OpenSpaceCode and AltnetUK weekend

I had one of my best weekends so far, a weekend with wonderful .net developers. On Saturday, there was Openspace Coding Day and on Sunday
Alt.Net UK Conference. Grateful for EMC Cohango for hosting and Thoughtworks for Sunday lunch.

As open space coding day is supposed to be an unconference, there was no keynote speaker, no PowerPoint, and people were expected to offer a subject that is in their interest zone, without being an expert on it. The fundamental rules are:
– Whoever shows up is the right group
– Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
– Whenever it starts is the right time
– When it’s over, it’s over.

My choices were for IoC with MVC 2.0 for morning session, and MVC 2.0 with Spark for the afternoon session.

For IoC session, Autofac was the main subject to be discussed in the session, and discussed the benefit of IoC and why should we use?
After two hours, we could not find the reason that every project should use an IoC tool, i.e. Autofac, WindsorCastle, or Spring, or Unity; however we end up with lots of learning:
— As you apply the fundamental philosophy behind the loosely coupled components, you may not need a tool to take care of it.
— IoC and Dependency Injection are not the same thing.
— Once you register your container [at the start up of project], you don’t have register again.
— There are nice open source projects, i.e. an ecommerce project suteki you can check if you want to look at.
— There is a nice open source tool for easy installation of an open source project, hornget that I will try asap [after lots of praise].

MVC 2.0 and Spark session benefited from Jeremy’s inputs, and we followed ScottGu’s MVC 2.0 article and then spark was the popular view engine.

On AltnetUK day, I had “Software as Art” which forces me write another blog on that. The main discussion was around what makes it different software engineering process from an engineering process and art… My concern is I can’t see the design part, since if we are going to create artisan table, not an assembly line produced table; who is going to pay it, or how should we market it? [Yes, it will cost much more…]
Then, “What if your company renamed Waterfall as Agile?” was a discussion about why we should be using it, and if we have enough pain in the development process without being agile, how can we improve the process [without telling you are doing agile]. Nice inputs were
— If you can’t change your company, change your company by Fowler
— Don’t tell you want to do agile, do agile and tell them it is waterfall [start being agile].
— By picking up the most important parts first and delivering those parts will improve the process with small frequent shipments.
— Creating documents, reports won’t help software to be better! [believe in hearth]
Lean Thinking is a nice to book to start thinking in agile…

Can’t finish without adding the idea of @serialseb: to rename altnet as alternative group, since we are all developers and we should be able to switch between languages/platforms [which should give us more power in terms of awarenes what we have and we are missing…]

All in all, it was wonderful as:

1. Sharing knowledge is helpful
— Looking into new technologies/tools expands your understanding, especially you are in a company does not use the latest technologies, and you are learning/trying them on your own…
— Any book/article you have to read gets high priority on your waiting list [or gets into your zone at least].
2. Sharing experience is priceless
— “How did your project fail?” is not a question everyone would share in your company, but here it starts discussions with twenty people with lots of feedback that you can take back.
— The pitfalls on software projects on a broader view, gives you more question to ask for your own project.
— There are always gaps to improve, and this kind of activities let you see the gap! [Rest depends on you]
3. Hearing other people’s questions/worries on a subject makes it more interesting and you start to question in a deeper philosophical sense.
4. Have the chance to meet and discuss with the people that you follow their blogs, i.e. @JeremySkinner,@serialseb, @gojkoadzic and their inputs were incredibly useful for both days.


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