Monday, November 21, 2011

November Meeting: 3 Pack

For November, we have 3 interesting short talks:

John Bristowe (@JohnBristowe) - The Life and Times of a Developer Evangelist
The role of a Developer Evangelist is certainly an interesting one. From the vantage point of where John Bristowe has sat for the past number of years, he’s seen a lot – having worked as a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft for the past six years and now with Telerik APAC. In this session, John will share with you some of his more memorable experiences over the past decade and provide insights into the state of the tech industry today as it pertains to software development.

Joshua Roth - How To Write Less Comments
Uncle Bob Martin's book Clean Code opened my eyes to the beauty and importance writing of clean code. The good news is that writing clean code is much easier than you might think. I'll be sharing a few a simple techniques that you can easily apply to your daily coding that will help turn your code into a thing of beauty. At the very least, future maintainers of your code will curse your name a few less times due to your contributions to the code base.

Aaron Powell (@slace) - Lightweight Editors
VS is our standard editor but when you're not using .NET what should you go for? Or how about the crazy idea of ditching VS for .NET dev too

This will be the last meeting for the year, so you don't want to miss it :-)

And as always, please RSVP via the poll on the site.

Monday, October 10, 2011

October: Windows 8 Install-fest and Hack Night

Following the "Practice, Don't Preach" motto this month, we're running a Windows 8 Install-fest and Hack night.  The idea is simple:

1. No Windows? No Problem! Want to install Windows 8 into a VM, bootable VHD or some other device and you just haven't had the time to download or install it yet?  Bring your gear along and we'll sort that out for you.  Just sign that insurance waiver first! :-D

2. Got Windows? Great! It's time to understand how Metro apps work in more detail. What better way than to set aside some specific time and do some exploring and learning with others! Come along and poke Windows hard in the gut! You can try and build something awesome in one night if you want (and we hope you do), but far more importantly we want you to learn something and share what you learned with others.

For the record, we don't care if you want to use HTML/JS/CSS, C# or C++, heck we'll even let you use VB.NET if you really, really want to.  Whatever the case, come for the fun, the learning and the pizza!

See you there!

And as always, RSVP via the poll on the site.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September Presentation Slides

Nick has kindly shared his slide deck on "Moving from SQL Server to MongoDB" from yesterday's presentation. You can find it here:

Monday, September 19, 2011

September Talks

This month we have two talks as follows:

Nick Holmes a Court (@nickhac) - Moving From SQL Server to MongoDB

The problems faced at BuzzNumbers related to monitoring Social Media posts
Why choose NoSQL over SQL Server/MySQL 
Why we chose Mongo over other NoSQL solutions 
How to design a NoSQL schema if you are used to relational databases
How BuzzNumbers designed a solution that allows infinite scaleability using low cost commodity hardware and .NET
Why we still use .NET as a primary development/hosting environment and how we also leverage Open Source where optimal
Lessons Learned.

Brendan Forster (@shiftkey) - Attending BUILD and Developing for Window 8

Brendan is back from the Build conference and has a shiny new tablet, Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 on it.  This is a good time to play with Win8 and have an open discussion about what it all means for us moving forward and what we need to do to roll with the changes.

As per usual, let us know you are coming by RSVPing via the poll on the right of the site.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August Talks

For the month of August we have two talks, as follows:

Ducas Francis (@ducas) - JQuery Mobile

Building web apps targeted at mobile platforms is becoming increasingly popular, but it can be quite difficult to get your site working on all devices. See how you can use jQuery Mobile to make your MVC apps come to life and easily build mobile experiences that work across all modern phone and tablet operating systems. That’s right… one version of your site CAN work on iPhone, iPad, Android and WP7!

Philip Laureano (@philiplaureano) - Blind Refactoring

Have you ever wondered if there was a better way to learn refactoring? Martin Fowler's Refactoring book was a great introductory book on how to clean up legacy code bases, but over the years, what I have found missing in that book is one a set of guidelines that links all the different types of refactoring techniques together into one continuous process. In this talk, I will show you how to take almost any code base, and refactor everything from the simplest nested' 'if' blocks all the way to extracting an actual domain/object model to using an IOC container framework. Using a set of repeatable steps, I will show you how easy it is to refactor almost any code base, even if you don't understand every part of the application.

We may also have a different MC than usual since Richard will be at TechEd and James may away as well.  If that's the case you'll be in the hands of Brendan Forster - be kind!

As per usual, RSVP via the poll for catering and don't forget to bring a friend!  It should be a great night with plenty to see.

Friday, July 22, 2011

July Meeting Talks

We have a nice mix of talks this month:

Jason Stangroome (@jstangroome)
PowerShell is built on .NET and uses curly braces but that's where the relationship with C# ends. I'll demonstrate some of the intricacies of PowerShell that give the language its power and pitfalls.

Wiryadi Adidharma (@toocoolfortwitter)
High Performance Web Sites
14 Steps to Faster-Loading Web Sites, with examples for ASP.NET Web Sites.

Pawel Pabich (@PawelPabich)
Unreliable end to end integration tests can cause much more harm than good. So we will have have a look at what constitutes a valuable integration test and how to avoid common pitfalls when writing one (samples in C# Selenium Webdriver).

Please RSVP on the poll to the right.
See you on Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July Meeting: Call for speakers!

As things seem to be pretty good with the 3 X 20min short talks format, let's do it again this month. Let me know if you're up for a talk (@jtcrisp) or comment below.

