she has been working at the Microsoft Innovation Center Tunisia where she coordinates programs such as DreamSpark and WebsiteSpark. Rabeb excelled at the Microsoft-sponsored Imagine Cup 2010, where she won the local finals in Tunisia and participated in the international finals in Warsaw, Poland.

Leon Strous: President International Federation for Information Processing, Chair IAB World CIO Forum, Chair ISC WITFOR, Senior IT Auditor Netherlands Central Bank

Since 1993, Leon Strous has been with the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), which is the central (or national) bank of the Netherlands, in different positions as IT auditor in the internal audit department, and as overseer in the oversight department of the cash and payments division, focusing on the security of payment systems. His work also links to the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). Currently his main jobs are advancing business continuity and crisis management arrangements with the key players in the payments and securities clearing and settlement processes in the financial sector in the Netherlands, and liaising between the financial sector and the government concerning critical infrastructure protection programs. Leon is a member of a number of professional societies and has been active in many different positions in the Dutch Computer Society (NGI) since 1988, including member of the Board for five years, and in the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) since 1994, including a vice-presidency and in August 2009, he was honourably elected as president for the 2010-2013 term. Currently he is the chair of the WITFOR International Steering Committee and Chair of the WCF International Advisory Board.

Dr. Maria Klawe: Distinguished, Celebrated, World-Renowned Computer Scientist, President of HMC, Board Director Microsoft Corp, Speaker at the World CIO Forum

Harvey Mudd College is led by Maria Klawe, HMC’s fifth president who began her tenure in 2006. A renowned computer scientist and scholar, President Klawe is the first woman to lead the college since its founding in 1955. Prior to joining HMC, she served as Dean of Engineering and Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. During her time at Princeton, Maria led the School of Engineering and Applied Science through a strategic planning exercise that created an exciting and widely embraced vision for the school. At Harvey Mudd College, she led a similarly ambitious strategic planning initiative, “HMC 2020: Envisioning the Future.” Maria has made significant research contributions in several areas of mathematics and computer science including functional analysis, discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science, human-computer interaction, gender issues in information technology, and interactive-multimedia for mathematics education. Her current research focuses on the development and use of multi-modal applications to assist people with aphasia and other cognitive impairments. Maria is one of the 10 members of the board of Microsoft Corporation, a board member of the non-profit Math for America, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and past chair of the board for the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology in Palo Alto, CA.

Microsoft Tech•Ed North America in Atlanta, May 15 – 19, 2011

Microsoft Tech·Ed North America in Atlanta, May 15 – 19, 2011

Tech·Ed North America is coming up fast and GITCA is very much looking forward to being there and hopefully meet as many of you who are attending as possible. So please don’t forget to call by and chat with us in the Community Lounge area. This year we will have a large contingent of GITCA volunteers present. Most of the Executive Committee, the NorAm Board and some of the EMEA Board will be there. We will be running the ever popular Guitar Hero again this year and INETA will be running Xbox Connect. This year we will be working very closely with our colleagues from INETA and PASS.

The deadline for submitting Birds-Of-a- Feather [BOF] sessions has now passed. This year there will be no voting on BOF sessions. The sessions will be chosen by the volunteer organizing teams from GITCA and INETA. BOF sessions are open discussions on developer and IT pro topics of interest to Tech·Ed attendees. The BOF sessions have now been posted to the TechEd site and you can add them to your scheduler. Like last year there will be one session focused on community where GITCA, INETA and PASS will be in attendance. Please don’t miss it. It is an opportunity to share and give feedback to all of the community organizations. We know that we are far from perfect and constructive feedback can only help us. There is something new this year for BOF which we are quite excited about. Since the whole principle behind BOF is sharing why not make some of the sessions available live outside of TechEd so that those who cannot attend in person can take part? When we have more details we will let you know how.

Our INETA colleagues are organizing a free User Group summit on Sunday, May 15th at 1pm. You can find out more information at GITCA and PASS will be at the event as well. We hope to see you there. There will be a number of useful and interesting discussions around community matters. You must register to attend and your entrance ticket will also get you into the evening social event.

Speaking of social events, there will be a community party on the Tuesday evening held in a section of the cafeteria. There will be the usual pizza and some beer to wash it down. It is open format where you are encouraged to network and share knowledge and experience with your community colleagues. We hope to see you there.