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This is an open letter to the attendees of the upcoming ALT.Net gathering in Austin TX.

Dear Friends,

Sadly I will not be able to join you at ALT.Net due to some poor planning on my part.  I regret missing out on the opportunity to surround myself with some of the brightest minds in our industry.  If I were to attend ALT.Net though, my goal would have been to represent the "marginal developer".  The developer who gets it, but doesn't practice it in the work place due to circumstances beyond his/her control.  Or the developer who wants to get it, knows he should get it, but just doesn't.

My biggest fear is that the top 1% of the class is getting together and they will come up with things that will leave the "marginal" developer behind.  Please remember to check your egos and agendas at the door and do what is best for the community.  There are countless developers out there that look to you guys to blaze the trails.  So long as your final message is not condescending or too abstract you will set the pace for others to follow. 

To be clear about this what I mean is that there is a tendency to feel as though we are all unworthy to call ourselves developers right now if we are not an Agilest.  Even if that is not the intent, it is the perception.  And we all know that perception is reality.  Please don't let that happen from the ALT.Net effort.  You guys are on to something here.

If there is one thing I have learned from ALT.Net already, it is that a namespace is not something to take lightly.  From the countless posts about what ALT.Net really is one might say that our industry is jam packed with anal retentive literalists.  Let's move past the term ALT.Net already.  Just don't change the namespace to ShoveItDownMyThroatLikeAgile.Net ;)  Oh, just kidding, lighten up!

Oh and my final word on the ALT.Net thing.  It makes me laugh when people argue that this is a movement against the Microsoft tool set.  It is especially comical when non .Net or anti-Microsoft developers comment on how bad and evil Microsoft is.  And how the horrible empire is following its own vision and not ours.  Shut up already with this crap.  Bottom line is that this is not a Utopian society.  Microsoft is trying to make a buck on its efforts.  And here is a dirty little secret... So are all of us.  So use their tools, or use somebody else's but don't throw your hate around anymore, because it is just old.

Yes a lot of us do things for free to better our profession.  But if we were all honest we do this because it puts bread on our table and not for the betterment of man kind.  So great, there are languages out there that are grass roots, that don't come from an "evil empire".  If that's your thing, go ahead and use it.  But just stop the Microsoft bashing non-sense.  I don't love MS but I don't hate them either.  I think I have a practical perspective on what they are and how they help me do what I need to do for a living.  In the end they are a business like any other.  So enough already!

Well I guess that was a bit more than a final word, but I had to get that rant off my chest.  It has really been killing me.

So ALT.Netters, have fun, keep it real and bring home some good ideas!


Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 10:12 AM .Net , Architecture, Paterns and Practices , Other , Microsoft | Back to top

Comments on this post: Dear ALT.Net Attendees:

# re: Dear ALT.Net Attendees:
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Amen brother. I would hope the conference is quickly expanded from the 100 person limit, given there is enough interest to continue next year. In my mind, that would help keep the movement from becoming dominated by the elite. If ALT.NET is really about improving the state of software development, then at least part of the energy must be grassroots.
Left by Troy T. on Oct 03, 2007 2:55 PM

# re: Dear ALT.Net Attendees:
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I can't commit to anything, but when we talk about what and where the next ALT.NET thingie might be, the most common answer for "where" is NYC.

We almost pulled off a smaller leadup event in NY in September, but fate intervened.

Left by Jeremy on Oct 03, 2007 6:51 PM

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