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Welcome to the newsletter for "Becoming a Social Developer". This time, we have some tips from Sheldon Skaggs on interacting with developers in your local community.

Start with a Local User Group

Here's some great advice from Sheldon Skaggs on getting started with a local user group:

"I came up with an idea for myself that I felt would be more realistic but is not related to a large conference. The idea is to start interacting at the local user group meetups. Initially I planned to just force myself to start talking to other members that I did not know.

"My initial step has worked great. I made a short blog post about it...

"So try to get more involved with the local user groups and interact with the other members. The meetups are usually smaller and shorter than a full blown convention, so they make a great gateway to becoming a social developer."

Read more about Sheldon's experience in his blog post: Adventures in Enterprise Web Dev: Becoming a Social Developer.

Local Contacts & Ongoing Relationships

Sheldon's ideas are spot on. When we go to local user groups, we have the chance to create on-going relationships with other developers in our community. This is something that I've seen personally. At my local user group, I get to meet new folks, but I also get to keep conversations going with people I get to see regularly.

At first, talking to people once a month doesn't seem like enough to develop a relationship. But over time, those individual interactions do build up. I've been attending the same user group for several years (although I don't always make it every month), and I have some great friends in that group.

Plus, when you come across a problem that you need some help with, it's easier to drop an email to someone you see on a regular basis (compared to someone you've only met once or twice).

So get involved with a user group near you (Meetup is a great place to find local events). Start the conversation. Those people you meet today can become long-term friends and colleagues.
We're still collecting ideas for logos, stickers, and interaction tools. Thanks to Ramon Pfeiffer for sending in a logo idea.We're collecting more and exploring a few different designs. If you've got a great idea (or even a not-so-great one), be sure to sent it in:
Becoming a Social Developer at NDC Oslo
This week, Jeremy Clark will be at NDC Oslo giving a one-hour talk on Becoming a Social Developer. The presentation will be recorded, and we'll share this in an upcoming newsletter.
Have you been successful as a social developer? If so, share your story with us. We'd love to hear any encouragement you can give to other developers.
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