You Can Lead A Developer to Patterns but You Can’t Make Them Think!

At yesterday’s Philadelphia .NET CodeCamp, I was again wearing my somewhat tongue-in-cheek custom t-shirt with the following platitude on the front and the succinct summary of what I consider to be ALT.NET’s primary raison-d’etre on the reverse side:

Lead-Developer-Patterns-Front Lead-Developer-Patterns-Rear

As those readers who either attended the Agile Firestarter event in June or watched any of the videos of that event may recall, I originally created this shirt for that event.  I enjoyed the friendly, humorous challenge that it suggested to developers to always better themselves and so I wore it again to the recent Philly CodeCamp event.

Why the Shirt?

A number of people approached me at the event and began conversations with me about the shirt (which, frankly, was part of the point of wearing the shirt in the first place).  Its turned into a great conversation-starter for everything from  “What is this ALT.NET thing anyway?” to “I love the thought – great shirt!” to “I always find you ALT.NET guys horribly abrasive and insulting to everyone else, how come you’re not like that?”.

OK, I admit that I made that last one up 🙂 but as someone that feels strongly that ALT.NET can be a positive force for change in the Microsoft developer eco-system, I think its important for people to be able to associate my community outreach and educational efforts with at least the spirit of ALT.NET and the shirt helps make that point clearly without my needing to constantly remind people that I’m part of the self-associated group of developers who consider themselves ALT.NET.

Where Can I Get the Shirt?

A number of people at the Philly Code Camp had asked me if the shirt was available for purchase somewhere and although I originally created the design just for myself, I don’t see any reason why others shouldn’t be able to purchase one for themselves if they want one and so I have made the design available publically from the website I originally used to create the design myself:

Why Zazzle?  Because they offered the best mix of high-quality base material (shirts, in this case) and reasonable cost.  The shirt as-designed is now available on the Zazzle site for about USD $28.00 at the following link:

Note that in case you think the USD $28.00 price is more than you want to spend, I have left the option open from the ordering page for you to select a different (lower-quality) base shirt (e.g., without double-stitching, not 100% cotton, etc.).  And if you don’t want a t-shirt at all but would prefer a crew, a long-sleeve shirt, a hoody, or even something else, you can customize all of that for yourself too…the Zazzle site offers no-end of choices for things you might want to imprint the design upon – have a blast and explore your options before deciding.

Note that not all items are available in all colors, so if you’re in love with the black shirt as the ‘base’, you’re choices are somewhat limited (which in my case is one of the reasons the shirt was so (relatively) expensive: black is only offered with the more expensive base t-shirt).

Perhaps the all-time winner of the craziest thing to print this on has to be the “Infant Organic Onesie”, as shown here (just for fun, I’m NOT suggesting this would make a great infant outfit)…

Lead-Developer-Patterns-Infant-Front Lead-Developer-Patterns-Infant-Rear

Royalty Payments

Even though I’m not trying to make any money off of this design, it turns out that the Zazzle site actually will NOT permit you to sell an item without adding a minimum 10% royalty to the price.  Trust me, I tried to set the ‘royalty slider’ to 0% but it snaps back to 10% no matter what you do.  Since I’m not really interested in making any money off of this thing but I cannot set the royalty to 0%, here’s what I will commit to do with the royalty money: I will apply 100% of any revenue generated by this design to assist the NYC ALT.NET user group’s pizza and soda budget for our monthly meetings.

Since I’m betting this isn’t really ever going to amount to much anyway, its probably not a big deal, but in case you bristle at the thought of my making money off of this, the best I can do is give the internet universe my word that the money will go to a good cause 🙂

Zazzle Panel

Apparently, Zazzle makes available an embeddable ‘panel’ that you can put on your website to make it easy for people to purchase your items.  Presumably it also makes it easier for you to share the item with others, so here’s this thing if you’re interested…

Have fun, and I hope I get to one day show up at an event where everyone is wearing these things but on the back it just says “.NET” instead of “ALT.NET”…then our work here will be done 🙂