This weekend is an Alt.NET open space event in Seattle. (Actually, it's in Redmond, but close enough.) By the time you read this in the morning, I'll be on a flight out to Seattle to attend.
If you haven't heard of Alt.NET before, you can learn more about it on the web at http://altdotnet.org and http://altnetpedia.com/. There's no one formal definition of what Alt.NET is, but a general consensus seems to have formed around the following description on both sites:
- The type of developer who uses what works while keeping an eye out for a better way.
- You reach outside the mainstream to adopt the best of any community: Open Source, Agile, Java, Ruby, etc.
- You’re not content with the status quo. Things can always be better expressed, more elegant and simple, more mutable, higher quality, etc.
- You know tools are great, but they only take you so far. It’s the principles and knowledge that really matter. The best tools are those that embed the knowledge and encourage the principles (e.g. Resharper.)
...then you're in the right place!
We are a group of people who are passionate about improving the way we develop software. We recognize there is no single solution, but instead there are multitudes of alternatives that can be applied to different situations. Our community is a place for sharing these alternatives, so that together we can learn, teach, and encourage new ideas.
While the practices followed by folks involved with Alt.NET have been around for a while, the term itself has generally been credited to New York's own David Laribee. Earlier this week, David appeared on .NET Rocks with fellow Alt.NET'er Jeremy Miller. David and Jeremy spend time with Carl & Richard discussing what Alt.NET is along with a bit of history of how it came to be. You can download the episode of .NET Rocks on Alt.NET here.
There are some other good bits out there that'll bring you up to speed on the Alt.NET story. Last month at Mix, David sat down with Scott Hanselman on "Hanselminutes". You can find that podcast here. Also, Jeremy Miller recently wrote a column in MSDN titled "What is Alt.NET?" You can read that here.