Scott Hanselman

Experiencing ALT.NET Seattle 2009 Open Spaces

March 02, 2009 Comment on this post [5] Posted in Back to Basics | Learning .NET | Musings | Open Source | Screencasts
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ALT.NETLogo I'm up in Seattle at the ALT.NET Open Space (group DL) and the MVPSummit. "Open Space" is a technique to hold self-organizing conferences. ALT.NET conferences have always been Open Spaces, and if you haven't gone an Open Space conf (of any kind) I recommend you check it out. This is my third (?) ALT.NET conference, and sixth Open Space conference and I always enjoy it more than larger shows.

 Martin Fowler says this about Open Space:

The unusual (and powerful) thing about Open Space is that you don't pre-plan a list of activities and speakers. Instead you provide a basic skeleton of time and space, and the attendees figure out what actually happens. The result is a more participative and energetic event.

What is ALT.NET?

In April of 2007, David Laribee coined the phrase ALT.NET after reading a post by Scott Bellware about the NHibernate Mafia. The core message David was keying off of was the maintainability of a software solution and not the tools involved in creating it.
ALT.NET means many things to many people and the debate will continue about what it means to you.
David proposed ALT.NET signifies:

  1. You’re the type of developer who uses what works while keeping an eye out for a better way.
  2. You reach outside the mainstream to adopt the best of any community: Open Source, Agile, Java, Ruby, etc.
  3. You’re not content with the status quo. Things can always be better expressed, more elegant and simple, more mutable, higher quality, etc.
  4. 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.)

Robert Scoble introduced me to Kyte.TV last week after he moved a Twitter conversation we were having out of the constrained space of Twitter and into a live video stream with a chat window. As an experiment I recorded a "Hanselminutes Live" using Kyte and it was pretty fun. Fast forward to ALT.NET a week later and I'd forgotten about this. Then I noticed a number of folks on Twitter saying "wish we were there!" I had my webcam with me so I started streaming the sessions I was attending live using Kyte.

Nate Kohari and Ben Scheirman also started recording. Here's the extremely raw video we ended up with. We're still learning, so there's audio and video problems, so set your expectations LOW.

PhotosFromALT.NETScott - ALT.NET Recorded .NET Sessions

Ben - Recorded ALT.NET Sessions

Nate - Recorded ALT.NET Sessions

You can also click the "Shows tab in the embedded interface below:

  Blog posts about ALT.NET Seattle 2009:


About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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March 02, 2009 14:05
That's cool. Hopefully all of these will start being recorded and made available. There is a code camp coming up in Orlando at the end of this month and I hope a few people make this effort as well.

What type of connection did you have to push the stream to Kyte? I don't think the code camp will have internet access but I have a wireless modem with an upload speed of about 156-200k (download is almost 900k).
March 02, 2009 23:47
Scott, "ALT.NET Seattle Day One" link is broken.

Regards, Petar
March 03, 2009 15:52
I said it before in my post that you linked to above, but I'll say it again for the benefit of people who don't click through to read it: what you did for those of us unable to attend in person by your impromptu FPS-like traveling through the halls, inspecting the session board, and yes -- even wandering through the crowds in real-time was nothing short of an inspiration -- it was a blast to attend that way.

We can talk about the 'quality' of the A/V or the bandwidth limits that were experienced by all, but you managed to really deliver on the experience of the conference in a way that was really eye-opening for me and sets the bar for other conferences (and other attendees) to do the same.

My only question to you is: did your work on this aspect of helping the rest of us attend remotely degrade at all from your own experience at the conference --? (e.g., did you find that futzing with the camera, the sound, the chat window, etc. distracted you from being able to enjoy the conference yourself at all?)

As always, keep up the great work~!

-Steve B.
March 03, 2009 22:39
SteveB - I didn't feel too cheated, but there were a few times where I missed a sentence or two.

Note also that I didn't PLAN to do this. I just noticed on Twitter how many people wish they were there, and I figured, gosh, that sucks and hooked up the only webcam I had. If I'd planned it, I'd have brought the right equipment. :)
March 04, 2009 0:59
Say where did you get that snazzy looking ALT.NET logo Scott? ;~)

I know, I know - ask me! It's my colleague Peter Kleine at Dotway who designed it for our ALT.NET community in Oresund and published it under Creative Commons!

Where can I get this very fine piece of art?

Read all about that here: ALT.NET Logos under Creative Commons Licence! Go get it and use it for your ALT.NET Community if you please! ;~)

Alright enough with the commercial spot! Thanks Scott for making my colleague proud and happy yet humble!



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.