Community Differences

I watched this keynote from frozen perl this weekend and it was pretty great. There are plenty things to take from this presentation, but the thing I want to mention comes from slides 66-77. Consider that mandatory reading to understand this blog post.

Now read this, this, and almost any of these.

Caveat Lector: All of those links may be outliers. I am certainly not reading a statistically valid sample of The Webternet; so maybe just consider this some random observations from this random dude.

Also: All of the above linked people are smarter and more motivated than I am. I would not criticize their intelligence in the least and their technical skills has my respect for sure. What have I done? A job? Helped move some books to people that needed them at school? Some stuff at a hospital? Compared to Rails, Mongrel, and Archeo- whatever. Compared to those guys I am nothing. Keep that in mind.

I just think it is important that in the perl world we have keynotes where people say: “Be Excellent to Each Other.” People say that perl is dead. I disagree. You should see how many blog posts there are out there saying, “no, perl is not dead!” But I would much rather perl be dead than perl be a bunch of jerks.

Basically this boils down to the difference between me and those other programmers. I think that our priorities should be:

  1. others
  2. ourselves
  3. everything else

Even if you aren’t a Christian I still think that exactly that priority list matters: Code is useless without users. Maybe they think they are exceptions because they are the users. Fine. I just know that if I see Giles, Zed, or DHH in real life I will be like, “Wow, what a great coder! Probably don’t want to actually hang out with them for more than 10 minutes though…”

Maybe I’m wrong though. Maybe the internet is just not a place for being nice. I just know that I am going to try to do my best to “Be Excellent to Each Other.”

Posted Mon, Feb 9, 2009