Bah! I sit down to summarize today's sessions and instead I'm staring, one eyebrow raised, at a pissing contest in the form of a string of posts slamming alt.net and others defending it. I'll let you Google the details partly because I don't want to call out anyone individually but mostly because I don't want to give anyone the press on it. Because this issue doesn't deserve any*. Some of these posts were so inane, I had to add the authors to my blogroll so that I could have the satisfaction of removing them.
All I want to do is write decent software. That's why I came. To meet people who have been espousing techniques I've been trying to learn for the last few months and pick their brains. I liked some of what I heard and didn't like other stuff. Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but can't we just stop bitching and assume people are smart enough to figure out for themselves who they want to read and how they should build software? I get enough of the "Janie said I was stupid" attitude from my eight-year-old.
That's enough of that &*%$. Here's what I did today:
How to get the word to the street
This was essentially a talk on how to promote some of the techniques that lead to good software design. How do you encourage other developers and managers that there is value in TDD or DDD, for example? (I.E.: "how to force other people to do what I do" **). There was an emphasis on how Microsoft and MSDN Magazine could play a role in this and the two main representatives in this area, Howard Dierking and Simon Guest were very receptive. There was very much a "we know some good alternatives, how do we let other people in on it?" vibe.
Didn't realize this would be on DSLs but I guess I should have. It started slow with people harping on what I felt were irrelevant topics but Scott bludgeoned people back on to the right track.
We all said a few words (some more than others) about what we got out of the conference. Then we held hands, sang Kum-Bah-Ya, and prepared for ascension to the heavens to meet our alien ancestors***.
The name of the group was debated to the bitter end and since you all asked, here's my opinion: I don't care. Consider the following and what relationship they have with what they are associated with: Sun, Java, Amazon, Civic, Oracle. The underlying meaning of the words behind the name will take a backseat to what the group actually accomplishes so don't dwell on it.
Final thoughts: I had a blast. Yes, there was some clique-ishness, if, by clique-ish, you mean people recognized old friends and treated them as such. I never once felt excluded from any conversation or discussion and never once felt like I was being talked down to (and keep in mind, I can pinpoint to the day when I started learning this and it wasn't that long ago). The closest I came was when I interrupted Scott Hanselman while he was distracted with a connectivity issue and even then, he kept encouraging me to stick around and chat. Seriously, these are some crazy-friendly people.
Now can I please go back to building software?
Kyle the Parental
* Yes, I'm being hypocritical. The Hillbilly works in mysterious ways.
** I'm kidding, get your mouse away from the Comments link.
*** I'm kidding again. Geez, did they remove your sense of humour with your appendix?