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ALT.NET Open Spaces, Seattle has come to a close.  What a great time it was and it met every expectation if not exceeded them.  Currently I'm in the Seattle airport waiting for my flight home which just got re-arranged.  Anyhow, I'd like to wrap up my thoughts for the first day of the event.

Setting It Up

I arrived one day early for the event to make sure we were set up appropriately.  I was able to meet up with Dave Laribee, Glenn Block, Scott Bellware, Jeremy Miller, Greg Young, Scott C Reynolds, Ray Lewallen, Patrick Smacchia and others.  Everyone was already burned out from the MVP Summit, so I wasn't sure how well people would be for the event.  But it was great to talk to Sam Gentile and I'm glad he's back in the fold with ALT.NET as he announced earlier last week here

Even though a lot of people were tired, we had plenty of help to set up for the event.  Of course the joke is that "How many ALT.NETers does it take to go to Costco?"...

Kicking It Off

One couldn't ask for a more prepared and outstanding facilitator in Steven "Doc" List.  What an amazing job he did to bring the Open Spaces together.  The event started with a description of Open Spaces Technology.  if you're not familiar with the Open Spaces, Technology Format, here are the four basic principles:
  • Whoever comes are the right people
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  • Whenever it starts is the right time
  • When it's over, it's over
With that getting kicked off, we then laid out the pens and sticky paper to write the sessions.  The idea is to write down your idea on the sticky paper and then get to the middle of the room and announce your talk that you will facilitate.  Of course some subjects may be very similar and can be combined, which happened quite a bit actually.

The Sessions

I met with Mike Barnett from the Spec# team who was one of the many people I had invited to this event.  Spec# as you may have figured from my blog is a passion of mine.  It is one of my goals to publicize it enough and to make sure that people are aware of this wonderful technology that the product teams such as Mads Torgersen and Anders Hejlsberg notice.  Anyhow, Mike went up and announced a session on Spec# and static verification.  I'll cover more of that in subsequent posts again.  Start your letter writing campaigns now!

Dustin Campbell also was in attendance and he and I chatted about F# and doing a session on functional programming and F#.  It was going to be a great session, but unfortunately when the schedule was finalized, I couldn't possibly attend the Spec# and functional programming and F# talk.  I was a little disappointed by that, but luckily Roy Osherove suggested a talk about "Concurrency and Functional Programming" which I was more than willing and able to help out on. I also pulled Harry Pierson, the new Program Manager for IronPython to help in such a session.

Since John Lam wasn't in attendance that night, I volunteered him for a session on IronRuby and the DLR which he was more than happy to oblige.  We scheduled that for the first session on Saturday.  I'll cover each of these in detail in subsequent posts. 

The Fishbowl

From there, we went to a fishbowl style conversation in which there are a number of chairs in the middle of the room.  There must be all but one of the chairs filled at any given time.  Any person may in turn come and take a seat and another person must leave to keep the balance.  The discussion started with Scott Hanselman, Ted Neward, Charlie Calvert and Martin Fowler talking about the Polyglot Programmer.  Ted Neward couldn't be there for the whole event, unfortunately as he was also doing No Fluff Just Stuff this weekend as well with Venkat Subramaniam, Neal Ford and others.  Luckily I got some time to talk to Ted about some F# related items as well as his upcoming trip to Reston, VA for No Fluff Just Stuff next weekend.  So, if you're in the area and interested in seeing Ted and Venkat, that's the place to go!  But anyways, the event was great and a lot of people pitched in.  There are so many to name, I'd just run out of space.

To Be Continued....

kick it on DotNetKicks.com Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2008 10:56 PM ALT.NET | Back to top


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