Part of what I like to do is go and hang out and chat with members of user groups. I do this every time I go on tour and I also do it whenever I am in town with groups local to the Toronto-area, or close to it. I don't always present at every session (thankfully) but I do get a chance to talk to members and find out what kinds of things they have been up to with our and other technologies.
This week I attended the Toronto SharePoint User Group meeting and got to meet a number of IT Pros and developers of SharePoint technologies. With the Business Value Launch of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System (of which SharePoint is a big part) close on the horizon, members were obviously excited at the potential the new version brings. If you are interested in getting involved with the Toronto SharePoint User Group, check out their web site for info on activities and to find out more.
Next week is a busy week for me when it comes to stuff on the go, and some of that includes user group presentations. On Monday I have a very full day starting off with an all-day session at the Toronto Oracle User Group. You're probably wondering what a Microsoft guy is doing at an Oracle event, but there is a fit. Oracle runs on Windows and Oracle has databases and other products that interact and make use of our technologies. I like to find out what people using competing technologies are also doing so that I can more fully understand the entire IT Pro landscape. Just knowing how the Microsoft world works is not enough for me because our clients don't always use exclusively Microsoft technologies.
Following that I travel to Kitchener-Waterloo to deliver a presentation on Exchange 2007 to the Waterloo-Wellington IT Pro Users' Group (WWITPRO). If you are in the area and would like to come and take in the presentation and meet other IT Pros, go to the WWITPRO web site and register. WWITPRO is a relatively young user group but it is getting a lot of buzz and has great people. I always like going out there.
On Tuesday night the Toronto BizTalk User Group is having a meeting on BizTalk Server 2006 Performance Tuning. Unfortunately, because of a TechNet Monthly on Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 scheduled at our Mississauga office at the same time, I won't be able to attend the user group session. Not really happy about that but life is as it is. However, if you are using BizTalk or are interested in BizTalk, you should definitely check out the session. Rod da Silva, the user group lead, is very knowledgeable on BizTalk and a great speaker. Register for the session by visiting the Toronto BizTalk User Group web site event page.
Wednesday I present to the Toronto Wireless User Group (TORWUG) on Exchange 2003 SP2 and Windows Mobile 5. I will demonstrate how DirectPush technology, policy enforcement, and remote and local wipe work, as well as spend some time on what is new in Exchange 2007 with regards to mobile devices. This, like all user group events mentioned, is a free event and you can register at the TORWUG web site.
Finally, I know that there are also user group session taking place across the country in conjunction with i/o tour 2006, so check those out as the tour stops in your city. The user group events are the night before the tour event and center around Small Business Server 2003 R2. Check out the TechNet Event Calendar for info and registration for those sessions.