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Another month and another highly successful DC ALT.NET meeting.  I want to thank Kevin Hegg for hosting the event as he was a very gracious host.  We had a better than expected turnout which was very cool.  It's good to associate names to faces after chatting, emailing and whatnot.  I also want to thank Phil McMillan for stepping up to the plate at the last moment to backfill for the lack of the scheduled speaker.  It's even more refreshing to not have any Death By PowerPoint (DBPPT) (TM).  I appreciate Phil's talk even more due to the fact that he had a laptop meltdown the night before, so we talked about concepts and implementations without showing any real code.

What Did We Talk About?

Our format that we follow is that we have one hour for our scheduled topic and the rest is Open Spaces.  Bring a topic and talk about it.  So, for the first hour, Phil led the discussion around interception facilities in Castle Windsor in regards to handling a Unit of Work pattern for a custom written WPF application.  There is a lot of headache that comes with undo logic in WPF controls, so using interception and the unit of work pattern can get around this, although not the cleanest code written to man.  Also, we talked about the headaches of registration inside IoC containers whether it be in code or in XML.  We talked about Binsor and whether that was an answer to the registration headaches caused by massive XML config files.  Craig Andera just loves bringing up Lisp and Lisp macros as they solve all programming problems ever invented by man. 

The second hour was an open spaces discussion where we had pretty lively debate about:
  • Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) and its uses and extensibility model
  • Design by Contract
  • Functional Programming with Lisp/Scheme, Functional Javascript, Erlang, and F# and the value proposition it has
  • Finding the right developer for your organization
  • TDD/Test First Development
  • ALT.NET Open Spaces, Seattle topics
How We're Different

Like I said before, we tend to be different than most user groups in the Washington DC area due to the fact that we're an Open Spaces event, for at least half of it.  We don't really do PowerPoint presentations, instead a more intimate environment where everyone participates.  I don't think anyone stayed silent during the meeting.  Instead of being lectured to, you're part of the conversation.  We want passionate developers to attend, those who are looking for a better way.  It's even effective when not looking at code, nor slides for any given product.  I feel we can augment any discussion from any user group in the DC area, and not here to compete, instead compliment them with a more intimate and passionate discussion.

Where We Go From Here

After the March meeting, we're looking to hold the next meeting the week after ALT.NET Open Spaces, Seattle.  That should bring some lively discussion and wrapup from the event.  We also look forward to having Jay Flowers make it to the event to discuss Continuous Integration and CI Factory.  Stay tuned for details on our next meeting.  April is going to be a busy month for at least me with the CMAP Code Camp on April 12th, speaking at RockNUG and ALT.NET Open Spaces, Seattle as well as our own DC ALT.NET Meeting.

Wrapping It Up

If you're interested in a better way, to discuss .NET or related topics and you're in the ALT.NET mindset, then come and join the conversation.  We're always looking for passionate individuals to come and join and be a part.  Join our mailing list and find out more here.

kick it on DotNetKicks.com Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2008 12:59 PM User Groups , ALT.NET | Back to top


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