I went along to the Sydney ALT.NET User group tonight, and was well rewarded.
This was the kickoff meeting for the group and was an excellent start to what is sure to be an extremely useful gathering each month.
Richard Banks was MC for the night, and started with news. I was pleased to hear good discussion amongst the attendees, and comfortable interaction. There’s nothing worse than a meeting where people don’t get involved (cues *sound of crickets*). Part of the reason I suspect was the meeting room (generously provided by ThoughtWorks) which had a huge conference room table, surrounded by 30-40 comfortable board room style chairs. Everyone was comfy.
After news, and then pizza, we moved into James Crisp’s session on Ruby and Rails. James gave a simple, extremely useful, high level overview of the language, variants and tools. The inevitable ‘which is better’ question when compared to .NET came up, and was answered well by James (it comes down to ease of getting stuff setup and done quickly on a new project). By the way, someone asked for examples of Ruby on Rails sites – Twitter was mentioned of course, but I don’t think anyone mentioned Bumper Sticker (from LinkedIn) – the biggest Ruby on Rails app in the world.
James’ session will available on his blog here shortly.
Following that Richard Banks presented an intro to Rhino Mocks, explaining the various use cases, differences between implementations in C# and VB and the general reasons for using each. I was interested to learn that roughly half the attendees use mocking in their production level testing. Question and their answers were a highlight of the session – the meeting has a very informal format and questions were welcomed throughout.
Richard’s session will be available on his blog here.
Overall, a very worthwhile event. Full marks to Richard and James for starting the group initially, and for making the first meeting so smooth.
Make sure you check out the next meeting – they run on the last Tuesday of every month.