Saturday, March 27, 2010

Alt.Net Israel 2010

Yesterday was Alt.Net Israel 3rd meeting. I missed the pre-meeting on Thursday, and came in only for the discussions on Friday.

There were a couple of differences from earlier Alt.Net conferences. The first, is that topics were grouped together to mini-“tracks”. So the time allocated was for a couple of topics (and sometimes we even stuck to the plan…). Another thing is that this time (at least in the sessions I attended) it was more of a roundtable discussions, rather than presentations (the kind I did on mocking, the last two times). From Typemock there were Dror, Doron and myself. Oh and the food, since we were sponsoring.

What didn’t change is what this conference begins to emerge as: a group of very smart people, wanting to learn and share their experiences. I think I enjoyed it better than last year, because of the discussions. I’m mentioning people who gave me better insight during the talks, but obviously they were not the only one.

First session I went to was called Learning and Teaching. It centered about the responsibility of training. Should the developer train himself, or is it the organization's job? What happens when you want to push someone towards new areas, but she wants to stay where she is? How come people don’t go to user groups, even if they are at the same offices, on office time? Very good discussions, which left some questions still unanswered (Gadi and Ohad).

The second was about ‘Agile’, where we gave examples on how we perceive and practice agile practices. It was also about how to build teams (Oren), and grow developers. Questions about how to sell agile – more to developers than managers. And we concluded on what’s happening between Ken Schwaber and Microsoft, the great Scrum divide and certifications, and what’s the meaning to developers (Lior).

Final session was on Design patterns, but again it was less on the GOF patterns, rather on when to use, why do you use them, other patterns in code and what you need in order to refactor to patterns. Finally, a brief overviews on SOLID principles (Vlad).

I’m glad I picked these sessions, as they were more on the communication and management side, which I relate more to this days. It was great opportunity to learn and connect. I can also see how I’ve grown over the years.

I hope next time’s going to be amazing as this one was. I think I’ll have some more on the topics soon.

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