I am sitting on the train heading north. After deciding trying to stream the England/Wales match from iPlayer on the train WiFi was probably not a good idea, especially after just reading the score, I though I should write about the Alt.Net UK Conference; a very interesting experience. It is great to meet so many people who are so enthusiastic over their jobs and learning how to do it better. There were some faces I knew from DDD and other community events, but also many new faces. I was surprised by the distance some people had travelled, I met a good few from around Europe, but I think Roy won the prize with a trip from Israel.

One of the ideas of Alt.net, being an open spaces conference, is to be surprised and I have certainly come away with things to think about, and a good set of tools to try. Anyone who was here will have heard me bang on about how Sharepoint is a pig to test and deploy; but I may have seen a distant light at the end of the tunnel (maybe an on-coming train I admit) and think I can apply MVC to SP webparts (and hence IOC) which should make my testing life easier. Expect a post on this soon.

Another surprising thing for me was that people we vaguely interested in the GUITester framework I wrote a while go that allows you to express GUI functional tests as attributes on WinForm GUI controls, thus trying to address some of the brittleness of GUI testing (a common discussion today i.e. when you refactor code - if you alter a control definition at least the attributes are close by to edit).

Today for me was focused on best practice like so many events I have been to in the past year. To me this is a great sign of maturity in our industry, people want to talk about how to start projects so they have the best chance to succeed and continue to improve as they go on. However, the question does remain how to engender this attitude the (below?) average development team who is doing 9 to 5 and does not want to learn because that ended at University.

For more notes on what went on today, have a look at http://altnetpedia.com/, attendees should be adding their notes over the next few days.

Anyway I reaching Doncaster so I have to change to a non-WiFi enabled local train now, more later.