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Last Saturday it was the 7th and last Conference organized by UGIALT.net. With last I really mean last, as in there won’t be any more conferences organized by UGIALT.net, at least not in its current form.

This is the end

Those who attended know the reasons why we decided to terminate operations, but if you were not there, you can have a look at the keynote’s slides, watch the video of the keynote, or reading the more detailed explanations on Emanuele’s blog post, Perchè UGIALT.net ha chiuso?, or on my Italian blog L’ultima UGIALT.net conference. And for those who don’t read Italian I’ll try to summarize the reasons here:

  • we started (almost 4 years and half ago) with the goal of pushing Microsoft and the other .NET user groups to widen their horizons, and it looks like we succeeded: thanks to the ALT.NET movement Microsoft has become more agile, more focused on good practices and more open to Open Source, and other user groups started to include in their agenda more talks about fundamentals and practices and less “how to use MS XYZ lib”.
  • the ALT.NET movement (in Italy, but also worldwide) kind of split in two groups: the ones satisfied with the direction MS and other traditional user groups took, and the ones not satisfied. The first merged back into the traditional communities, and the latter moved to other platforms (ruby, nodejs and similar).
  • And finally, being too successful, with more than 150 attendees and many “mainstream developers” attending our last conference, we realized that the next step should have been a bigger conference, in a bigger venue. But that wouldn’t have been possible with just the 3 of us organizing it in our (little) spare time, financed just by donations. We should have set up a legal and fiscal entity to sell tickets, get paying sponsors, pay for the venue and either dedicate more time or find someone to help us (which didn’t happen in 4 years). But that’s a direction we didn’t want to take. We hope the other Italian User Groups will follow our steps, and keep on including ALTernative tracks in their conferences.

The conference

As I already mentioned this was the edition that beat all records: the highest number of registrations (more than 240), the highest number of attendees (around 150, the maximum, maybe more, capacity of the venue), the highest value of gifts and prizes for the attendees (more than 60.000€ of commercial value), mainly thanks to Umbraco for its Umbraco.TV subscriptions for everybody, and to Mindscape for the gift to the speakers and the 20 licenses of LightSpeed.

And #uan12 has even been an official twitter trending topic on Saturday in Italy: I think this is yet another record, being the first developer conference in Italy to become a trending topic.

If you couldn’t attend, we published all the slides online on Joind.in: http://joind.in/event/uan12. If you attended please check-in on the event, and leave your feedback.

We also recorded most of the presentations, and they are available on the Vimeo channel of DotNetMarche, one of our two main spiritual heirs, in the 7th UGIALT.net Conference video album.

But a conference is not only technical contents, it’s also user interaction and social media: you can see what happened, or live it again, in the photo twitter wall created by PepperTweet for UAN12.

What’s next?

We pushed the other UGs during these 4 years, now we hope some of them will continue on our footsteps. In the context of .NET I’m pretty sure we’ll see a lot of good stuff coming from DotNetMarche, and outside of the .NET world, there is a very fervent community in Brescia, called WEBdeBS, which is organizing (and has organized) a lot of interesting events.

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Personally, now I’ll dedicate more time to coding, other interests (like Arduino). I’ll help WEBdeBS and DotNetMarche in some of their activities and will try to start collaborating more with the local (as in Belgian) communities.

posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 2:57 PM
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