What really are the ALT.NET Shared Values?

Phil Haack just wrote a post about Composition over Inheritance and how adopting practices just because they are talked about is silly. I agree 100% with him on this note. Making a design decision without context is like removing your engine from your car to make it go faster. It’s just completely backwards. I have been busy this week and didn’t have a chance to read the thread on the alt.net mailing list but this is just silly to propose.

I think it is very important that the alt.net community doesn’t identify a particular practice as non-alt.net or not. Maybe we can recommend what is considered “good pratice” like the patterns & practices team but no one should be shunned for doing something the way they like it. As Phil states, the alt.net community is in an identity forming stage. A stage of critical mass if you will, and what happens over the next couple of months/years will determine if it is here to stay. Even if for some reason it doesn’t make it, there will always be a community of developers that always strive and look for more.

The reason I gained interest in alt.net is because it is a community where people strive for better. I align myself with this because when I write a piece of code the first thing I do is look at the code I just wrote and try to see if there is a better way to do it. Either with tools, refactoring, design patterns or whatever the case may be. In my eyes, the alt.net community is about exactly that. Other ways that are outside the scope of Microsoft, may I stress a point here: NOT against what Microsoft says, simply another way of doing things that may or may not align with Microsoft. Just because the alt.net community doesn’t always agree with Microsoft doesn’t make them completely against them. It is a free world after all.

What is your opinion of what the alt.net shared values are?

About Sean Chambers

I am a Senior software developer from Palm Coast, Florida. An advocate of Domain Driven Design, Behavior Driven Development, creator of FluentMigrator and community activist. I am married to my beautiful wife Erin and am the proud father of two wonderful children. I currently reside at ACI, a local insurance industry/mortgage software company that excels in creating solutions using Agile methodologies.
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  • > Maybe we can recommend what is considered “good practice” like the patterns & practices team but no one should be shunned for doing something the way they like it.

    I hate to beat to a dead horse but hear it goes. Hasn’t this been already defined? Not by the Alt.Net community but by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas, When they authored the The Pragmatic Programmer.

    A majority of their values are shared by all software professionals and I don’t think that the Alt.Net community should make their own if not just ratify what has already been defined in other pragmatic development communities.

    It is not about defining, so much as it is aligning with what has already been proven by other communities.

    Lets be honest the only thing that makes us a different from lets say the Java or Ruby communities is well we really didn’t have one. We did but it was more of Microsoft driving the community rather than the community partnering with Microsoft.

    For that matter does the MS community even care at large? I am not saying we should stop doing what we are doing but recognize there are those that care, and those that care less.

    For the those that care, lets provide them with the alternatives principles and practices that have already been established by the pragmatic programming community at large but lets not try to reinvent to wheel.

    Not to say that we shouldn’t refine what is out there or experiment with what other communities are doing but lets recognize that we are above everything else Software Engineering professionals that have a larger responsibility not just to one vendor but to the community of Software engineering professionals at large.

    Languages aside. To me this is where some of the focus should be. As SEP’s what is TDD to us? What is SOLID to us? and so forth. I know this is grand concept and will never see the light of day but well I guess that is why the IEEE standards where formed. Oh well I digress as usual.

    I think you set it best Sean by this statement:
    “…there will always be a community of developers that always strive and look for more.”

    my two cents…maybe five. :-)

  • Joe,

    Excellent points that you make.

    I am noticing more than ever that this really is a monumental task. Not only from the perspective of learning from what other communities have done and aligning ourselves with their already proven practices, but from a standpoint of will anyone care that this is being attempted. It is kinda discouraging in a way.

    This is definately an identity searching phase for the community and very fragile to implosion it seems. Maybe I am looking too far into it. I’m just trying to think of what the average developer that agrees with these practices can do besides writing blog posts and posting articles on thecodeproject. Is there something else that needs to be done that I am missing (besides reading 1000+ posts a week on the mailing list)

  • >Is there something else that needs to be done that I am missing (besides reading 1000+ posts a week on the mailing list)

    That really is an self reflecting question more than anything else.

    We can do all we want to increase the awareness amongst ourselves but who really should we be focusing our efforts on? Each other or the community at large?

    I believe you have felt discouragement within your own local community on the amount of developers who lack the appropriate training to be effective developers. I know right now may not be an ideal time for you with the new family member but what are you doing in your local community to evangelize these concepts? Are you participating in your local DNG? Are you holding mini camps to get people educated? What are you doing to empower others in your local community?

    BTW I am not specifically targeting you in these questions but more the Alt.Net community as whole.

    If each of us took time out of our busy lives to step out and organize these events in our local area I think the .Net community as whole will have greater benefit from this then reading blog post.

    That doesn’t mean stop blogging just remember that the mainstream MS development community does not read blogs. As I am sure you are finding out from your interviews.