Last night we had the very first meeting of the Perth ALT.NET user group. There were just over 15 people there (I didn't actually count but that's the number that people gave me) and quite a few that messaged me to say they couldn't come but they're keen for the next one.
I had planned 2 basic sessions but the amount of conversation around what ALT.NET is and what we want to do was enough to keep us going to last call. I find that very encouraging.
To start with we ran quickly through what it is to be ALT.NET after which everyone agreed that it was a noble goal to aspire to. Here is a link to the original article that coined the phrase if you are interested: http://laribee.com/blog/2007/04/10/altnet/
We then went on a rambling conversation about a whole bunch of topics including:
- Being aware of the total cost of ownership for software and ensuring that our clients and our employers are educated about this
- Reducing the amount of friction that we get from our toolset (making tools work the way we do not vice versa) and understanding that our clients should be allowed to expect the same
- Being passionate and delivering technical excellence and balancing those against pragmatism and providing customer value (The most architecturally perfect framework solves nothing if it doesn't help you client improve their process)
- Our responsibility as a community to influence our peers and our vendors. We cannot sit back and just nod when someone else is making sense. Raise your voice and be heard
It was a very "Spiderman" conversation. With great power comes great responsibility. If you were there and I missed anything important drop a comment on this post and I'll update it.
We also talked about a number of different session types for future sessions including:
- Classroom-style presentation
- Structured Discussion
- We all vote on the night (Open Spaces like)
- Coding Dojo (RandoriKata)
- Lots of quick sessions (Lightning Talks)
- Formal Debates
Thanks to MS-Press Australia I was able to give away a door-prize. A copy of CLR via C# by Jeffrey Richter went to Mitch Wheat. Apologies for those that had to leave early. In future I need to figure out when and how to draw door prizes.
I did have a whole heap of news-like stuff that I had found interesting recently but I never got around to telling anyone about any of it so I'll put it all in it's own post. If you have any news that you think may be of interest to the rest of the group, let me know and I'll add it to the agenda for next time.
Speaking of next time, I have booked the 43 Below function room from 5:30pm on the 11th March. A lot of people seemed very enthusiastic about voting for topics on the night so I think we'll do that. If you have a particular theme that you'd like to talk about please let me know.
Thanks again to everyone that came along and I hope to see you next time.