One of the distinctions in XP is called the 'metaphor'. It is an underlying, or in the words of Kent Beck, an 'overarching' mental model of the project, shared by all members of the team.
If the ADUG is a project, which for me it has been for seven years, for me the project metaphor goes under the label 'craft guild'. I really don't know a lot about the old craft guilds, but what the expression means to me is a supportive network based on the craft that defines our working days.
The most significant machinery of the project these days is the list, but that's not enough for me. My metaphor includes personal meetings and the development of valued relationships. There's a lifestyle issue here, and of course this metaphor, for whoever adopts it, has got to overcome the 'fast-paced modern life' metaphor, which is dominated by the family, the dreariness of driving through city traffic to get anywhere, and canned entertainment. Great, isn't it? Faced with a choice between watching Buffy and listening to a presentation on Lockbox, what comes up? Tape the bloody thing, for heaven's sake!
Now, a reminder of some stuff that has characterized the past year:
The augmentation of the committee. New members are Mal Austin, and Tate Needham. The augmented committee had its second 'Annual Conference' this year, which took place in Melbourne after the Autumn Symposium. Interstate members, being the aforementioned plus Glenn Crouch, Mathias Burbach and Anthony Richardson, were flown in at ADUG expense. This meeting plus the committee mailing list is our solution to the problem of how to make 'project adug' work, and it does seem to work.
The Symposium was held in just two cities again this year. We continue to wonder why the Sydney numbers don't match the Melbourne numbers.
Mathias Burbach engineered the Canberra chapter start up, and Tate continues to look after it. Anthony Richardson got the Adelaide branch going, kicked off by a Steve Hayes workshop as a 'warm up' event. Mal Austin got the BrisVegas branch going.
As you will notice from Graham's Treasurer's report, we're financially healthy, in fact our bank balance is just a bit too healthy, partly as a result of the excellent work done by Glenn Crouch in getting sponsors for the annual symposium. There'll be an announcement shortly about an event which may have the effect of reducing our balance, ie it's a way of returning value to you.
I need to thank all the members of the committee. Starting with Graham Pitson, who not only handled the major administrative responsibility of Treasurer again, but also continued to maintain the events system which enables us to handle bookings and payments for the symposium and other events. And Andrea Coffey, who looked after that other busy area, Secretary. I don't have to thank the Vice President, because we didn't have one this year. But I do need to thank Glenn Crouch, who contributes generously from his perch in Kalgoorlie. Also Mathias Burbach, and Mal, Tate and Anthony, already mentioned.
Off committee this year, but still a contributor has been Paul Spain. Maintaining the server and its software soaks up the hours, doesn't it mate? Plus John MacDonald, who stoutly continues to perform the necessary function of Public Officer, despite having been off the committee for some years.
Of course there are many more who've contributed: all of the presenters at meetings, local sub committee members etc. But the rule is, of course, that you must get out of it more than you put in.
Seven years ago there was a pioneering flavour about the group. There was an urgency about learning how to drive this wonderful new tool, D1, and for many of us, coming to grips with OO as well.
Today, there's more a 'business as usual' flavour. Perhaps we could call it a maintenance phase. But the environment is changing around us. '.Net' is not going to fail, which I expect will mean that most of us will need to seriously add to our skills in the next few years. I think the challenge for us is to have the ADUG be a relevant resource in the next round of pioneering.