What is IMAUG?
IMAUG is the Iowa Microsoft Azure User Group. As some of you may or may not have noticed if you follow me on LinkedIn or my blog, I have links to join IMAUG everywhere. You might have questions about what is it, what should I expect to get out of it, and why was it formed. Everyone has different personal goals for this group, but I want to share my goals for the group and how I teamed up with Derrick Sharpe to help revive the group.
IMAUG started on Meetup.com in 2017 by Kent Altena. After a bit the group stopped meeting. I was not involved with the group at that time and don’t have much background on the history of it outside of the past meetings posted on Meetup.com.
How I got involved?
The first time this group entered my radar was back in 2019. I was starting at a new client working for Source Allies who was working in Azure. I had prior cloud experience in AWS, but Azure was new to me. One day I was talking to a co-worker about how I’m trying to get up to speed quickly on Azure. They mentioned they heard of an Azure user group in town, but didn’t keep track of it. I found the group on MeetUp, but they hadn’t been active for a while. That started the seed of wishing a group existed where I could discuss topics with others in the area to aid in my learning of this new technology.
After a year or so in Azure I felt like I had a solid footing and just happened to attend a .Net @Noon user group presented by Derrick Sharpe (another great user group in DSM if you haven’t checked them out) and he made the announcement he was looking for someone to help him bring back IMAUG. After that meeting I sent him an email and we started making plans for bringing back the group. In a pandemic I might add.
Derrick and I had a few conversations about our vision for the group. Both of our goals were to grow the Azure community in Des Moines and connect people in different companies to talk about all of the cool things we were building. We both hoped this group could be a place people could support each other with questions, discuss new features, and show all of the cool stuff going on in Des Moines.
The group today is a community for people to learn about new things in Azure. It is also an avenue for people to talk about the cool things they are doing! We are currently meeting every other week, and are virtual for the time being. We are setting up some sponsors to sponsor giveaways, and are hoping to host hybrid meetings in the future. We are making plans for future meetings and planning long term.
What is the future/what is success?
I think in any project or endeavor is discussing what success looks like and planning for the future. For our group, when we started we had a goal of one meeting per month and wanted to get people to show up to them. We set our goal to something we thought was achievable. Once that goal came and went we were a tad more ambitious. Now our current goal is to form a non-profit and become a go to place for anyone in Iowa trying to learn more about Azure! We are also trying to attempt to build a community on our slack channel! We will keep working until we complete that, but until then check us out on MeetUp