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October 4, 2007

St. Edward's University Professional Education Center to Host First ALT.NET Conference

David Laribee, a New York Developer, coined a term which summarizes a movement in the .NET community — ALT.NET. What does it mean to be to be ALT.NET? In short, it signifies:

  1. Developers who use what works while keeping an eye out for a better way.
  2. Reaching outside the mainstream to adopt the best of any community: Open Source, Agile, Java, Ruby, etc.
  3. Look beyond the status quo. Things can always be better expressed, more elegant and simple, more mutable, higher quality, etc.
  4. Principles and knowledge matter more than just great tools. The best tools are those that embed the knowledge and encourage the principles.

The ALT.NET conference will be an open space format event focusing on the value system, practices, and tools used by the ALT.NET community of software developers. The conference will focus on topics encompassed by the value system that Laribee points out in his blog post, "ALT.NET:"


"The primary goals of the participants and of the conference are to teach more people to use ALT.NET and to learn to do a better job of teaching it," said Scott Bellware, conference organizer.   "In the process, participants will have the opportunity to learn ALT.NET practices and tools from community influencers, and to give feedback on the experiences and challenges in learning the tools and practices."

The ALT.NET conference has attracted an international audience. Registration reached capacity in three days. Conference attendees will include major development community dignitaries such as Simon Guest, chief architecture strategist for Microsoft, Martin Fowler, chief scientist of Thoughtworks and Scott Guthrie, general manager of the Developer Division of Microsoft. 

"We are facilitating events such as ALT.NET to help Austin demonstrate and regain its status as a major innovation center for the development community," said Rudy Rodriguez, managing director of St. Edward's University Professional Education Center.

The event will not have a set agenda because organizers are employing open space technology to instantly match up attendees with similar interests who can set their own course for learning and exchanging ideas. The primary topics are expected to be open source, agile development, behavior-driven development, test-driven development, dynamic languages, Web 2.0 and more.

The ALT.NET conference is sponsored by St. Edward's University Professional Education Center, International IT consultants Castle Stronghold,Thoughtworks and the Open Information Foundation. For more information, visit


The St. Edward's University Professional Education Center, located in Northwest Austin, is the continuing education division of St. Edward's University that specializes in IT productivity, project management and management development. Training is customized to meet the specific performance needs of global competitors. For more information, visit

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