My Experience Starting a Developer User Group (LVSFDCDUG)

I am very happy to announce that Peter Knolle and I have decided to start a Salesforce Developer User Group in the Lehigh Valley. The Lehigh Valley Salesforce Developer User Group, or LVSFDCDUG for short (@LVSFDCDUG), is going to focus explicitly on technical presentations. Our goal is to have Dreamforce quality technical sessions (similar to the sessions in their Architect Sessions and Developer Sessions) to share and collaborate with our fellow local developers and technical users. We will also be recording these sessions and posting them to our newly created Youtube channel.

My Experience

One of the best things about working with Salesforce is the community. It is unlike anything I have seen. From Admin, Analyst, Developer, and all the way to Architect, everyone is willing to help each other out when possible. You can see that through the million+ users of the Salesforce Success Community and the ever growing population of the Salesforce StackExchange. I first started interacting with the community through the Salesforce StackExchange and I found it absolutely addicting. The more I answered questions, the more I wanted to help. Over time, as I interacted with the community through different means on the web (Twitter, LinkedIn, blog), I found that I missed the human element. Dreamforce simply wasn’t enough. My fellow team members at Trifecta and I decided it would be fun to go to a user group meeting. We did a bit of research and found a user group in Philadelphia that seemed interesting, PhillyForce. Unfortunately, it would be an hour and 15 minute drive each way to get there, but we were dedicated and decided to travel down and join the group. The experience was great! The team that runs that group do a fantastic job and they really made a great experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately, due to the travel time, participating on a monthly basis just wasn’t possible. We had to cut out early from our normal work duties and we lost our entire night by the time we drove back home.

One day I was talking with Peter about wanting to be able to attend meetings more regularly, and it kind of just struck us. We can’t be the only ones in the area who are interested in doing this. If we started a developer user group in our area, how many others would be interested? At that time, it seemed like a daunting task, but we figured we could at least start asking around to see if there was any interest. Luckily for us, most of the people we talked to loved the idea. Being half way between NYC and Philly, we are stuck in the middle and others felt the same way! We reached out to the leader of Trifecta and got permission to use our office space for the meetup! The great news is that with Trifecta’s move to downtown Allentown, we will soon be in the heart of a great new environment with the hockey arena, bars, and restaurants all available.

After we had a base of users and a venue picked out, we reached out to Salesforce. Needless to say, working with their team has been a breeze! Salesforce set us up with a Meetup on and they are currently working on a logo for the group. A big “Thank You!” goes out to April Kyle Nassi (@thisisnotapril) for working closely with Peter and I and guiding us through the process.

My advice to you, if you are considering starting a Developer User Group (DUG), go ahead and give it a shot! Read this article. I bet you would be surprised how many people in the area would be interested. Salesforce is also very enthusiastic and more than willing to help you out along the way!

Meetup Details

If you are in the Lehigh Valley, please consider coming to our inaugural meeting on Thursday April 3rd, 2014, An Introduction to the Analytics API in Apex by Peter Knolle. Each meeting will consist of some networking time, a great technical session, some Q&A time, and then some more networking. We will be running meetings on a monthly basis with our goal to be to have a meetup on the first Thursday of every month so be on the look out for more! Join the meetup, follow us on Twitter (@LVSFDCDUG, @JesseAltman, or @PeterKnolle), or subscribe to us on Youtube for updates! We look forward to seeing you there!

Important Note: It is important to remember that this is my personal opinion. As with any opinion, it may or may not reflect the opinion of any organization I am associated with.

2 Responses to “My Experience Starting a Developer User Group (LVSFDCDUG)”

  1. March 10, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Very nice article, Jesse! If anyone in the general area of the LVSFDCDUG wants to present please contact myself or Jesse.


  1. Peter Knolle | Salesforce Developer User Group Meetup - April 7, 2014

    […] We recently had our first meetup of the The Lehigh Valley Salesforce Developer User Group.  Jesse Altman and I had been thinking about forming a DUG in the Lehigh Valley for a while and finally we reached out to April Nassi (thanks April!) about getting one started.  Jesse detailed the experience of starting the group in his post My Experience Starting a Developer User Group. […]

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