October 13, 2007 ALT.Net

Stop Spreading Crap About ALT.Net!

I am so very tired of reading blog posts of rumors and nonsense about ALT.Net and the conference.  If you were not there you should not be commenting on it.  Shut the !@#$ up!  I am not going to single anyone out with a quote, not for lack of opportunity.  You %&*# talkers should be ashamed of yourselves.  Your attitude sucks!  I have not read a single freaking ALT.Net proponents’ blog or heard one in person that says how anyone should be excluded.  To the contrary, they are contemplating and taking action on including, attracting, enticing, etc.  There is no divisiveness!  Microsoft was there!  They were welcomed!  They were engaged.  All of us as a group, WE, as in the Microsoft guys are part of the we, discussed how Microsoft’s resources could be used to support ALT.Net.  The Microsoft guys were there to embrace ALT.Net, their actions illustrate that.  Not everyone there was a ALT.Net fan boy.  Not everyone there was an expert at <pick some ALT.Netty thing>.

What is ALT.Net?

It is not clearly defined nor will it ever be.  Still I want to try my hand at point at it.  It is more tacit than conceptual.  That is why I use "point at".  At the heart of ALT.Net is the practice of inquiry.  Inquiry is critical in bringing about pragmatism.  An expression, and evidence of, pragmatism and inquiry is the creation and use of tools like MonoRail, MbUnit, NDepend, TestDriven.Net, etc.

Why a movement?

Many people in this industry are not thinking for themselves, are not practicing inquiry.  Take James O. Coplien’s post Software: The Next Generation Religion’s Newfound Restraint on Progress.

Division!

Lastly I want to talk about equality.  I deeply believe that we are all equal.  We all have the same root capability.  There have been plenty of studies (This is Your Brain on Music Ch7) that show that talent is not what makes a expert, it’s practice.  In fact there is a magic number: 10,000 hours.  How do you become a virtuoso?  Spend 10,000 hours practicing

So when I read a post like Simone’s Yet another ALT.net opinion I get pissed.  I get pissed because I see him and others stating that there are some people that just wont get it.  I am not sure if Simone means they are not capable, maybe he means don’t care.  I will address both.  To be clear I get pissed when I infer an underling belief of inequality.  In many shops most of the developers are assumed to have inadequate faculties to learn OOP, TDD, Patterns, etc.  They are not blind.  They see where the bar is set.  When it is set so low they don’t give a good god damn.  They will find something else in life to challenge and engage them.  Shame on you if you treat people this way.

So lets say Simone really meant that many people just are not interested and that is why ALT.Net and tools like Windsor wont succeed.  Were you not looking?  Did you not see all the talk about how do we get more people involved?  How do we get more people interested?  How can we make this more accessible?  Well those talks happened and continue.  Both MSDN online and mag guys were there to help with these very aspects. There are blogs in abundance, and conference/user group speakers galore.  Still there are those people that wont be reached by any of those methods just mentioned.  How can they be reached?  By you!  At your work.  Today!  You have influence.  You can be a leader.  There is a spot for you in this movement.  You are welcome here.

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2 to “Stop Spreading Crap About ALT.Net!”

  1. Simone Chiaretta says...

    Jay, as I said in comments to Ayende post (http://ayende.com/blog/archive/2007/10/12/alt.net-and-the-enterprise.aspx) I DO believe that ALT.NET is good thing, a very good thing, since it is bringing “ALTernative” ways of thinking, but the problem is that, at least in Italy, developers are not interested in learning, they just use what they know. This is sad but true.
    I don’t want to start a social discussion here, but 90% of the people in the world get what the media, governments and so on give them: the same happens in development. You, Ayende, all the bloggers probably are interested in learning and experimenting. But for each blogger there are 100 developer that doesn’t read blogs, that enter the office at 9am, takes 1 hour of lunch rest, and get out at 5pm. Period.
    As I said, I left me job because I was told that my “new” ideas on development were too complex for the dev team that didn’t have time to study the new approach because they have to fix bugs and work on products.
    I really don’t understand where you all work, but in my experience (which is mainly in Italy and a small company in NZ) 90% of developers do their job as if they are working as cashier at a grocery shop. The least possible not to be fired.

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