ALT.NET Conference: The Geek Paparazzi Uncover Real Controversy

There have been a lot of criticisms of ALT.NET by bloggers like Colin Ramsay who claim that the nascent movement is elitist, divisive, and exclusive. Several of the attendees have balked at this view, but I will offer conclusive proof that the truth is much more dire than outsiders like Colin could have ever imagined. Here are shocking photos from the ALT.NET conference that prove just how far these ALT.NET’ers are willing to go to keep the movement pure and free of Morts.

Scott Belware’s first order of business at the conference was to make all the participants take a 6,000 question standardized test over obscure open source trivia to prove their worthiness.

The test must have been too hard for Martin Fowler, the author of Refactoring, because here you can plainly see him trying to cheat by sneaking a peek at someone else’s answers.



Scott Hanselman was so upset when he failed the test that he went on an all night drinking binge. He tried to cover it up by claiming that he didn’t drink and walking around the bar with a coke instead of a beer, but does this look like the face of a sober man to you?


Joe Ocampo from LosTechies passed the test, but his score was too low for him to learn the secret handshake. This picture shows how distraught he was after Scott Bellware broke the news to him.





James Newkirk, lead developer of NUnit 2.0 and author of “Test Driven Development in Microsoft.NET”, also managed to pass the test, but was kicked out after he expressed his disapproval of the Behavior Driven Development approach to testing. James takes his revenge here by dropping a water balloon on Scott Bellware from the top of this balcony.


Fearful that he would soon come under attack by a gang of angry morts, Scott Bellware suited up in his gladiator outfit to defend the ALT.NET secrets. He also gathered a gang of gangsters to do his bidding. Below, several tough looking goons surround Martin Fowler because he didn’t know what Ayende‘s favorite color was.

The incident that finally caused the conference to deteriorate into pillaging and burning was Scott Guthrie’s declaration that Scott Bellware was a mort.

The ensuing riot led to the majority of the attendees spending the night in jail. If you don’t believe me, just look at the police lineup photo that I uncovered. The witness successfully picked out the ALT.NET public enemy number one, David Laribee, who started it all with this post where he coined the phrase ALT.NET. His clearly anti-Microsoft body language probably gave him away.

The next time you hear something bad about the ALT.NET group, just remember that the reality is probably far worse than the mild claims floating around the blogosphere


  1. Gregor Suttie October 10, 2007 10:10 am 

    Has a sort of Usual Suspects look to the pic just above – yellow tshirt guys sayin “give me the f***in gun you idiot…”

  2. Don Demsak October 10, 2007 10:18 am 

    I love this post! If the naysayers were there at the conf, they wouldn’t be naysayers anymore.

  3. Max Pool October 10, 2007 11:56 am 

    LMAO – Now only if I had a picture of you sprinting away from the conference to catch your SuperShuttle with the tag line “Russ was so scared of the test that he darted directly into traffic”.

  4. Justice~! October 10, 2007 3:19 pm 

    This is an absolutely fantastic post.

    * Hanselman looks like a strung out, unshaven David Duchovny in that pic!

    * I think we *all* know the true reason that Martin F is so distraught in that initial pic!

  5. Joe Ocampo October 10, 2007 6:54 pm 

    This is awesome Russ! Just wait for the next conference when I catch you looking at your best! :-)

  6. Dave October 11, 2007 12:04 pm 

    very cute

  7. Scott Bellware November 15, 2007 4:50 am 

    Late to the party… this is my favorite post yet on the conference in Austin. Great send-up! Thanks!

  8. Russell Ball November 15, 2007 1:40 pm 

    @Scott – Thanks. That’s quite a compliment coming from someone who’s probably read twice as many ALT.NET posts as anyone else. I had loads of fun writing this post.

    By the way, thanks for all your hard work in organizing the conference. It was by far the best conference experience I’ve ever attended!

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