Registration is now open for the conference. Scott Bellware announced this conference a month ago and I heard about it at the Oklahoma City Code Camp. I’m registered and very excited to attend what I expect to be one of the most talked/blogged about events of 2007. Some well respected names in .NET software development will be there and the mindshare of alternative .net technologies is going to be off the chart.

The hopes for the event (posted by one of the organizers David Laribee) include:

  1. We favor respectful debate over back-patting and head-nodding.
  2. We keep things as visible as possible for those unable to attend.
  3. We ideate more about the tools we need than tools we have.
  4. We spend a significant time discussing what to do _over _how to do.
  5. We capture lightening in a bottle (as they say) for future events.

The mindset, for those that are new to the term, are best summarized in this post on Roy Osherove’s Blog. Castle, NHibernate, NUnit, CruiseControl.NET, MonoRail, MVC, and other open source tools are being used instead of the out-of-the-box ASP.NET experience. Throw in a healthy dose of domain-driven design, object oriented design patterns (Gang of Four and beyond), inversion of control, dependency injection and agile development and you have a pretty solid departure from the Microsoft company line (which is likely the source of the whole ALT- slant on .NET, these tools are alternatives to those provided by Microsoft).

The Open Space format is new to me, but I’ve read many articles about it and find the format quite refreshing. Having been to plenty of trough-feeds put on my Microsoft (PDC, TechEd) I’ve found those events to be more about marketing tools to developers than actually learning and understanding what’s been demonstrated. Combining the knowledge pool of the attendees using a self-organizing format is likely to yield some enlightening discussions, some passionate conflicts, and hopefully some revolutionary thinking in the minds of software developers, particularly those that are just learning that WebForms are not the only way to build web site with Microsoft tools.

I’m not trying to sell the event, I think the organizers, the attendee list, the content and the format sufficiently sell the event. I’m just glad I’m going to be a part of it. Photostream and frequent blog updates should be expected that weekend!