October 2009 Archives

Frozen Perl goals, one week later

Last week I had set some goals for organizing Frozen Perl 2010, and I am glad to see that I both  goals. This is significant, because I needed someone else to help me do each of these tasks

The first goal was to get access to the website and learn enough about ACT to get the webpage up and running. I have done this, and I have sent the email off to have the test pages copied to the production website, so hopefully by the time you all read this Frozen Perl 2010 will be a working website.

The second goal was to have our sponsorship prospectus ready to mail out, and thanks to Drew on our planning committee, It has been completed and is ready to mail out.

My goal for next week is to have all of my sponsors contacted, and at least 50% of the rest.

This has been a productive week for Frozen Perl I hope to see you all here in February!

Friday Frozen Perl Update

Frozen Perl is coming along, but I keep procrastinating and hitting snags, that make me feel like we are getting behind schedule. To make it all worse, I need people outside our group to fix some of these snags, instead of assigning these tasks within the group.

First, The original for our Sponsorship PDF has been lost so our graphic design person needs to re-create it, and so I wait.

Second I cannot log into the ACT servers any longer, and I don't really know why. Is it because my Private key doesn't match? was my account deleted? is there a server problem?). These same folks also need to create the conference in ACT. So I must patiently wait for them.

Third ... I haven't personally  used ACT before, so I need to do some learning. However #2 prevents me from testing anything.

However there is a bit of good news I have a bit of help coming from Duluth from Ted, who answered my previous post where I asked for volunteers. (Honestly, I didn't expect anyone to answer that, so that was a pleasant surprise).

So, here I am patiently waiting for other folks to do their jobs.  To be perfectly clear, no one is slow at this point, I just was not ready to have the problems that I am having.

Goals for next week:
1. have sponsorship letters OUT
2. Have access to ACT and have a preliminary FP10 website running (complete with registration).
3. have a start on the call for speakers.

This week I have taken a needed mini vacation from work, and I needed it more than I first thought.

During this vacation, I have gotten my main laptop back to working condition as its hardrive failed while I was traveling to Pittsburgh for YAPC::NA. Getting the laptop working with a fresh install of Mac OS X is like getting a new laptop. I have installed GIT so I can look at MST's code for IronMan. Also, I am currently installing an array of CPAN Modules so that I can develop on my pet projects again.

It is nice to not have to do any work on a computer unless *I* want to do it. I really needed the break.

I am really glad I took that backup of my laptop right before going to YAPC. Effectively I lost nothing, because after the backup I didn't do anything that wasn't in version control.

Frozen Perl is moving along, we are finalizing our letters for sponsorship, and I am hopeful to get them out before the middle of next week.

Perl development

A week ago I noticed that MST's badge had gone from bronze to stone, so I was wondering why he didn't drop directly to paper???  As a result I also offered to look over (and possibly fix) the logic that assigns our badges for Ironman. This was dumb, because my only appropriate development machine at home has a dying hard drive, and the machine I have been using since the beginning of YAPC::NA, was noticed as being possibly the oldest most beat up machine at the conference (stripes on the screen and all).

Well, now I have a new hard drive in the mail, and I look forward to new hardware, and a chance to do some development with the community.

Feedback regarding my YAPC::NA talks

Last week I got the survey results regarding my YAPC::NA talks, and I found that one of my talks was really badly received among the two that reviewed the talk. I was shocked, at first to their extreme dislike for my talk, and later to their reasons for disliking them.

The root of the problem that they both say is that my talk might have driven new programmers from the community, but I don't understand how, as they never say exactly why.

Now before I go any further, I want to say that I will go over the talk very carefully if I ever decide to give the talk again. This is not about me not wanting to fix my stuff.

After my initial shock, I realized that they both went into how there were a lot of women in the audience and that makes it way worse, because I was going to drive them away from the community. I actually take offense to this on the womens' behalf. What difference does it make that there were women in the room? I don't want to treat women any differently than men. To do so would be patronizing, and make them even more aware that there are only 10 women in a conference hall with 300 other guys.

I feel that if you want more women in the community you need to talk to them and invite them to join. Don't treat them differently after they arrive. That is possibly the worst thing you can do.

I was really offended by the implication that I should have changed my talk, because the few women in our community were there, I mean really, either it is appropriate to give at YAPC, or it is not. The gender of the audience shouldn't change the content of a talk for YAPC. We are trying to be inviting to women and inclusive? Then invite them! The worst possible thing you can do is to treat them differently. Just thinking about it gets me pissed off on behalf of the women who were adventurous enough to attend a conference in a Male dominated field/subculture, just to be patronized by the same types people who review my talk.

The problem is that they might not even realize thier transgression, and that is the real problem. When talking with several of the YAPC organizers, and women programmers around my office, Everyone echoed the same things: That women don't want to stand out because they are different. Which means that changing a talk because there might be a woman in the room, is offensive. Either your talk was offensive to begin with (like the Ruby talk back in April), or because you are now patronizing the women who are attending your talk, treating them like beginners.

Anyone who says I should have fixed my talk because women were there. Shut up.

On the other hand, if you think I should fix my talk because I could have driven newcomers away from the community, I would like to listen to your constructive comments, because I don't have a recording of my talk, and therefore cannot review it myself.

I have gone on long enough about this, and I hope that I don't offend anyone, but this is how I feel on the topic.
/end rant

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