Robert Hurlbut Blog

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Announcing - Boston Code Brew

Wednesday, December 22, 2004 Comments

 .NET  Personal  Speaking 
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I am pleased to announce and give an update on the new group I and a few others have been forming since November. On January 19, 2005, we will have our first Boston Code Brew meeting. What is this group? Here is a description from our new Yahoo group (codebrew_boston):

A group of developers in the Boston area that get together and discuss various topics about Patterns, .NET, SQL, and anything else that interests us.

This is based on Bill Evjen's idea of a Code Brew (see http://geekswithblogs.net/evjen/archive/2004/11/05/14451.aspx). Here is his definition:

* A Code Brew consists of a small group of peers (4-10 to be effective)
* Meet with laptops ready, software ready and an understanding that each person is going to want to take a 10-30 minute lead with the group
* Each lead (in turn) works through either a work-through demo (which everyone will work through as well), a problem they are having (which others will try to help solve through either advice or samples), a product demo (either something someone built or something cool that was found which you feel others would benefit from)

This is an evolution of the ideas I had over a year ago when I asked the question about putting together an .NET Patterns study group. I said:

"... I am wondering if there is interest among developers (in particular, .NET developers) for .NET Patterns study groups as there was with the GoF book?  What kind of group would this be?  At some of the User Groups I attend, I see more “presentation” style going on rather than “discussion”, so I don't think that would be the ideal place.  Granted, the interest may be limited mostly to the architecture wonks, but I would think many developers would benefit from groups like these."

I see the Code Brew groups satisfying this goal and more. I believe the purpose and intent of a Code Brew group is not to take away from the existing .NET User Groups (i.e. INETA groups), but instead to serve as an extension of these groups by providing informal discussions, learning and sharing, and allowing everyone to contribute. In fact, the difference between User Groups and Code Brew Groups is that everyone in a Code Brew is expected and/or required to contribute. That is its nature and format.

As I mentioned, the first Boston Code Brew meeting will be January 19 at 6:00 pm-?? at the offices of Airpath Wireless, Inc. in Waltham, MA (address and directions will be provided later and at our codebrew_boston group site). We may have future meetings here or at restaurants or wherever it makes sense to have these informal meetings.

I would like to personally thank several people who have been helpful and supportive in putting this group together:

  • Jason Haley in reminding me of my post from a year ago and saying he wanted this kind of group
  • Aaron Weiker for also wanting this kind of group, getting the codebrew_boston Yahoo group started, and helping with arrangements at Airpath
  • Ernie Booth for also wanting this kind of group, and along with Jason and Aaron above, providing an ear for bouncing off ideas
  • Kevin Hegg for suggesting I look at Bill's Code Brew idea and expanding my thoughts on a Patterns group to include many other topics
  • Airpath for hosting our first group meeting
  • Chris Pels (one of several local INETA representatives and the leader of the Boston .NET User Group) and Thom Robbins for their support, encouragement and suggestions for format and locations

Stay tuned for more information and topics as we get closer to the first meeting.

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