Friday, May 27, 2016

Community Meetup Etiquette

With my contract, soon coming to an end, I have been looking around(You gotta pay bills). I have met companies who had problems I did not appear desperate for a job. Some were surprised that I did not attend meetups. So I decided to attend MHUG(25/5/2016). No better meetup than Haskell one for a guy who has production Haskell code under his belt.

I reached the place 10 minutes ahead of scheduled time. Got introduced to Les Kitchen( professor from Melbourne uni. I was feeling great(happens when i meet people million times smarter than me). Some how the topic about social impact came up and I spoke about Logistimo( Les appeared super impressed and invited me to speak at buzz conf Melbourne user group. Couple of my X colleagues(disgruntled MYOB employees) showed up. Had a few giggles from the gossips and the talk was on.

Simon Fenton( from seek was presenting about their journey using Haskell at seek. We all know Haskell is not production ready. Melbourne's definition of production ready is; If you search on stack overflow, you need to find code that can be copy pasted. 8 minutes into the talk, couple of guys left. I have been wondering! Some of the questions that came to my mind are
  1. Did they have an emergency?
  2. If it was toilet emergency, why did they not come back?
  3. Did they not know what the talk was about?
  4. Did they come for free beer/networking?
  5. Were they jealous he was using Haskell to pay his bills and they cannot?. I say that because there are 3 kinds of Scala programmers;
    1. Team Leads and Java loyals who resist change but (it makes them less important in the organization) forced to use Scala (huge community in Melbourne)
    2. Java refugees, happy to be not using java (growing but still small)
    3. Fuck, this would be so easy in Haskell (Negligible)
I asked myself what would I do?
  1. In any kind of emergency, say sorry to the speaker and leave. 
  2. If the talk was not for me (I wouldn't go in the first place), I would lie about an emergency and leave.
  3. If I was there for free beer/networking, I would suck it up.
None of this matters if you are at Apple developer conference. Tim cook does not give a shit if you leave as he has charged you to be there. It matters when there are 15-20 people in the room and it is free/community driven. I don't care whether the talk was good or not, it takes balls/preparation to stand up there and speak(Hats off to Simon). It is necessary to be compassionate at community driven meetups otherwise people will be put off from speaking at such events.

For now I am going to assume the speaker knew these celebrities were there for a guest appearance or they had an emergency(always positive). If not, please do me a favour, say sorry to the speaker and show respect.

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