Singapore Professional .NET User Group -For Cool Developers
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Posted: 12-23-2004 2:47 AM |
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Ok, in follow-up to our Nova/Web services development problems, as well as the concern over the movement of our community members, I hereby announce the format of practical jam sessions for SgDotNet. Here are some preliminary material.
What is a practical jam session anyway?
It is a gathering of members in a physical location to conduct some practical exercises to meet the technical goals of a particular subject matter. The nature is of
activity - 100% participation from all attendees. Thus a large group, although possible, is not expected to turn out; a small team is easier to coordinate.
How often do these sessions happen? And how long do they last?
They are separate from the regular monthly meetings, and can happen as often or as seldom as circumstances permit. It is completely up to members to decide on the subject matter they wish to work on, and thus the ultimate duration of the gathering.
The best cases for such activities will come from the various development teams that have been established for the pioneering projects in SgDotNet (eg. web site, Nova, etc)
Yes, it is very likely they
happen often due to everybody's differing commitments and schedules. But the point is not to pressure members into attendance. A group of two is enough to warrant a session, and nobody has to stay for the entire length.
Where did the motivation for this idea come from? What are the goals for these activities?
In reality, most of us professionals work in a "less than ideal" environment. These lead easily to job dissatisfaction and disillusionment about our career choice in the IT industry. Many people do not wish to think/talk about technology outside of work, because they view it as
: something unpleasant.
Also, there are often many items of interest that cannot be pursued within the bounds of one's job. People do get dejected trying to learn new things on their own.
The goal is to introduce, especially to jaded professionals, a new angle of perspective and approach to tackling technological issues, and to make it a
affair. People tend to yield higher success rates as the fun factor increases. The objectives to meeting such a goal would be
provide a conducive,
pressure on participants to produce results or complete tasks.
mutual (and quick) sharing of knowledge and experience between team peers. Two or more heads are better than one.
new level of camerade and friendship with fellow professionals.
Accomplishing the technical goals for a particular session is not important. The team or individuals may fail due to unforseen circumstances. But as with above, the learning process and the fellowship are of higher orders of significance here. One can always try again next time, or let somebody else take over. No penalty.
The hope is that everybody involved can take back positive valuable lessons in tackling technological issues and team interaction with a different approach, and possibly apply them to their work place.
Where is a good place to hold such gatherings?
Any place that can sit the number of attendees and their equipment - it is ideal that everybody bring their own laptops, and be responsible for their own set of software (licenses). Usually evaluation copies will suffice for such temporal developments.
Internet connectivity would be best, so online information access can help speed knowledge searches. Cafe with wireless access; somebody's house; school laboratory, etc.
How technically advanced and difficult are these sessions?
Totally depends on the group agreeing to conduct one. Could have a group of Active Directory experts trying to simulate multi-site replication, or simply of developers meaning to understand the nuances of the lesser-known Visual Basic syntax. One should stand up and take note of similarily skilled or interested individuals within the community, and do not be afraid to seek each other out to conduct common tasks.
I don't have a laptop, and I cannot afford one as well as other miscellaneous equipment needed to setup the environment required for the technical implementation.
Well, if you are intending to stage a web farm complete with F5 load balancers, Cisco Pix firewall, HP blade servers, SAN disks, and UPS..... that may be too ambitious an activity.
That aside, if you are planning smaller focused technicals goals (which will be the usual), let's put things into perspective:
Members of a photography club don't just sit down and take about light or subject composition or filter effects or shutter speed all day. They go out (or in) and snap away with their cameras, and develop their film.
Students serious about mastering the piano grades would place a piano at home and make sure they play and play and play.
The Toyota Celica owners drive together in their cars. They don't meet and go places via bus.
Nobody said IT is cheap, but you do not need the latest and hottest hardware to perform many IT activities and experiments; not everybody gets the best camera model and has a grand piano at home. Think about the above and consider investing in the items that will allow you to carry out your passion. Where you passion is, your money goes. If buying that expensive airbrush will allow you to disperse paint more evenly and thus beautifully on your plastic scale model, then why not.
The melody of logic will always play out the truth. ~ Narumi Ayumu, Spiral
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