Also feel free to give us the highlights of an awesome DDD talk if you think it'd suit :-)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June Meeting

For this months 3x20 talks we have the following volunteers:

Daniel Bartholomew (@dbartholomew) - Continuous Delivery
Peter Gfader (@peitor) - NCrunch
Sam Saffron (@samsaffron) - Dapper

Many thanks to them for putting something together for us.

Don't forget to let us know you're coming by RSVP'ing via the poll on the site as per usual and we'll see you there!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June - Call For Presenters

Last month's 3x20 session was great so  we're doing it again. :-)

That means, if you're willing to give a 20 minute talk or demo then leave a comment or contact Richard (@rbanks54).  If you've never presented before then this is a great way to get started, and we encourage you to do so, and if you're wanting to give a 20-minute cut down version of their DDD Sydney talks then we're happy to be your test bed :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May Meet - CoffeeScript, Android and NBuilder

This month, we've got 3 short talks, and will have a longer social break in the middle. Our speakers are:

Thomas Johansen (@thomasjo) - CoffeeScript
CoffeeScript is the perfect language for those that love JavaScript, but feel slightly embarrassed by all the braces and semicolons. At the end of the day, CoffeeScript is primarily about exposing the good parts of JavaScript, and doing more by writing less.

Craig Dunn (@conceptdev) - Fast ANDroid Furious
Quick overview of Mono-for-Android ( and how to build mobile applications for the Android platform using C# (and how you can then re-use that code on iOS and WP7... time permitting:). Covers sys req's, setup, Android basics, Mono features and gotchas.

Joshua Roth - NBuilder
Through a fluent, extensible interface, NBuilder allows you to rapidly create test data, automatically assigning values to properties and fields that are of the type of the built in .NET data types. NBuilder allows you to override for properties you are interested in using lambda expressions and is an excellent framework to use for data generation in your unit tests. This talk will cover the basic features of NBuilder as well as some of the exciting new features that have become available in the latest release. You can find out more at and

Please RSVP on the poll as usual to help with catering. See you soon!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

May - Call for Presenters

This month, as decided last meeting, we're planning for 2-3 short talks (10-20 minutes each), and a longer social break in the middle. The idea is to have at least 2 different areas talked about on the night, plus more time to mingle and chat.

If you've got something to talk about, please either add a comment to this post or send a tweet to @rbanks54 or @jtcrisp.

So, what do you want to talk about? We want to hear what you have to say! Don't feel constrained to just straight .NET topics. Javascript, Web tech, Mobile, etc all good.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April Meeting - Public Holiday!

There will be no April ALT.NET meeting as it falls on Tuesday 26 April, a public holiday. Have a great Easter break :-)
Stay tuned for details on the May meeting.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March Lightning Talks

Here’s a quick list of the subjects being talked about at this months meeting:

  1. Node.js – Aaron Powell
  2. Progressive Enhancement – Wiryadi Adidharma
  3. How to Convince Management to Trial Agile – Tariq Hassanen
  4. NSpec – Shannon Cornish
  5. Writing Linq to Jira – TBC

And we may slip an extra one in at the end depending on how time goes.

So, come along, and don’t forget to RSVP!  Beer and food is provided as always so we need to know how many of you are coming :-)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March – Lightning Talks, Call for Presenters

This month, as promised, we’re up for another round of lightning talks.  These nights are always great fun, give you plenty to think about and offer a chance to get up and do some public speaking for those who’ve never done it before.

So if you want to speak then either add a comment to this post or send a tweet to @rbanks54 or @jtcrisp.

And in case you’re wondering a lightning talk is a mini-presentation that lasts between 5 and 10 minutes.  If you go over 10 minutes we cut you off :-)

So, what do you want to talk about?  We want to hear what you have to say!

Friday, February 11, 2011

February Meeting - Engineering at Google

This month, we are lucky enough to have @dhanji from Google talking about the development practices there.

In his own words:


The engineering discipline at Google can best be described as the Cowboy Methodology. This is a narration of my experience fighting that tide--trying something new, applying agile methods to a start-up like project inside an Internet giant of some 23k people. Can Agile ever really work outside the enterprise where requirements (though changing) are reasonably well-understood? In a consumer-facing start-up all bets are off--your very reason for existence changes day to day.

In this environment can we succeed? Have we already failed horribly and don't know it? Come hear our strange story and share your impressions.

And a bit about Dhanji:


Dhanji R. Prasanna, Software Engineer at Google

I have worked on Agile projects for several years (at ThoughtWorks and elsewhere) before joining Google as an engineer on Google Wave, working on the Search+indexing pipeline and then on performance and APIs. I have created and contribute to several open source projects including Guice, Sitebricks, MVEL, Maven, and others. My code runs in nearly every Java server at Google and I regularly consult on performance and design questions for various teams.

I am the author of "Dependency Injection" by Manning Publications, and a regular speaker on the Java software engineering circuit.

Please RSVP with the poll on the right, and see you there!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January Meeting - .NET BDD tools, Android Development

For the first meeting of the new year, we will have 2 short talks the opportunity for discussion. Without further ado, the talks are:

Richard Banks (@rbanks54): a comparison of native .NET BDD tools such as StoryQ and SpecFlow (and maybe StorEvil).

James Crisp (@jtcrisp): Starting Android development; the platform, app design and abstractions, the four lettered J word and its eye dee ees, the emulator and some code too.

It's going to be an informal meeting with plenty of chance to chat and ask questions.

As usual, please RSVP with the poll if you want food and beer :-)