Free software for user groups

Mindscape has always been very community oriented – many of the team speak at local user groups, Code Camps, Tech Ed, Unplugged events and so on. We’ve also been active in sponsoring community events like the Super Happy Dev House, NH-Day, Girl Geek Dinners and more. It’s time to do more however and we’ve been really pleased with the joint success we have had in helping user groups. Part of doing more is helping spread the word that we do want to help :-)

Our primary sponsorship method is to provide free software as prizes for user groups. We typically target Microsoft related user groups as our products are all in that space. So if you run a .NET/Silverlight/WPF/SQL Server/Microsoft Bob/C# user group, get in touch!

In retrospect, perhaps the Microsoft Bob user group was not quite ready for Ivan’s ‘Whirlwind Tour of LINQ Expression Trees.’

How does the process work for user groups?

Step 1: Get in touch
Email usergroups@mindscape.co.nz to tell us about your user group. We’re always keen to actually know the user group leaders and help them out in any way we can, so ping us an email and we can discuss what works for you.

Step 2: Eh? What?
There is no step 2. These are not the droids you’re looking for. Once we’re talking, we’re pretty quick to nail down our sponsorship based on your user group’s needs and organise how to provide the software.

What software do you provide?
We typically provide one free license to one of our products (excluding the Mega Packs) for each meeting. This works well because the folks running the event can choose a product that suits the audience. For example, if the topic is Silverlight related then our Silverlight Elements suite would likely go down well.

We also provide free software for speakers. Speaking for the first time in particular is really hard, we understand that, and we know user groups need a continuing stream of speakers in order to thrive. So to encourage people to take the leap, we offer a Mindscape Mega Pack — that’s every single developer tool we produce — to the speaker at each event.

Can you do me a favour?
Have you been to a local user group or do you know somebody involved in one? Please forward them a link to this post as we’d love to be connected with more user groups around the world. We currently sponsor about 15 user groups globally — and we want more right away :-)

Happy coding!

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