Community Leaders Unconference
By Mike Irving - Published: 22/1/2020

Last week was a really busy one. Not only did we host our first Dot Net North meetup of 2020, on the Tuesday, but we'd been invited down to London to represent the group at Microsoft Ignite - The Tour, at the ExCeL International Conference Centre on Thursday 16th, Friday 17th.

We weren't just there to mooch around either. We'd been asked to run a Community Popup area on the Thursday afternoon, alongside our friends from London .Net.

In addition, we'd be taking part in a Park Bench Session with UK .NET Community Leaders, in a Theatre in the main event hub.

The session featured representatives from many .Net Groups, from London, Milton Keynes, South East England, South West England, Birmingham, and Manchester of course.

We took it in turn to take the stage to answer questions fielded by members of the audience, as topics arose that adhered to our collective expertise.

I was happy to answer some questions on the future of Xamarin and C# for Mobile Apps.

There was also a collective acknowledgement that we need to do more to encourage diversity, attracting more women, ethnic minorities and young people to a tech community that is deeply rooted in the past.

The session was very well received, and on the Friday we got to look around the Ignite Tour event at our leisure, which I also deeply enjoyed.

It was a whirlwind couple of days, but I'm very proud to have been a part of it, and would definitely do it again.

Meeting fellow organisers from the other regional communities was great too, and a good opportunity to arrange speaking slots at each others events further down the line.

We've also come away with a long list of actions to go through, from the points raised and through talking to attendees, not least the issues we face around embracing diversity.

Thank you to Microsoft for inviting us to be a part of this unique event.

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