MeSDA and TechMaine

Maine Software Developers Association (MeSDA) TechMaine: the Technology Association of Maine

I am the founding president (1992-93) of the Maine Software Developers Association (MeSDA), and was president until May 1998. MeSDA succeeded in getting the State of Maine to recognize software as a targeted industry sector, and in getting the state to repeal the sales tax on programming and IT consulting. I stepped down from the Presidency in May 1998 as MeSDA had grown to the point where it could afford to hire a full-time executive director. MeSDA has grown to over 250 members, represents the fastest growing sector of the Maine economy, and is one of the state’s most successful trade organizations. In 2007, the 15th year of its existence, MeSDA became TechMaine, the trade organization for all high-tech companies in Maine.

MeSDA’s Timeline

1992    MeSDA founded as the Maine Software Developers Association

1993    MeSDA introduces statewide quarterly workshops

1996    Successfully eliminated the sales tax on custom technology development through efforts with the State Legislature

1997    Launched first technology-oriented Job Fair

1998    Monthly NETpm social networking events are initiated

1999    MeSDA creates the code:ME program – a free award winning technology assistance program for all Maine companies and a business referral tool for members

1999    Worked extensively with the State Legislature to create the Maine Technology Institute and testified to enable all emerging technology organizations, especially software and IT companies, to compete for Maine Technology Institute grants

1999    MeSDA membership exceeds the 100-company mark

2000    The organization’s mission grows and the name is changed from the acronym “MeSDA – Maine Software Developers Association” to “MESDA” – Maine’s Software and Information Technology Industry Association

2000    The online Maine Software and IT Industry Directory becomes searchable

2000    MESDA publishes Maine’s first reports on the state of the Software and IT Industry

2000    Partnered with the University System and testified before the State Legislature in support of the University of Maine’s plan to offer a PhD in Computer Science

2001    Users Groups for Java, .NET, InfoSecurity, Linux, and Webmasters commence

2001    MESDA membership exceeds the 200-company mark

2001    MESDA re-launches its Website to add new content and functionality. MESDA’s Web presence exceeds 55,000 page views per month (currently exceeding 150,000 page views per month)

2002    MESDA introduces its online Technology Job Board

2002    MESDA develops the annual Geeks in Black celebration, Maine’s first formal technology awards program

2002    MESDA celebrates a decade of achievement with its 10th Annual Conference

2003    MESDA membership exceeds the 250-company mark

2003    MESDA’s code:ME program surpasses $1,000,000 worth of annual business leads

2004    Users Groups for Program Management, and CRM commence

2004    MESDA monthly Website traffic breaks 1,000,000 hits for the first time

2005    MESDA moves into the MESDA Technology Center

2005    MESDA hires support staff to expand educational programming and industry support efforts

2005   Proposed the development of a Software Testing and Usability Design Center

2006   Led efforts to block the imposition of sales taxes on information services and managed contracts. Prevented efforts that would have placed Maine’s skilled Techforce and employers at a competitive disadvantage vs. all other states

2006   Introduced the concept for creation of a $100 Million Dollar Venture Fund for Maine technology businesses

2007   Added our 10th Users Group to our Communities of Practice programming

2007   Celebrated our 15th Anniversary and changed name to TechMaine: the Technology Association of Maine

2008   Our new mission: TechMaine supports its members by serving as the leading resource and advocate for Maine technology-reliant companies, bringing together technology, community, and education to enhance career opportunities, increase workforce development, and support rich economic growth in the state of Maine.

2008   Reposition codeME as TechConnect to highlight the availability of technology solutions for Maine businesses and bring more revenue to our members

2008   Launched a new more interactive Website featuring an Entrepreneur Handbook

2009   Conducted a Maine Information Technology Skills Census

2009   Assisted in the development of Maine’s five year Science and Technology Action Plan

2009   Added detailed Salary Information for members to the Technology Career Portal

TechMaine is a Board Member of the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), and is affiliated with the Technology Association of America and the Software & Information Industry Association. More information is available at http://www.techmaine.com/ or http://www.mesda.com. Recently, TechMaine has run into financial problems and has now suspended operation.