We are a self-organizing, ad-hoc community of developers bound by a desire to improve ourselves, challenge assumptions, and help each other pursue excellence in the practice of software development.
Since then, the Alt.Net movement has gained a lot of interest and momentum. Some of the root philosophies have changed and it has evolved to be a far more encompassing community that touches on all things related to .Net development. Spend some time on the Alt.net Yahoo Group and you’ll see what I mean. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing because I think it’s great to as many developers eyes open to what is else is available besides Datasets, SqlDataSource and Entity Framework.
There’s plenty of ways to get involved in the Alt.Net community that require little to no effort.
- Start your own Alt.Net user group. All you need is a group of interested people and a place to meet. I did this recently by starting the Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Alt.Net group. I created a Yahoo! Group for communication and we meet once a month. We’ve had only 2 meetings, but the attendance has been good and I think everyone has walked away feeling like they’ve learned something.
- Subscribe to the Alt.net Yahoo group. There’s some good topics discussed and it’s a great place to get advice.
- Virtual Alt.Net (VAN): Virtual Alt.net is a way for you to participate with the global community and many of its thought leaders from anywhere in the world. As a side note, VAN just got recognized by INETA, which will provide some added benefits.
- Subscribe to the Virtual Alt.net Google group. This is the best way to keep abreast of upcoming virtual events and presentations.
- Checkout the Virtual Alt.Net website, run by Zachariah Young.
- Attend the Wednesday weekly meeting. (see the calendar)
- Attend the Thursday brown bag lunch (see the calendar). You’ll always learn something new, but should be prepared to be bring something, anything, to share with the rest of the group.
- Attend the live presentations, announced on the VAN Google group.
- View past presentations from such heroes as Greg Young, Jeremy D. Miller, Oren Eini (Ayende), Udi Duhan, and more.
It’s a great big world out there and you may not even know what you don’t know until you start opening your eyes to what other people are doing. If you do nothing else, keep up with the VAN and be open to some positive influence.