Thoughts on INETA Shutting Down At the End of 2015

INETA is shutting down at the end of this year. I’ve only been involved in INETA a bit. I was invited to join in one of their meetings of group leaders in Orlando way back in 2005? 2007? Good meeting as I remember it.  They gave us time to talk to each other and it was really interesting to hear what other groups were doing. I could – and perhaps will at some point – speculate on why they are closing, but I defer for now. I hope someone in that org will write up lessons learned and publish them. I know I wish there had been more crossover between PASS and INETA. Maybe it would have mattered, maybe not, but have to think transferring ideas and lessons might have enhanced both.

Does it impact the .Net world? My guess is not a lot, and that’s good and bad.

It’s interesting to think on why/how PASS has succeeded in what is a very tough niche to get right. A big, big part of it is having a successful fundraiser (the Summit). A not small part of it is having SQLRally, SQLSaturday and 24HOP as ways to interact with groups and their members. A not small part is that the PASS members were willing to allow something like SQLSaturday to have a centralized model (and of course it was there on day 1, where Code Camp grew up a bit differently). Plus full time staff, a lot of volunteers, and no small amount of luck to survive a postponed Summit due to 9/11, a hurricane, and the depression of 2008-2009. PASS also has a sizeable mailing list due to the way the events and the groups fold under the umbrella, giving it the ability to reach out directly and not via proxy.

I don’t think PASS can or should save INETA. It failed due to lack of funding. If there is a need and a desire, there are plenty of leaders in the .Net world that could launch something new (and if they do, PASS should offer to help). I hope something does replace it, any good craft needs and deserves an org that does things for the good of the profession.

Their blog post mentions 700+ groups and 700+ speakers. I would guess we have more than that number of speakers in PASS, but no where near the number of groups (200-250 is our count I think). That is worth an email to INETA. Let’s talk to those groups that are in cities that don’t have a PASS chapter. Maybe they know someone who will start a PASS Chapter. Maybe we can help out here and there. Even the speakers, can we get that list, or at least an email sent to them? Invite them to submit to our events. Not all will cross over, but some might.