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Web 2.0: Article

Getting Knowledge Through Shared Experiences

It just could work to everyone's advantage

PBDJ Blog on Ulitzer

Many years ago I was one of the first developers in EMEA to get to grips with a new RAD Client/Server tool called PowerBuilder, just after V1.0. By the way PowerBuilder is now on V11.5 and still going strong.

PowerBuilder itself, as well as the client/server windows development paradigm, was a revelation as well as a big learning curve. What made it more manageable, along with a great education program, was that around the globe like minded PowerBuilder newbies were forming user groups, through the help of PowerSoft. I was lucky enough to be one of the early members of the PBUG (PowerBuilder User Group) in the UK and it made a lasting impression on me. An impression that had collaboration as its cornerstone and one that would surface again this year...

Collaboration - Getting knowledge through shared experiences & learning key niche areas through collaborative groups.

CollaborationA year ago I decided that, in my own spare time, I wanted to get to grips with developing for the 'hottest' Mobile Device around... the Apple iPhone. Immediately my mind was drawn towards the great memories of the PBUG and the fantastic wealth of knowledge that it became, in addition to official education/training. At the same time I was looking into social media & networking by revisiting LinkedIn, that I have been using for many years. To my surprise LinkedIn had just introduced its 'Groups' feature and this was the answer to my first few thoughts...

  1. How do I find out if there are like-minded professionals?
  2. How do I find a community with discussions etc?
  3. How do I join a community, so I could share my experiences and learn by shared experiences?
  4. How do I make like-minded professional acquaintances and build relationships?

Check out my thoughts on training etc here and mobile developer skills here both mention my belief that User Groups etc are a key area for knowledge & experience.

There are many such groups on LinkedIn, such as

  • iPhone Developers
  • Enterprise iPhone
  • Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP)
  • Mobile Architects
  • Sybase DBA
  • ISUG Members
  • Wireless Developers
  • etc...

As we come to the end of 2009, think about making a New-Years resolution to search out, join, or even to create your own collaborative group... maybe even one that is regional and possibly transcend from virtual to face-to-face?

It just could work to everyone's advantage.

More Stories By Ian Thain

As one of the Sybase Technical Evangelists, Ian regularly addresses technical audiences all over the world and his sessions are always very well attended. He also writes education classes, whitepapers, demos and articles for various Sybase products and publishes regularly in Journals such as SYS-CON's PBDJ and International Developer Magazine. He is also the Sybase Unwired Platform & PocketBuilder Evangelist and works closely with the team in Dublin, CA and Concord, MA on new features and demonstrations for the products. In his customer-facing Evangelist role, Ian is very involved with the design, production and testing of Enterprise class Unwired Solutions, that have been implemented using Sybase's Unwired tools for Sybase customers around the globe. In addition, Ian is a dedicated technical expert continually working with Sybase's key partners and clients to enhance the capabilities of the Unwired solutions that Sybase can offer to its customers. Ian can also be found on Twitter @ithain