Yesterday’s Austin .Net User Group meeting was a big success. We had 80 people, our largest crowd in a long time. Miguel Castro was pretty close with 75, but for the past several months we’ve had over 5 first-time guests, so people are spreading the word about the group. I try to keep the group focused on software concepts that are core to building sustainable software that can add value to the business now and for years to come. If you believe in “voting with your feet”, then these topics are getting a lot of votes.
Sam answered a question about what skills were needed in a developer, and he made a great point: A good software developer is one who can create software that’s easy to change. Not someone who’s an expert in SQL server, Indigo, ASP.NET, etc because those technologies will be the next legacy systems. A good developer hops from technology to technology but always keeps the software easy to change – after all, that’s the only constant.
We normally go until 7:30pm, but yesterday we went to 8:05 (Sam could have talked until midnight, but I had to cut him off), and 75% of the folks stayed to the very end (60 out of 80). It was obvious that everyone was very interested in what was being said.
We went to Rudy’s BBQ afterward and continued the discourse. 12 folks stayed until 10:30pm talking about TDD, iterations, FIT, estimating, how to handle a developer that’s not pulling his weight, etc. Great talk!
Sam was amazed that it was 80 degrees in the middle of the day and 70 degrees late at night. He’s used to it being bitterly cold. For us, that’s just what it’s like in Texas – of course we deal with 100+ in the summer also, and it only snows once a decade.