GRAFUG Meeting January 9, 2010

Thanks to everyone who attended the January 9, 2010 GRAFUG meeting. It was a successful potpourri of ideas, topics, brainstorms, and sharing of knowledge.

What We Discussed

  • Dues: Several people paid their $25 annual dues. Thanks for supporting GRAFUG! For the rest of you, if you need to know when your membership expires, just send me an email and I’ll let you know. Paid members are eligible to receive free gifts, discounts on special training we sponsor, and are privy to materials and samples provided by many of our speakers.

  • Finances: Mike Potjer gave us an update on our finances and we have about $600-700 in the kitty.

  • Windows 7: A lot of discussion went around about Windows 7 .. What is it? … What are the benefits? … Why should I upgrade? Some of the responses were … It’s faster than Vista … Some of the hardware driver issues have been resolved … The UI is more consistent throughout. A comment was made that it’s Vista the way it should have been! Oh .. and the Calendar has been completely rewritten! The recommendation from those who have upgraded is that you should definitely upgrade.

  • Events & Networking: We talked about several events .. some Fox .. some not. We talked about the importance of getting involved in these events as well as getting involved with other groups for networking opportunities.

  • West Michigan .NET User Group: They meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. For more information see: www.wmdotnet.org

  • Code Mash: This unique event will educate developers on current practices, methodologies, and technology trends in a variety of platforms and development languages such as Java, .Net, Ruby, Python and PHP. It’s too late to register for this year’s event because it’s full, but Jody Meyer is attending and will be able to give us an update on how it went. For more information, go to: www.codemash.org

  • Southwest Fox: Those of us who attended Southwest Fox in October talked about our experiences. Jody gave the prospective from a “newbie” speaker and how great that was. The content of the conference was great, as usual. However .. one of the biggest benefits of the conference was the networking. Meeting other developers, potential employers, colleagues, and fellow tweeps from twitter were invaluable. This conference had such a great vibe between all the people and we can’t stress enough how important it is that you try to attend next year’s conference. For more information, please go to: www.swfox.net

  • GR Give Camp: Jody recently attended the GR Give Camp and said it was an awesome experience. It brought together several non-profit organizations that needed IT work .. and paired them up with IT professionals who spent an entire weekend volunteering their time. The event was a huge success and Jody highly recommends everyone volunteer next year! You can read more information here: www.grgivecamp.org

  • LinkedIn: This is full of people and businesses and organizations, giving you lots of opportunities to network. Register an account for yourself: www.linkedin.com

  • GRAPE: An organization called Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence (GRAPE) is a gathering of business professionals. You can find them on Linked In at: www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=1959680

  • VFPx Updates: Several projects on VFPx have had recent releases. Check out http://www.codeplex.com/wikipage?ProjectName=VFPX for more information.

  • PEM Editor

  • FoxCharts

  • ProjectHookX

  • SubFox

  • Resumes: We had a lot of discussions about resumes and job hunting. The old rule about keeping your resume to 1 page appears to be long gone. Don’t run on and on with long paragraphs .. but do be concise and list your skills, achievements, accomplishments, etc. Using bullet lists or comma separated lists is a good way to deliver the information. We also talked about the fact that the “Objective” we were always told to put at the top of the resume doesn’t really apply anymore. We also talked about social networking and how it’s important to always remember that Facebook, Twitter, and other similar things can be read by potential employers so be very careful about what you say!

  • Books:

  • The book “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch was discussed a little bit. This is not a technical book, but rather a great book on life lessons. For those of who have read it, we HIGHLY recommend that EVERYONE should read this book. It helps you put things in prospective and realize the priorities of life.

  • Mike Timpe recommended a book called “SQL Cookbook” by Anthony Molinaro.

  • Moving Forward

    We talked about what topics and speakers we’d like to see in the future. If you have other ideas besides these, including ideas for speakers, please let us know!

  • Cross User Groups: We talked about seeking out other user groups to have occasional special joint meetings on topics that interest both groups. For example, a presentation on building resumes and marketing yourself doesn’t apply to just FoxPro developers. Teaming up with the local .NET group might be a good idea for topics like this. Another idea is teaming up with other Fox User Groups, such as Chicago and Detroit, for special joint meetings.

  • SQL Server: Some members would like to learn more about SQL Server in a special all-day class. Specifically, how to convert an existing Fox app to use SQL Server and how to maintain SQL Server databases for a client on an ongoing basis. Some potential speakers that were tossed around are Andy Kramek, Mike Levy, and Jim Duffy. This could be another event we team up with other user groups.

  • Cursor Adapters: Some members want to know more about Cursor Adapters. Cathy Pountney uses them in her application and she volunteered to talk about them at next month’s meeting. It will be an information discussion and input by others is welcome.

  • .NET: Several people would like to hear about .NET, especially from the perspective of someone who came from the Fox Community. Names such as Craig Boyd and Bo Durban were tossed out. Jody also has met some people from the .NET user group and she can see if any of them can speak to us.

  • Web Services: This topic interested a few members. How would one develop a web service? Where is a list of available web services. How do we go about learning this? Nobody had any ideas for speakers .. so if you know of anyone, please let us know!

  • Converting your app to the web: This topic is of interest to many members. Someone suggested that Steve Bodnar might be a good person to talk about this!

  • Officer Elections

    We held our official annual elections and the unanimous results are as follows:

  • President - Jody Meyer

  • Vice-President - Position eliminated

  • Secretary - Cathy Pountney

  • Treasurer - Mike Potjer

  • Webmaster - Jody Meyer

  • Thanks to everyone that volunteered to hold a position!

    SWAG

    We had quite a bit of swag (cool stuff .. free stuff .. promotional stuff ..etc) to give away. Everyone who attended got to pick something. Here’s what people chose:

  • Rich Addison - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit version

  • Mike Timpe - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit version

  • Mike Potjer - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit version

  • Mike Lyzun - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit version

  • Jody Meyer - Book: Introducing Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX

  • Lisa Martin - Book: Windows Vista Security Guide

  • Terry Carrick - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit version

  • Cathy Pountney - Arc Mouse

  • Next Meeting

    Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 10:00

    Cathy Pountney will be giving an informal discussion of Cursor Adapters. Also, anyone who has an interesting book they’d like to recommend is welcome to bring the book and give a little recap on what it’s about and why they feel it’s worthwhile.

    As always … if you have any ideas for future meetings, please let us know … especially if you’re volunteering to be the presenter!!

    Looking forward to seeing everyone at the February meeting.

    Cathy Pountney

    GRAFUG Secretary

    www.grafug.com

     

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