I had an extremely enjoyable time going out for beer with some Perl programmers. Professionals, that is. I program mostly for fun, so I usually don't have the chance to talk to programmers in person. Thus when I have problems or issues, I express them poorly and then get humiliated on some mailing list.
What was particularly great was the fact that everyone has the same issues! And there really is MTOWTDI! I would say, "I need to do so-and-so, and it's a pain when I have to...", and someone would say, "Yeah, I never figured out a good way to do that either" or "Just don't use [something that everyone uses], it's a waste of time."
Or we'd be discussing a so-and-so, and one person would say, "Well, I always use This and That and The::Other::Thing," and another guy would say, "I hate This and That; I use Foo and Bar and then I wrote a wrapper The::Other::Thing::FooBar so my code will work with his," and then another guy would say... And these are all people working at the same place! And they work on things you've heard of, and used!
I guess this is stuff that everyone knows. But it's nice just to hear it, and to know that not everyone is busy embedding FORTH interpreters into their code, or golfing DNA sequencers down to 67 characters, or whatever. And as I've said elsewhere, I miss being able to turn to the guy next to me and ask a general question.