The meetings question.

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Dave Patterson

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Jun 4, 2007, 3:53:46 PM6/4/07
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I guess the first thing to ask is - are people interested in meeting
at all?

Assuming you are (I am) it's probably a bit early to arrange a formal
session but I would be happy to organise a social evening somewhere in
town so people can start to get to know each other.

Once we hit a sensible number of bodies I'm interested to hear what
kind of format people would like to see. While we are getting things
going we could try a few "un-conference" style sessions. Someone
suggests a topic or theme for the night - "IDEs are for the weak",
"Unit testing is a waste of time". Everyone brings their own opinions
to the table and the person with the loudest voice gets the last slice
of pizza.

Another option is the classic Power Point + Q&A style presentation. It
would be cool to hear what kind of projects people within the group
have worked on and to see if anyone has any experience that is worth
presenting. If we can guarantee decent numbers we can arrange a
visiting speaker from one of the big outfits. The more attendees we
can get the better the speaker will be.

We can try to organise any or all of these things so I need some
feedback:

What do you think?
What have you seen/tried before that you thought was great/crap?
Can you recommend a speaker/venue?
What kind of beer do you drink?
Is the idea of a bunch of java developers in one room your idea of
purgatory?

Be honest - I will not be offended :)

Cheers.

Dave Patterson.

jdm...@gmail.com

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Jun 5, 2007, 4:12:13 PM6/5/07
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To be totally honest I've found that casual session can tend to go off
topic quickly: I have no problem with this at all, I just personally
want to know that if I attend it it will be focused. We can still have
drinks/casual stuff for those that want it afterwards. So, I think a
semi-formal session with someone "in control", with a titled
presentation would be great (like "Next week: Java 5.0 new features").

The .NET group I went to once had a really great presentation from
someone who actually did some coding in his presentation. i.e., not
just static powerpoint but actual live demonstration. That was quite
good.

A slightly radical idea might be this thing I've heard of called "code
party" (or something like that). (Bear with me - it's not as bad as it
sounds!) Basically the idea is that you agree a goal for the session
(e.g. write a little game) and then spend 30 minutes coding it. The
idea is that everyone codes and everyone gets the project done at the
end.

On 4 Jun, 20:53, Dave Patterson

Dave Patterson

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Jun 5, 2007, 5:33:29 PM6/5/07
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Hi John.

The code party sounds like a funky idea. Anyone got a suggestion or
request for a sensible goal for an evening?

Dave P.

Matthew Perry

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Jun 5, 2007, 5:34:48 PM6/5/07
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Real content for a couple of hours 6:30 to 8:00, then a quick drink 8:30 to
9:30/10:00 sounds good.

Andy128

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Jun 7, 2007, 3:56:51 PM6/7/07
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Meetings sounds like a good idea. I'd be interested in having a theme (and
a leader?) so that there is a specific topic to start the evening, then
opening into more general discussion as the evening progresses. As a first
meeting, may be something short with more general/social to get a sense of
what topics people would want to see.

Not been to a code party - but why not?!

Andy

John Wood

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Jun 8, 2007, 3:36:34 AM6/8/07
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Slightly off topic:

When I said "coding party" what I mean was "coding dojo": http://codingdojo.org/

Dave Patterson

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Jun 8, 2007, 5:26:53 AM6/8/07
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Coding Dojo - Very zen!

I must admit that I wasn't sure how a code party would work. I had
visions of some kind of LAN party but with SVN instead of Quake!

The Kata & Randori formats sound like they would work really well.
Great way to get tips and practise with a new IDE. I'm an Eclipse
drone by trade but I would love to get to grips with the workflow in
Netbeans and Idea.

Dave P.

Ant Ireland

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Jun 8, 2007, 5:16:46 PM6/8/07
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I'd agree with Matthew - a formal / semi-formal session followed by a
few drinks sounds like a good idea. I want to a couple of the South
West Agile Group meetings which were good, but they kind of dissolved
at the end. The code-dojo sounds interesting , might provide a way of
breaking the ice with folks you don't know.

Horts pub in the centre used to have a cheap meeting room upstairs,
nothing fancy but was reasonably big and had tables and chairs. Has
the advantage of a) being in the centre and b) being a pub. Haven't
been there for a while, but I could investigate.

jdm...@gmail.com

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Jul 23, 2007, 12:16:12 PM7/23/07
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I recently went to the .NET developers group in Bristol and I have to
say it was really good.

It has really made we want to have something similar for Java. Are we
really going to the .NET-ers have *two* meetings in Bristol and we
haven't one!? ;-)

So anyway, I was going to suggest that we just organise something.

I'm offerring to help out on the "logistics" stuff to get us started
as long as enough people are interested and don't mind contributing
towards the charge of the room.

If this is OK, I would, like some help with the content, not having a
huge amount of experience with this stuff. The .NET group did a very
good session of what they called "grok talks": a 10 minute talk by
group members about a cool tool, technology etc.

What do people think?

John Wood

On 4 Jun, 20:53, Dave Patterson
<dave.patterson.bris...@googlemail.com> wrote:

Dave Patterson

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Jul 23, 2007, 3:57:01 PM7/23/07
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Hi John,

I think you're right - we should arrange a session and thanks for the
offer of help. Even if we only get a few people it would be good to
put some names to faces. Grok talks sound like a good way for people
to talk about their pet projects without having to prep a long
presentation. I'd be happy to do some stuff on performance tuning for
instance. (I doubt I could squeeze much more than 10 minutes out of it
if I tried!) Is anyone else in a position to run a 10 minute demo or
presentation?

Someone suggested the upstairs room at Horts Tavern as a venue. I'll
drop by this week to still if it's still available.

We have also had an offer for a visiting speaker. The guys at
SkillsMatter are organising visits for Graeme Rocher, the project lead
for Grails. http://graemerocher.blogspot.com. I'm not sure what the
terms are yet so it's early days but I think that would be a great
session if we could get the numbers. Does any body else like the sound
of that?

I also liked the idea of a code dojo but I've not had any suggestions
for a project so far. It's been quiet since the initial flurry of sign-
up but I know you're out there so sing up and let us know what you're
thinking.

Dave Patterson.

Andy Seaborne

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Jul 24, 2007, 5:20:10 PM7/24/07
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> Hi John,
>
> I think you're right - we should arrange a session and thanks for the
> offer of help. Even if we only get a few people it would be good to
> put some names to faces.

Good idea - get something going and see where it leads us.

> Grok talks sound like a good way for people
> to talk about their pet projects without having to prep a long
> presentation. I'd be happy to do some stuff on performance tuning for
> instance. (I doubt I could squeeze much more than 10 minutes out of it
> if I tried!) Is anyone else in a position to run a 10 minute demo or
> presentation?

It's not specifically Java - but it is in Java - I can talk about our open
source experiences: http://jena.sf.net/

>
> Someone suggested the upstairs room at Horts Tavern as a venue. I'll
> drop by this week to still if it's still available.

which is:
http://www.allpubs.co.uk/pub/55956

>
> We have also had an offer for a visiting speaker. The guys at
> SkillsMatter are organising visits for Graeme Rocher, the project lead
> for Grails. http://graemerocher.blogspot.com. I'm not sure what the
> terms are yet so it's early days but I think that would be a great
> session if we could get the numbers. Does any body else like the sound
> of that?

Yes.

>
> I also liked the idea of a code dojo but I've not had any suggestions
> for a project so far. It's been quiet since the initial flurry of sign-
> up but I know you're out there so sing up and let us know what you're
> thinking.
>
> Dave Patterson.

Andy

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