Complaints about Edmug's Last Presentation

There have been a number of people who have complained about Rod‘s presentation at Edmug’s May meeting. The most scathing complaint comes from Mike over at sideline.ca and I’d like to address his complaints.

The first statement that Mike makes that concerns me is this:

“In all honesty, I went into the meeting expecting to be a bit bored…”

If you went to the presentation expecting to be a little bit bored, why would you be complaining that you ended up bored? Really? We at Edmug have presented one meeting prior to this, and yes it was a great show put on by Jean Paul Boodhoo, but have people immediately set their expectations based on one single presentation? It’s not just about the needs, desires or thoughts of one person. This is a group, by developers and for developers. If you have something that you’d like to see presented, by all means talk to us. We are trying to listen, even if the single to noise ratio is low.

The next thing that I’d like to address from Mike’s post is this:

“But sitting through two hours of Hungarian notation…”

Hey Mike, are you telling me that someone’s coding standard is too distracting for you to actually follow the code? If it is then maybe we should bring in a speaker that can talk at a lower level so that you can follow the content while trying to get around their personal coding preferences. Next time you order a beer try not to be distracted by the colors on the label, you might not see the beer.

Next on the list of random thoughts that I care to disagree with is this gem:

“…I think that MSDN is using edmug.net as the dumping ground for all the books that London Drugs couldn’t sell at their most recent computer book clearance sale. I love free books as swag but there comes a point when free crap is still just crap.”
It’s free you whinging idiot. Take it or leave it. Oh, and we did give away two license of CodeSmith Professional, but maybe you were still trying to figure out what variable type the ‘o’ prefix represented when I announced that. It’s also odd that we gave away a package of VS 2005, SQL 2005 and Biztalk 2006 licenses, some of which are products that you either are, or will be, using at your place of employment. But those are crap aren’t they? Yah the books are on older technologies, but most of us are still using .NET 1.1 aren’t we? That alone makes the books relevant still. We all used to bitch that they weren’t doing anything content or swag-wise at the Wizards and now you’re telling me that we aren’t doing it with books released in the last month? Put the book you took back on the table then. I’m sure someone else wouldn’t mind it.

My last comment on Mike’s post is about this statement:

“…from the people I talked to I was able to calculate a suckage rate of 9 out of 10”

I realize that people were disappointed and we are working on ways to better manage the expectations of the attendees, but think about this for a second or two (if you’re no longer distracted by the naming standard). Part of the defining reasons that we (edmug) exist is to foster and enhance the development community here in Edmonton. The term community includes all the developers in town, no matter what their current skill level. Hell, I’d argue that the most important part of the task of fostering the community is to help the lower level developers to grow their skills and become better professionally and technically. It’s not all about satisfying the technical desires of the most senior technical minds in the community. If we do that the user group will become a bunch of pompous, elitist pricks that live in ivory towers and look down on the less knowledgeable. They say knowledge is power, but knowledge transfer, in my mind, is so much more.

I have never met and heard so much excitement about a developer community as I have in the last two and a half months. For me this indicates that edmug is starting to achieve it’s goals for the community. We will never make all people in the community happy at all times and in all ways. I’ve read the feedback from both of the meetings we’ve held and I will state that the average presenter scores for JP and Rod were almost identical. Based on those numbers, I find it hard to believe that the suckage rate was 9 out of 10. If people did think it was that bad why were the scores so high? If it’s because people ranked the speaker high and are now whinging about the content, they have no ground to stand on. If you gave a score consisting of 7s, 8s and 9s then you have no standing for saying that the event sucks. Either give us that feed back at the time of the event or shut the fuck up. I know that you did do this Mike, so this is directed at all those people who you polled.

My final statement on this fact is this: If the presentation sucked so much then we have July and August speaking slots open and there may be some space at the Code Camp still. Step the fuck up to the plate and prove that you can do as good as these guys did. Until then, either come to the meetings or don’t,. Which ever you choose, do not be the person who bitched about the old user group’s inadequate content only to see that we’ve brought in two conference quality speakers and then bitch about that too.

I’m the Igloo Coder and, although this room at Calgary Code Camp is rather cool, I’m still smoking under the collar.

29 May 2006 – Updated formatting