Last Wed I attended the first Victoria .Net architects group, been a bit busy (aren't we all at this time of year) so I've been a bit slow blogging about it, but it looks like it will be really good.
There are plenty of user groups around where you can see a technical presentation, these days you can also find a lot of great technical solutions on the internet.
There is also heaps of information on architecture on the internet, but the hard part of designing good architecture is in a lot of cases there aren't any absolute rules, just guidelines, best practices etc and the rest is all done based on experience. So the questions is how do you become a good or better architect. I think best answer is trying to learn and discuss solutions with other architects, hopefully this is what the group will be all about.
The first meeting was really good. There was a great presentation on SOA from Martin Granell from Readify. Also great to see Nigel Watson from Microsoft not only supporting the event but actively participating in the discussion. There were plenty of questions from the audience and the presentation became more of a discussion than a formal talk by the end which meant it covered a wide range of useful information.
Also we decided that a large part of future meetings will be running a solution from a fake company through various parts of scoping and designing an SOA architecture. This should help the discussions to be less theoretical also it means we can break down the process and tackle it in pieces with people attending when we are covering a piece they are interested in.
One thing I was concerned about before attending was that the discussions would be two theoretical for someone like me who not only designs but implements solutions, but it looks like there will be a good balance between the theoretical and the practical. Also there was even talk about trying to hook in with the .Net user group to further cover the technical side of implementing particular topics which would be good.
If your interested in the group register at the site http://www.vdnaug.net/