I wrote up a list of tech groups I’m following for a colleague and thought it might be worth sharing.
The local ‘nix groups are CUUG (Calgary Unix Users Group, www.cuug.ab.ca) and Calgary LUG (Linux Users Group, http://clug.ca/). CUUG tends to focus more on server-side topics such as networking and security, whereas CLUG (at least from meeting topics and mailing list conversation) tends to focus more on distros, desktop apps and device interconnectivity.
CAMUG (Calgary Agile Method’s Users Group, www.calgaryagile.com). They cover a broad spectrum of software topics in their meetings and workshops, with a small-a-agile hook (e.g. developing software in an agile way using Git and GitHub, developing software in an agile way using Ruby…). CAMUG can draw 50-100 people for a popular topic, and their session last night on Appsec with Jim Bird was great!
The ASQ (American Society of Quality). The Calgary chapter (http://www.asqcalgary.org/ee/) seems mostly interested in manufacturing quality systems (i.e. enterprise stuff) and meets at night monthly in the NE. The topics have been hit and miss for my interests, but they’ve had excellent topics/speakers when I’ve attended.
The SQDG (Software Quality Discussion Group, http://www.sqdg.ca/) meets monthly downtown during lunch, and focuses on software testing practices. They’ve had some good topics, but I haven’t been to a session in over a year now. Again, the topics are hit and miss for my interests but the ones I’ve attended have been excellent with good networking opportunities.
Calgary Protospace (http://protospace.ca/) seem most interested in low-level hardware and firmware hacking, but the system drive failed in a NAS array a few years ago and all the family photos were temporarily unavailable (my wife said I lost them). A unix networking specialist I met through protospace helped me reconstruct the array and save my marriage.
Mobile Mondays (https://twitter.com/momoyyc) host a mobile-related hackathon the first Monday night of every month.
Startup Calgary (http://startupcalgary.ca/) is a government/industry coalition I like to follow not only for their own events, but also because they aggregate what everyone else is doing into a nice regular email they send me.
Calgary democamp (http://democampcalgary.com/) organize DemoCamps periodically for tech entrepreneurs to demo shiny new apps that will change the world <wink>. I’ve only been to one, but it was a packed house and very interesting set of presentations.
There are also a number of Calgary-area tech MeetUp groups, such as the Calgary WordPress MeetUp Group, the Calgary PHP AND NOT PHP Meetup Group, Pixels and Pints, PyYYC (Python) and more. Do some poking around for your interests, and contribute to the success of a community.