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scrottie (4167)

scrottie
  scott@slowass.net
http://slowass.net/

My email address is scott@slowass.net. Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Tuesday April 06, 2004
07:07 AM

Perl Programmers Don't Go To Meetings

[ #18216 ]
"I'm a drunk. Alcoholics go to meetings".

Not being career programmers, or not having the professional mindset set in, Perl programmers don't go to meetings. This is a vague generalization and such is in valid except to the degree that it is true. (Read: there is a tendency for Perl programmers, tend not to go to meetings).

To be a true professional, you must have had your fun ruined. Rather than considering your own amusement or even your sanity, you only consider the client, the requirements, the corporate structure, the company, the business plan, the investors, stock performance, the purity of the branding... well, you know. Selfishness means asking yourself what you need from a work arrangement to be able to maintain sanity. It can also mean doing what you need to do to maintain pleasure from your work. Professionalism systematicly strips this away unless your pleasure is making lots of money and being a big cheeze, which are the only professionalism-compliant ways to enjoy a job.

Meetings aren't fun. They're boring. Meetings are agenda driven. The driving agenda is someone elses agenda.

Case in point: There is a Java Users Group, JUG, in town. Approximately 5 to 10 times as many people show up for meetings there as do at Phoenix Perl Mongers. No, this isn't proof, just evidence. If you must argue with this, argue with whether or not this constitutes evidence (which would be stupid) or argue that the evidence supports the premise (which would be annoying but not out of the realm of reason) or argue that my logic is flawed (logic isn't something you make up, there are rules to the game). These people show up to meetings that are primarily a sales presentation by the meeting sponsor, but in exchange, they get free food and sometimes drinks afterwards, at a resturant. So they're suffering someones agenda. I suggest as an assumption to this argument that they suffer this agenda because their goal is not fun but professionalism - they want to put their group membership on their resume, make contacts, and actually learn technical things - three things that Perl programmers have little desire in.

Suffering through a presentation about how to use a software producting supporting Java requires patience. Admitting that your programming skill and professional standing could be improved requires modesty. Getting off your duff and going to a social event requires energy.

In short, I submit to you, my patient reader, that Laziness, Impatience, and Hubris (false or otherwise) prevents many (or even most) Perl programmers from going to such activities as Perl Mongers. (Suggesting that this is "wrong" would imply that none these things happen to more than a small degree as my conclusion is that the effect applies to many, meaning numerous, Perl programmers - I did not say "everyone" or "always". Note that "many" or "most" is a disjunction and an argument against this should apply to both cases, not either. For some reason, pointing out flaws in things that people like, no matter what the intention, seems to cause people to abandon logic).

-scott
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  • This argument is meant to compose my thoughts on a possible explanation why the Java user group is much more active than the Perl user group - a mystery that I'd like to solve so I can do something about. It isn't meant to be flame bait thought if you have strong feelings, flame away. However listing all of the reasons I might be wrong isn't helpful to me or anyone. Here are some suggestions for how you might constructively comment on this:

    If not attending is an act of laziness, could it be turned into
    • Why bother worrying about it? I don't understand. Meetings are not going to make better programmers. Going [back?] to college is going to teach you more theory, which will make you a stronger programmer. However, school also tends to teach you nothing about practical programming concerns and practices. This is experience is gained by going out on the net, searching, downloading other people's code, reading bug reports, trying software, doing performance tests, weighing features and drawbacks, and if yo
  • they want to put their group membership on their resume, make contacts, and actually learn technical things - three things that Perl programmers have little desire in.

    I take issue with at least two of those. Two of the reasons I go to london.pm meetings is to meet new and interesting people, who are doing new and interesting technical things -- or, at least, old things in a new and interesting fashion. They're not just excuses to go along and drink beer...