On Wednesday, we had our first hands on session of the London ZeroMQ User Group. It was nice to see such an enthusiastic bunch of people come along to find out what Zero is all about.

As our first technical session, it covered some of the basic concepts – contexts, sockets, and “sockets”. We got started with some of the theory, and then moved onto getting a basic REQ-REP pair up and running over TCP – across threads, across processes, and then (with some difficulty overcoming network issues but hey – what’s a dive into network programming without network issues, eh?) across machines. Having been advertised as a C# session, it was great to see a few Python and Java devs come along as well. And yes, we did manage to get .NET talking to Python as soon as the network issue had been resolved. There were interesting questions through out, and although implementation wise, all we got to was REQ-REP I believe it’s laid down the foundations for more things in the coming days.

I’d like to thank Wendy and the group over at Skillsmatter for hosting us, and the video of the session is up at http://skillsmatter.com/podcast/design-architecture/getting-started. The little code that we did produce (and note, that it’s all the code necessary to get applications on different machines built on different platforms talking to each other) is up on github at https://github.com/ZeroMQLondon/1-getting-started.

It’s our little user group, and if Wednesday is anything to go by, future sessions will be a great deal of fun. The members are fantastic with deep insightful questions, and are very helpful at the same time. While plans are worthless, planning is vital. Next time, we will *possibly* look at ROUTER-DEALER, how ZeroMQ sends around data from socket to socket, and build up a system where multiple clients can talk to a flexible number of workers asynchronously – supercomputing here we come!!