Alt.netAlienation by adoption
Last week I participated in ALT.Net Seattle, which was quite interesting. It used the same open spaces format as most ALT.Net conference, and I can honestly say that it was a good experience to most of the attendees.
It did not, however, had the same style of interaction. One of the things that I really enjoyed in the previous ALT.Net conferences is the level of interaction and participation. In this instance, I think that a majority of the people arrived mostly to soak in the information. That changed the dynamics of the conference, and it was quite visible in all the sessions that I was part of.
Just to be clear, I am not saying that it was bad, or that you must participate, I am pointing out a difference between the current conference and the previous ones.
I think that something like that is inevitable as the community grows, because at this stage in the game we are moving from the early adopters to the pragmatists. The problem is that we are currently in that gap, where the ideas only begin to go through:
It is my hope that when we finish cross this chasm, we will be able to return back to the same style of interaction that we have had in the past. The problem is, as I see it, that currently too many of the attendees felt uncomfortable to speak. Once again it was the case of the best conversations happening in the hallways and at dinners, when people could relax.
I think that as we see the people in the wider community gain experience and confidence, we will go back into the same vibrant discussions and learning. In the meanwhile, I intend to do my best to push the community forward toward that time.
It was a good conference, even if the highlight for me was the air hockey table talk.
More posts in "Alt.net" series:
- (04 Mar 2009) Alienation by adoption
- (01 May 2007) It is not us vs. them...
I hate to say it but I was prolly on the soaking it in side of things. I did get a lot out of it and plan to attend again if it happens again.
The air hockey was also pretty damn fun and we will have to do that again sometime.
I'm sad I missed it. AltNet SEA may have been a little different because of the super concentrated level of brain cells. I'm mean look at who all was attending. You, hanselman, haack, damien guard, hammett, etc.. The entry level alt.netters like myself I suppose would easily be a little intimidated. just a thought.
Last year was my first time, I was a soaker. I just sat back and kept a list of things of which I had no clue about.
This year I actually got more out of it for precisely that reason, having more confidence to open my mouth and discuss things with the other attendees since I had a year to explore the technologies and techniques.
Maybe next year will be an explosion of new dialog. We can hope.
I wasn't shy ;-) And Josh you know I'm definitely not a what you would call a seasoned Alt'r.
I think previous attendance at another Open Space might have helped. Not to take anything away from the moderator (she did a fine job), but Doc List was very good a laying the ground rules so that everyone knew they SHOULD participate (we had several fishbowls in the large group right up front if I remember correctly).
Sadly I didn't get to introduce myself too you as you seem to be constantly engaged and I became very sick at end-of-day Saturday and did not make it out Saturday night or Sunday. Thanks for all you do in any event.
I'm really enjoying Rhino Mocks these days BTW.
I didn't attend ALT.NET Seattle, but I could easily see people who are trying to learn ALT.NET techniques and practices being there more for education than participation. I've personally found the learning curve pretty steep. That was actually one of the reasons I didn't attend the conference this year. As interested as I am in these discussions, I knew I would probably just sit on the sidelines listening to other people talk. I think the Open Spaces format is probably great for people at a certain level of experience and confidence, but for those of us just beginning to get a handle on this, I think it might have been a little daunting.
This was actually the first ALT.NET event I've been able to make it to, but I can agree that I did more transmitting of information than I did receiving it. That's not a problem -- it was just unexpected -- and it may have been my own fault in not selecting the correct sessions to attend. Still, it was a great time, and it was good to meet so many people who I've been wanting to meet for awhile (such as yourself!)
I felt a little weird being so closed-mouthed at almost all the sessions, but I felt it was a good occasion to practice the old chestnut: 'better to keep your mouth shut and be considered stupid, rather than open it and remove all doubt'.
I found the weekend extremely enjoyable and challenging (if sobering as it brought home all I need to get up to speed on right NOW).
I went to the Redmond .Net Developer's Assn. meeting on Monday night and found that in the context of more 'normal folks' I was quite happy to shoot off my mouth, so hopefully by next year I can be a more active participant at the conference.
Enjoyed your session on Friday morning a great deal. Since I am just 20 minutes away, I am exceedingly grateful that you travelled that great distance to come.
I went to the first two conferences, but didn't bother to go this time. The Open Spaces style has just become an excuse for a few people (there are about five) to take over every session. There is a pattern of those people interrupt everyone else, talking over others, and attempt to prove themselves smarter than everyone else with no regard or care to listen to what anyone else has to say.
Question: how well are ALT.NET ideas _actually documented_, for those without much exposure to any of them? My guess is not very well, and not very many ALT.NETters really care about doing a good job of this. Or maybe I'm just missing it? Most people's blogs read as stream-of-consciousness and if you weren't there in the beginning, there are assumptions and facts that will plague your understanding. I still don't have a really really good idea of what IoC is (and what it is not). One of the big problems there, I think, is that to truly show what IoC is, you need to explain a fairly complex system (as that is when IoC really begins to shine).
This might be somewhat off-topic, but looking at the bell curve, can it still be called _ALT_.NET when it hits the apex and falls into the conversative and laggard phases? Wouldn't it just become the norm. Not being flippant. Otherwise, isn't ALT.NET always a moving target riding the early adopter section of the curve?