Originally conceived by Ken Hodges-Hammer (www.sipantic.com) and flushed out during lunch with Dave Noderer at Bru's Room in Deerfield Beach, FL. We scheduled the first pass last night at the Microsoft office in Ft Lauderdale. This would not have happened without active participation, planning and pizza from Jeff Barnes our Microsoft Architecture Evangelist.

The basic concept is to move beyond plain old presentations to get the user group attendees actively involved and participating. We know that everyone coming to user group meetings have valuable experience and knowledge to share and we want to tap into it.

We started the meeting by doing introductions, each person saying who they are and what they do.

In this first try, we picked a subject, Software Development Methodologies and a few in particular... waterfall, agile and extreme. Each of us (Ken, Dave and Jeff) took one of these and gave a 5 min overview. This was really just to get everyone's attention and add a little bit of focus.

Then we broke into three groups (but not necessarily by dev methodology) and spent 45 minutes discussing our own experiences with the goal of coming up with "nuggets" of what actually works for software development. As the backgrounds and experiences of the people varied widely, a wide range of ideas and situations emerged.

At the end of the meeting we re-convened the entire group and reviewed the "nuggets" from each group.

Over the next few days we will transcribe and organize these and publish them on the www.fladotnet.com site.

Everyone agreed that we should do it again. We have tentatively picked the theme of "Role of an Architect" and plan on putting something together for the next meeting in January.

One change we might make is to expand the introduction / presentation part a little bit but not much!

Thanks to everyone involved for making this a success!!

I'm looking forward to next month!!