Great Start to Alt.NET Melbourne

First of all a big thanks once again to Oakton for hosting the evening and providing such a great venue as well as the pizza and beer.

The turnout was really great with about 30 people attending. And the feedback so far has been fantastically positive. There was plenty of input from people and some great ideas.

Nick Josevski even managed to post up a great review of the night on his blog even before I had managed to get home. Very keen Nick!

The general theme running through all the discussions relating to the proposed topics, was that people really wanted to get as hands on as much as possible. So whether that be through Coding Dojo evenings, Hands-On-Lab style sessions and even one great suggestion of Coding Archaeology evenings, where as a group we pick an open source project and deep dive into the code just to see how it works. So I think where possible we will try to get a practical focus to as many of the meetups as possible.

The evening was also fairly productive in terms of coming to some agreement of what we will be doing over the next few months:

May : TDD
June: Domain Specific Languages
July: Coding Dojo

More details of these sessions will follow closer to the dates. There will also be a poll set up shortly which will allow people to vote on a list of other topics and ideas which were discussed during the evening to help us prioritise what to run with over the coming months.

To keep up to date with the latest announcements follow #altnetmelb or me @abienert on Twitter, or just simply subscribe to this blog.

Thanks everyone for coming along and contributing your ideas, and I look forward to seeing you all there again in May.

April Meeting - Agenda

With only a week to go until the first Melbourne Alt.NET we now have an agenda outline for the meeting.

6:00 pm - Introductions.
6:15 pm - Overview of Alt.NET. What's it all about?
6:30 pm - Discussion of future topics to be presented and meeting formats. What do you want from it?
7:00 pm - Break and refreshments.
7:15 pm - Open discussion on software development and building better software.
8:00 pm - Finish.

This is really all about setting the scene and agenda for future meetings and contributing to the broader discussion of software development, while keeping a .NET perspective. So bring along your ideas to add to the discussion.

If you haven't already please click on the voting panel to indicate if you will be attending so we can get a good idea of numbers for catering and room configuration purposes.

It would be great to hear any feedback or thoughts you might have. Tweet me @abienert or leave a comment here if there is anything you'd like to add. 

I look forward to seeing you there and please continue to tell others that Melbourne Alt.NET is starting.

Edit: Due to building security considerations it would be advisable people endeavor to arrive prior to 6:00pm. After this time there is no access to the main entrance without a security pass. In the event that you arrive after 6:00pm there will be a sign posted somewhere near the front entrance with a contact number to call/text to let you in.

Melbourne Alt.NET has a time and place

I am pleased to be able to announce a time and place for the first Melbourne Alt.NET user group meeting.

We have been fortunate enough to be offered a venue to hold our meetings in the city offices of Oakton. This is a fantastic offer and a big thanks to Oakton for their generosity and support to allow us to use their premises.

The details are:
Venue: Oakton, Level 8, 271 Collins Street. Melbourne.
Date: Last Wednesday of the month.  (first meeting to be held Wednesday 28th of April)
Time: 6pm - 8pm

The board room can accommodate over 40 people and will also have a data projector available for presentations. In addition to this Oakton has very kindly offered to supply refreshments (pizza and beer).

I have also created a new poll to indicate if you will be attending the meeting on the 28th of April as we will need to know numbers.

Update and Meeting Ideas for Melbourne Alt.NET

This is just a quick update to let everyone know that I have been discussing the use of a venue today with a corporate sponsor who is city based. We have discussed holding the first meeting at the end of this month and I hope to have the details sorted out in the next few days.

In the mean time I've compiled a quick, and by no mean exhaustive, list of some topic ideas for discussions and presentations. This is just a bunch of stuff to throw on the table to get discussions going for now. Please feel free to contribute so we can start getting an idea of what we all want from this.

  • C# 4
  • VB.Net
  • Java
  • Ruby
  • Python
  • F#
  • Boo
  • General discussions of Dynamic Languages and Domain Specific Languages
General Framework and Platform stuff
  • .NET 4
  • CLR
  • NHibernate
  • MEF
Testing Frameworks and Tools
  • xUnit
  • NUnit
  • MS Test
  • Rhino Mocks
  • Moq
Dependency Injection/IoC
  • Unity
  • Autofac
  • Structure Map
Agile Methodologies and Practices
  • TDD and BDD (and any other xDD for that matter)
  • Pair Programming
  • Extreme Programming
  • Scrum
  • Continuous Integration
Version Control
  • TFS
  • Subversion
  • Git
  • Mercurial
Design Patterns
  • MVVM
  • MVC
  • DI and IoC
  • Service Locator
  • Open discussions of design patterns du jour. Opinions and experiences - perhaps not for the first meeting :)
A few other random ideas:
  • Parallel computing
  • DirectCompute
  • Refactoring
  • "The Cloud"
  • LINQ
  • Coding Dojos and Coding Katas
That should do it for now. Please put forward your ideas and don't forget to keep spreading the word.

Welcome to the Melbourne Alt.NET group

Welcome. This is intended to be the home of the Alt.NET group for Melbourne. While Brisbane, Perth and Sydney have all had groups for some time now, Melbourne has gone without. So finally we will attempt to get Melbourne Alt.NET up and running.

So what is Alt.NET all about? The following is from the global Alt.NET site:
  • The type of developer who uses what works while keeping an eye out for a better way.
  • You reach outside the mainstream to adopt the best of any community: Open Source, Agile, Java, Ruby, etc.
  • You’re not content with the status quo. Things can always be better expressed, more elegant and simple, more mutable, higher quality, etc.
  • You know tools are great, but they only take you so far. It’s the principles and knowledge that really matter. The best tools are those that embed the knowledge and encourage the principles 
We are a group of people who are passionate about improving the way we develop software. We recognise there is no single solution, but instead there are multitudes of alternatives that can be applied to different situations. Our community is a place for sharing these alternatives, so that together we can learn, teach, and encourage new ideas.

Generally I foresee the group running much like the other Australian groups, with particular themes, topics and various presenters. This would involve monthly evening meetings, at a time and venue to be decided. For anyone interested in attending and making this happen in Melbourne, please just indicate your interest using the poll provided.

If you have any ideas or suggestions I'd love to hear from you. Just leave a comment here or find me (Andrew Bienert) at Twitter. As things progress I will post further details, so just subscribe to keep up to date.