Hacking for Fun and ... more Fun

§ November 12, 2009 16:57 by beefarino |

We had big fun tonight at the first Charlotte ALT.NET user group hack night.  Special thanks to Mike Linnen and Xpient for hosting the event.

The theme of the evening was taken from the recent Raleigh and Carolina Code Camps: Rock Paper Scissors.  Teams coded modules to play rounds of RPS, uploaded their assembles to a server, and duked it out over three rounds of riveting RPS action.

I was a bit apprehensive about the event, mostly afraid of looking like an idiot in front of some really smart people.  But once the hacking started we all fell into a groove and it turned out to be a lot of fun.  I chose to try and predict my opponent's actions using a bit of fuzzy logic and some statistics.  It worked fairly well through the first two rounds of the tournament, but I was given a resounding spanking in the final round by @micahlmartin and @DeveloperInfra.  In the end, a three-way tie for first place was resolved with a fourth round, where  @micahlmartin edged us out with a perfect score!

I may blog about my approach to the puzzle some other time, but I wanted to jot down some things I noticed this evening.

When I'm under a time contraint, I can get a lot of work done quickly.  I don't know why this surprises me, but after tonight I'm considering adding stricter timeboxes to my daily GTD routine.

Hacking is fun.  Lately coding has started to feel monotonous.  A lot of the projects I've got going on are hitting non-techcnial walls, and moving forward is proving to be difficult.  It was a blast to hammer out some code without those pesky business boundaries to bring it all down.  I think scheduling some regular geek time to work on things like Project Euler or some code katas would be a good idea - no expectations past my own enjoyment.

Overall a very positive experience, thanks everyone!

ALT.NET Charlotte Presentation

§ May 7, 2009 14:16 by beefarino |

I just got back from the second meeting of ALT.NET Charlotte, where I presented a talk on PowerShell as a Tools Platform.  I think it went well.  The demos centered around building tools in PowerShell to manage the ASP.NET Membership store for a website, and they seemed to drive the point home.  Try doing this:

dir users: | where { $_.lastLoginDate –lt ( ( get-date ).addyear( -1 ) ) } | remove-item;

in the ASP.NET Website Management tool!

As well as I feel it went, I'm still hoping to get some feedback from the group.  Feel free to leave a comment here if you wish, or use the contact link at the top of this page.

And a very special thank you to those organizations and companies that provided their support for this presentation:

and those who sposor our kick-ass group:

 Thanks to everyone who came out to support the group and hear my talk!

Upcoming PowerShell Presentation

§ April 3, 2009 01:03 by beefarino |

Last night's ALT.NET Charlotte meeting was a success.  A tight turnout of big brains.  Many thanks to Brady Gaster, Brian Hitney, and Matt LeFevre for getting some air under the wings.

After sifting through some topics ideas, it looks like I'll be giving one of the first sessions at next month's meeting.  The topic will be Pragmatic PowerShell.  I'm still considering a few approaches to the talk, and I'm not sure how much I'll want to cover, but I'm thinking it would be best to create something interactive and have the audience participate.

If anyone has any suggestions or resources you think I should know about, please comment on this post!

Inaugural Meeting of ALT.NET Charlotte

§ March 29, 2009 15:48 by beefarino |

The Charlotte ALT.NET user group is having its first meeting this Thursday, April 2 at 6:30pm in the CPCC Central Campus IT building. 

If you are at all interested, please register, participate, learn, present, and support the local developer community.  If you are unsure what ALT.NET is all about, check out these sites:

and then register.

Special thanks to unfuddle for sponsorship (and for making awesome hosted project management software). 

If you are interested in sponsoring an event, please drop me a line and I'll get you in touch with the right people.