I recently started thinking (mind it, just thinking) to start new PHP user group in Pune. Why? Isn’t there any PHP user group in Pune? Actually there are three.

First one is inactive since last 2-3 years so lets not count it.

Second and third are relatively new and active, but I PERSONALLY feel they are going in wrong direction. Please note this is my personal thinking and I might be wrong. Since I agree I might be wrong, lets not go into details. However I’ve a basic idea of what a PHP user group must do. I’m just writing my idea, please correct me if I’m wrong.

  1. First and most important, user group is a community and a community do not belong to anyone particular. One could be organizer, lead contributor but one can not be owner of a community. If there is a owner, I personally feel difficult to call that group as community. For me, its a private limited company.
    So if you are organized and lead contributor of a community, don’t ever try to force your decision. Listen to everyone in the community. They might be wrong but if they are wrong, explain them why they are wrong. At the same time, you might also be wrong or no one can be wrong. Key point is, in a community, listen to every one, have healthy discussion and take joint decision.
  2. An important responsibility of community, ‘A community must take care of its new members.’ By new members, I do not mean new members to user group but I mean students learning programming and professional developers who recently started working (less then 2 yrs exp.). A community will grow old and die if we don’t take care of new members.
  3. Now most important responsibility of technical user group: Share knowledge. In technical world, technologies changes rapidly. One individual can not be master in all technologies. So these knowledge shearing sessions, targeted for experienced developers, are main goal of a community. This also allow us to build relations. As senior technical person, you are not expected to have solution of each and every technical problem but at least have knowledge who can help to find correct solution to new technical challenge. Being a part of community, you get that knowledge.

We can add multiple low level goals but above three are most important high level goals of a community/user group. If they are missing, sorry I personally feel it difficult to call your group as community. Please correct me if my idea of technical user group is wrong. I’m very much open for healthy discussion.