Setting Up Letterkenny DotNet Azure User Group in Donegal

Introduction to Letterkenny:

Letterkenny is the largest and most populous town in County Donegal, Ireland. It lies on the River Swilly in east Donegal. Along with the nearby city of Derry, Letterkenny is considered a regional economic gateway.

It is the center of business and commercial activity in Northwest Ireland.

Letterkenny is a mere hour’s drive from the nearest airport.

It is a two and half hour drive from Belfast and just three and half hours from Dublin.

  • The Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) is a growing, progressive third level educational establishment with a matriculation of 3,000 students. LYIT provides a source for high academic achievement and practical, market-oriented courses.  LYIT is renowned as a center of innovation in the region, engaged in pioneering projects that deliver tangible results.
  • World-renowned companies like ZEUS, OptiBelt, SITA, Optum & Pramerica (of Prudential Inc) has established Technology Service & Engineering Centers here with insight with the wake of growing presence of foreign business-friendly support from IDA, Republic of Ireland.
  • IDA Ireland is the agency responsible for the attraction and development of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ireland. The agency was founded in 1949 as the Industrial Development Authority and placed on a statutory footing a year later. Throughout the 1950s, the IDA established its vision of ‘industrialisation by invitation’, a vision which initiated the low corporation-tax system that remains in place in Ireland today.

According to an article in a U.S. law journal in 1984, the IDA is ‘probably the most powerful governmental agency in Ireland’, as it ‘acts as both coordinator and lobbyist for all matters relating to manufacturing and service industries as well as the industrial infrastructure. In recent years, many countries and regions have created industrial development authorities modeled on IDA Ireland to encourage FDI and economic growth. [REF: Wikipedia]

The User Group Cause:

In personal or business computing, a user group is a set of people who have similar interests, goals, or concerns. The members have regular meetings where they can share their ideas. My intent is to bring together all Microsoft Technology enthusiasts together, discuss and share, and become a larger community.

A few weeks ago, an idea was born it was to create a LK-MUG(DotNet Azure User Group) for Letterkenny, which today has transformed as Letterkenny Microsoft User Group aka LK-MUG.

Although thought was to start it as .NET User Group, we felt that various Microsoft and Open technologies function so well in concert with each other and we decided to call it as Letterkenny Microsoft User Group initially.

LK-MUG is planned to be operated by a core group that consists of Local Community Stars and Technology Enthusiasts with help of Microsoft MVP’s. Microsoft and other sponsors can often help us in conducting our activities that include user group meetings, developer conferences, annual events.

As a proactive initiative all the sites and groups sorted out and created, it is for the community by the community :

 User Group URLs:

Next Agenda: Address certain challenges to full fill this idea a success:

  1. Get More members: the First challenge I have today is pulling more people towards the need of this user group. Letterkenny itself has a very large group of Technology Enthusiasts, students, and technology companies that promote evangelism. LYIT is the Technology University within this area, that can provide lots of value-add to a group like this. Companies like Pramerica, Optum, and SITA have a good amount of employees working on Microsoft related technologies, and many technology experts among them who can be the future core members and presenters.
  2. Form a Core Group of like-minded people who can be the key to the continued success of this group. For this we need people come forward by joining meetup or through email to “[email protected]”.
  3. Get Sponsors: There are some operational costs associated in terms of conducting events and arranging event venue etc. Event Sponsoring support from Microsoft and other local partners is really essential.
  4. Get Support from MVPs: Support from MVP Community within Republic of Ireland, UK, Northern Ireland, and European Union, as they are the key to define success factor for any user group events.
  5. Events, Events & More Events: Setting up core-member meetings, regular events, and sponsored events such as Global Azure Bootcamp, Developer Bootcamp, IoT Bootcamp etc in Letterkenny to bring up more empowerment in the Developer and IT PRO community. Presently, LK-MUG’s user group meetings can be planned to held once every month, you need to be an LK-MUG member to attend these meetings.

Finally, Looking forward to more support from Technology Enthusiasts within Letterkenny to make it a success. All interested please join the meetup and Facebook groups.

If you would like to support/volunteer on this initiative please message me, join meetup.

We could meet and plan our first event.

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