For some time now I have an idea to start up a Java User Group (JUG) in my hometown. It is still on a level of idea but I’ve started to talk about it with some of the colleagues from local development community. Let’s see. Maybe it will happen some time soon. During my research on the internet, to see how other guys are doing it, I’ve encountered to a virtual Java user group (vJUG or virtualJUG, http://virtualjug.com), which has a global, worldwide level. I was keen to join and become a part of such a community. On top of that, I was very positively surprised when I saw what presentations are held and the speakers who presented them. James Gosling (creator of Java), Simon Ritter (since recently the head Java Evangelist at Oracle), Dr. Venkat Subramaniam (award-winning author, founder of Agile Developer, Inc., an instructional professor at the University of Houston), Matt Raible (technology evangelist, founder of AppFuse)… to name a few. A lot of quality stuff there. It’s like an online Java conference all year long. And for free.
The aim for vJUG is:
- Get technical leaders from around the world to present to the vJUG members (without travel cost concerns!).
- Work with local JUGs to provide worldwide content to their members and help JUGs present to a worldwide audience.
- Provide content to devs without access to a local JUG.
- Be a hub that will stream content from other JUG sessions live.
It is independently organized and driven by community. Currently, as of January 2016, there is more than 5000 members. You can easily join at meetup.com page: http://www.meetup.com/virtualJUG/. If you do not have Meetup.com account, it’s easy to create one or you can just sign in with your Facebook or Google account.
It is sponsored by ZeroTurnaround. Those are the guys who created jRebel. So it could happen that you get contacted by their sales team after you register for this vJUG meetup. But, they are not pushy and, if you are not interested into their products, you can just tell them and they will not further contact you.
The best introduction to this vJUG you can get from a short video by Simon Maple:
All the sessions you can watch live and participate by sending questions, but you can also watch a recorded session. All the previous session recordings you can find at youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/virtualJUG
You can follow them on tweeter: @virtualJUG