The morning came far to early today, but once I hit the first session I started to get pretty stoked and energized. We had a very passionate and, at times, heated debate about how to get more passion into the community about the principles that are Alt.NET.
So how do we get the developer community at large to be more pragmatic? That is what Alt.NET really is…a pragmatic approach to software development. Maybe you choose .NET drag-and-drop in one situation, and another time you may choose Ruby or PHP. The key with Alt .NET is that there is no one “right” answer. Each answer is a product of the circumstances that the question was asked in, plus the question itself.
How do we make pragmatism mainstream? Arguments were presented stating that code samples and blog reading can do it. Others presented that we need to be more evangelical as leaders in this space. A bevy of techniques were presented for specific scenarios. The one that seemed to float to the top was that continuous integration was a low hanging fruit and made a great starting point. Maybe all you do is start with a continuous compilation and then, once you’ve shown some benefit from that, you move to including test execution. Additionally CI is something that you can do on your own and slowly roll the concept out to other developers without having to convince the whole group in one fell swoop.
In the end the only thing that seemed to be agreed on was that the pragmatic mentality needs to become a daily fact for all developers. It doesn’t matter if they’re a Mort or an Elvis, we need this way of thinking to become as second nature as opening the development tool that is being used.