Over the last couple of nights I had attended and spoke at the Boston C# User Group (on Tuesday) and the Boston .NET User Group (Wednesday). Each meeting featured a holiday potluck dinner at the end.
I spoke to the Boston C# Group on Development Strategies in a more interactive/discussion format. I presented information on Test Driven Development (TDD) with NUnit and TestDriven.NET, Developing as a Non-Admin, Developing with Virtual Machines, and Code Generation. This was a whirlwind tour with none of the topics being comprehensive, but instead a quick glance at some concepts, tools, and demo code to get enough of an idea about each. The best part was the discussions that resulted for each in how to effectively use and apply the knowledge in everyday development situations.
Speaking of running and developing as a non-admin, I was asked to give my list of steps to set up your machine for ASP.NET development as a non-admin. You can get my slides and code for the chalk talk I did at Code Camp II on this same subject, and/or look at G. Andrew Duthie's recent post and my comment. Another interesting find along these lines that also came out on Tuesday is Valery Pryamikov's post and tools for running as admin but using a non-admin explorer shell. I am looking forward to trying this.
I really like the interactive/discussion format, and got a lot of good feedback about it. Something like this will be the basis of a new study group I and several others have been forming. I will blog more about this soon.
At the Boston .NET Group, I wasn't planning to speak, but Chris Pels and John Watson were talking about their experiences at this year's XML DevCon, and they asked me to give some of my impressions. I still think this was one of the most fun conferences of the year for me, in terms of interaction, discussions, opportunities to meet some great people, and learn what others are doing in the XML world.
Of course, at both holiday meetings, the food was great! Unfortunately, though, we didn't have anything like this. -)