I went along to my first user group in a while – the Crafty Coders group in Bromsgrove. They were looking at mocking theory and practice, which is an area of interest for me so I thought I’d go along.
After driving through a pretty dark industrial estate I was beginning to wonder if I was lost. I was so busy looking around for signs I almost drove straight into a security gate!
Thankfully there was no initiation ritual once inside – apart from the inevitable and painless round-the-table-giving-names routine. It became clear I was in the good company of some clever people who know their stuff.
The talk at the beginning had a good pace and wasn’t too sluggish, but then things seemed to speed up a little too fast for me.
I’m new to ASP.NET having converted from a fairly old-fashioned procedural PHP background, so a lot of things that were obviously second nature to the others in the group was a bit of a struggle for me. Indeed, it felt as though everyone else had already got some experience of mocking theory and practice and at times the group leaned more towards debate around principles and practices rather than practical learning.
In short, I had a good time and learned a lot. But I am not sure if the group is aimed at experienced developers who want to discuss principles and practices or the more novice developer who is looking to learn and evolve their craftsmanship. Perhaps over time I will see it as a bit of both?
Either way, well worth the time and I’m looking forward to the next session, which I believe will look at planning. That’s an area I have more confidence around as I’ve done user stories and other planning tasks before, especially as part of my agile project management past. It’ll be interesting to see how others approach it.
Thanks also to the kind people at Big Jump for free pizza and Diet Coke.