altnetconf – Alt.Net kicks off with clarification of “What is Alt.Net”

Alt.Net kicked off this evening with the setting of the agenda.  We have so many topics, there are going to be a LOT of great discussions.  I feel privileged to be a part of a conference that is potentially shaping the .Net community. . . and I enjoyed meeting Martin Fowler for the first time.  We have plenty of space for all the discussions thanks to St. Edward’s University in Austin.  St. Ed’s has been very supportive of the developer community here.

First and foremost, we established that Alt.Net does NOT mean anti-Microsoft.  Earlier, I gave some values and principles as an attempt to clarify somewhat how _I_ think of Alt.Net.

Alt.Net does not mean tools.  Alt.Net is a way of thinking, a value system.  At its core, we want to be passionate about our craft.  We want to use the best tools for the job (we know those tools change every 2.5 years).  When a new tool that is better comes along, we will happily drop current tools (and that’s a good thing).  We want to keep an open mind about how to write software because we know there is no _one true way_.

Another key point is that Alt.Net encourages the challenging of every assumption we make.  Assumptions can turn to habits, so we must be aware when context changes and rechallenge our assumptions to ensure we are working in the best way.

We intentionally limited the defining discussion because that discussion will be going on all weekend.  Alt.Net is a very positive message, and everyone at the conference is looking for ways to improve the .Net community, not whine about it.  The opening was very positive and upbeat.  There are a lot of smart folks in the room, and I look forward to learning from them over this weekend.

In short, we don’t have a definition.  Sorry folks.  We have 100 or so people at AltNetConf, and we have almost as many definitions, but we all share a passion to develop better software and educate others in the same.  While there are some folks using completely different platforms, most are using .Net and want to continue building on .Net, so Alt.Net does not mean finding an alternative to .Net.  On the contrary, I want to learn the best ways to fully leverage the platform.

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[tags: altnetconf, agile,]