UK Subversion User Group Meeting - September 2006

Today I was fortunate enough to head down to the JP Morgan building in John Winter street for, my first and, the second UK Subversion User Group Meeting.

First up the audience, it was in the high twenties, which surprised me, and included a lot of people in suits; only a handful of us were casually dressed in jeans, untucked shirts or trainers. I didn’t get to stay too long afterwards to chat, although my employer was gracious enough to allow a couple of hours in the middle of the day to attend and I didn’t want to push my luck too far. The few people I did speak to seemed pretty friendly and knowledgeable though.

There were only two familiar faces, CL Kao, SVK author, brilliant perl developer and generally top guy (and ex-coworker) and Nik Clayton, who I’ve only briefly met in person a couple of times but I’ve seen him present and he knows his stuff. Both of them presented today and their style was very different to the first speaker.

The opening presentation was what I consider as more traditional, it had lots of information on each slide, a couple of minutes of presenting per click, and would be readable on it’s own. It feels quite dry and stilted these days - it also covered a product that isn’t useful to me, and to be honest felt very out of place. The relevance to subversion seemed a little stretched.

CL followed with his SVK talk (which I’ve seen three times now - it doesn’t get boring) and he bought his trademark energy to the show. Lots of short, sharp slides, more of a story telling approach in his verbal presentation and some well placed humour helped his presentation go down well. And SVKs incremental commits look very cool. Nik was the last of the technical presentations and he wove a tail of setting up subversion so that it met his employers auditing teams directives. It was pithy, had the right amount of why as well as how and forced me to take a page of notes. He also gave me a quick peek at the SVN::Web timeline functionality, which is neat and may prompt me to install it for a little play.

The sessions were wrapped up with a few words from the sponsors, CollabNet and Clearvision, and the next meeting was announced for January; which I hope to get along to. It was very different to the usual user group meetings I attend and I did enjoy it.

Tangent: the meeting was held in the JP Morgan building I worked in about six years ago, nothing seems to have changed. My feet remembered the correct exit from Blackfriars station, the people hanging around outside smoking used the same spots as before and the area just felt the same. I realised I actually miss some of the big company feel. I’m just not sure it’s enough to get me back there yet.