Atlanta: Stepping down from .Net UG involvement

It is with great sadness that this is happening. While being involved with user groups I tried to accomplish the goal of making them a more open and inviting place for newcomers regardless of their .Net expertise. Yes the C# group is targeted towards developers/ architects with advanced knowledge, but again a core aim of mine was to prevent it being a clique of regular members.


From email feedback it appears that many people learned a great deal from my presentations. Delivering those presentations was a great help in recovering from a side effect to a Malaria vaccine called Lariam. If you are the 1 in 10,000 who gets hit by the side-effect then this is a very nasty drug and it has taken me many years to recover. No one knows how it works chemically, but the worst side effect was paralyzing fear in social situations. The technical term is fight-or-flight which translates to ‘wanting to leg it asap’ – this even happened in cubes of colleagues and at the dinner table with friends! It was quite embarrassing and at times debilitating. Anyone who saw my kick off to the mobility group was witnesses to such an episode 🙂

A post on Lariam is about to happen, hence I mentioned it above. Yes, posting about it publicly can only harm me – over the last few years a few individuals have used it against me in the work environment. Now I am really 99% recovered I see no problems with work but am aware some selfish individuals who read this post could try to use it as leverage against me. After overcoming a personal hell with the drug, I need to make a Google accessible post for new suffers to find – the first few months were utterly unbearable and if I can help any future sufferers that is worth far more than a few blows to my career.

So the reigns of the C# Group are officially handed over to the group’s ‘second in charge’ Keith Rome. Maybe later in the year I will be invited back to help the C# group out again? Even if not I am sure Keith will continue to take the group forward keeping the content very technical.



What I am doing with all the spare time? After a recent round of interviews with some of Atlanta’s best Architects my head will be down in books trying to catch up to their level. IMO it is easier to learn advanced material from books than user groups, but the groups can be great motivation to learn. Hopefully I will find time for cycling again and hang out with the great bunch of guys and gals I used to see before last year’s wreck.

Finally: a BIG thanks goes out to Doug and Kirk of Microsoft. They put up with a tremendous amount from us user group people and have the patience of saints dealing with some members. Please everyone try to appreciate what they do for us, and do not hassle them too much. They both go far beyond what their job asks of them.

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3 Responses to Atlanta: Stepping down from .Net UG involvement

  1. Paul Wilson says:

    Sorry to see you exit the user group seen — wish I could have seen more of you since I don’t often frequent them. And I hope you will come back at some point, and maybe still make it to code camp — where I’ll be making my first public talk. I certainly can’t relate fully to your experience, but as an extreme introvert that often trips over my own words I can to a small degree.

  2. Kevin Goff says:

    <br>You should check out Rory Blythe’s blog ( . He always talks about all the medications and the side effects of taking them (and not taking them.) I don’t believe his career has suffered one bit from it. You have nothing to be concerned about and I think its great that you are thinking about how you can help others.
    <br>I’m not trying to call you out here, but I’ve often wondered why the C# group has been considered the more advanced group? This implies that C# is more difficult when really its not… Just wanted to say that since you brought it up.

  3. Mathew Nolton says:

    <br>I have yet to attend the C# User Group Meeting (I meant to last night with the CLR team), but I am sorry to hear you are stepping down. Community involvement takes time and it is difficult to find people who are willing to do it. Good luck with overcoming the side-effects of Larium.
    <br>-Mathew Nolton

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