Alt.Net.UK – Post Conference Roundup

This weekend was the Alt.Net.UK conference in London and I’m really pleased to say that it was a huge success.  A huge thank you to everyone who attended, I think the official count was 53, as it was you guys who made it the success it was.  Another huge thank you goes to Michelle, Sam and Danni from Conchango who was on hand throughout the day providing food, drinks and generally being great!  Another huge thank you to Red Gate who put money behind the bar on the Friday night and providing three licenses for the .Net Developer Bundle, CodeBetter for sponsorship and finally TypeMock and Roy Osherove who provided three licenses for Typemock Isolator Enterprise Edition.

altnetboard On the Friday, the evening started with a quick welcome and everyone introducing themselves to the group, it was great to see such a wide variety of backgrounds and technology sectors.  After everyone had been introduced, people suggested sessions which they would either like to attend or would like to speak about.  Most of the sessions where based around MVC, Rest, TDD, ORM, DSL so had a good mix for everyone to get stuck into. In total I think we had about 80 sessions suggested with some topics which I really wasn’t expecting, but interesting non the less. All of the sessions where put on post-it notes, stuck onto a whitewall and generally put into loose categories.

Photo by Mike Hadlow –

After this, we went to the bar.  This was a great chance to unwind and get to know everyone in an informal way.  There was a great atmosphere, the tab lasted a while and everyone appeared to be really enjoying themselves and have some great conversions over a couple of beers.  I had some interesting chats with Red Gate users, what they like and areas we could improve. A very good night indeed.

Saturday was the main day of the conference. I had a little trouble getting started due to one to many beers the night before (Will I ever learn?), but all of the sessions where allocated rooms and time slots, a quick cup of tea and we broke off into sessions.  The conversation quickly got started and everyone was sharing their views on topics such as REST vs SOAP, IoC, TDD, Dynamic Languages and coding standards. Though out the day there was an amazing buzz, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves while in the breaks I had a good chat with various people around the place on some really interesting topics. From the people I spoke to, everyone said they had a great day and were really pleased that they had the chance to attend.  Once it was over, we went to another bar to continue the conversation.

The conference will never be a replacement for the more traditional events such as DDD, but it’s great to have a chance to sit down with like mined people, have a few beers and talk about what’s important to you and just see what everyone else is doing.  I had an amazing weekend, really enjoyed meeting everyone and I’m really happy to have been a part of it.

As for when the next one is, well you will just have to subscribe to my RSS to find out…

News River –

Google Group –

Conference Wiki –

Technorati Tags: ,,

Alt.Net.UK Conference – More Information

The conference is almost upon us and we just wanted to post some more information about what’s going to happen.


1) Topic / Agenda Discussion on Friday 1st Feb between 18:00-19:30 @ Conchango, 36 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9EU
2) Drinks at Bankside Restaurant & Bar on Friday 1st Feb 19:30-23:00 @ 32 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU

3) Alt.Net.UK Conference Saturday 2nd Feb 09:30-17:30 @ Conchango, 36 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9EU

The plan is to host an open discussion on the topics / agenda for Saturday at the Conchango offices prior to drinks (don’t worry, it’s a short walk to the bar).  The aim is to discuss all of the topics which
people want to discuss and talk about.  Afterwards, we will go over to the bar and have a few drinks and some food.  This will be a great opporunity to meet each other and network before the Saturday section.

On the Friday, please aim to be at the Conchango offices for 6.00pm, we would like as many attendees as possible to participate in the Friday discussion because there will only be about 30 minutes for any
rework of the options on Saturday. If you can’t make it for 6.00, feel free to still come along at any point during the evening – even if its only to the bar or just the discussion….

On Saturday, doors open at the Conchango offices at 9.00.  At 9.30, we will have a vote of the attendees to determine what topics & speakers are accepted.  At this point, we can get the conversation started and start the sessions. FoodDrink will be provided throughout the day on
the Saturday.  The plan is to finish around 5.30 on the Saturday.

One of the main questions we have been asked is – How will the session submission and voting work? Essentially an open space conference, which this is based on, has two parts
– People propose sessions
– People sign up for sessions
People who propose sessions are responsible for coordinating them.
The type of session can vary. It might be a passive learning presentation (a la Scott Gu on MVC) but it might also be a birds-of-a-feather style discussion. The style is open to the proposer of the session, and might change during the session if the participants bring with them the tools or material to switch. Open Spaces is best when it is interactive not passive.
It would be ideal if everyone could bring something they want to talk about. That does not mean preparing, but just a question. An example session might be this:

Session: Is BDD just a range of practices for TDD.
In this session we ask is BDD a new paradigm or a set of TDD practices. Why do practitioners feel it improves on TDD and what do its detractors feel its dangers are. Where is my road to damascus moment for BDD. I don’t practice BDD, so I would love to have a BDD practitioners attend to tell me what I am missing. If there are no BDD practitioners why don’t a few of us give it a try and see what we can learn.

Now, as proposer I may come prepared for the second eventuality and have done enough BDD reading that I could help us try it out.  If you wanted to attend this session, you would simply put your name against it on the board and attend at it’s allotted time.
Bring your laptops if you have them, you may want to write code. We’ll have wireless on the day, and there will be a wiki available to write up and notes/information about the session for everyones benefit. We also have setup newsriver ( Anything tagged with AltNetUK should appear on this page. I’ll put up more information about this on the

Finally, thank you to all of you who have registered and our Sponsors – Conchango, Red Gate and Code Better.  We are really looking forward to seeing you next weekend.  We do have one request, if you can no longer attend then please send us a quick email to let us know, just so we can plan numbers and open the space up to someone else.

Alt.Net.Uk organisers

Technorati Tags: ,,

Alt.Net.UK Conference – 1st/2nd February 2008

I’m really pleased to announce that there is going to be an Alt.Net conference in the UK – called Alt.Net.UK!  For those of you who haven’t heard of Alt.Net, read David Laribee’s post to better understand the term – What’s ALT.NET

The conference will be held on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd February 2008 at the Conchango offices in London and is being organised by Ian Cooper, Alan Dean, Robert Grigg (Conchango), Michelle Flynn (Conchango) and myself!

As for the agenda, well that is up to the people who attend.  We will be following an open spaces format, similar to the Austin Texas conference earlier in the year, where the agenda is decided by the conference participants.  Anyone can lead sessions on particular topics of interest, participate as an attendee or just hang around and chat with interesting people.

Please note that registration is not open yet!  I will blog more when we have information on this, hopefully it will open shortly. I can say that the conference will be free of charge.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. I’m really looking forward to this, should be a great event!

Keep an eye on the conference site and the blogs for more information –

Thank you to our sponsors:



Technorati Tags: ,,