[Pdx-pm] [meeting notes] What can we do about the low student SoC turn out?

Kenneth A Skach kaskach at usgs.gov
Fri Apr 11 10:14:07 PDT 2008

Ben, I think Corey has a valid point.

When I read Portland Perl Mongers (PPM) messages, I often have no idea what
you're talking about.  There's a lot of jargon, acronyms & software names.
I could look everything up, as Corey says, but frankly, I rarely do so
because I'm busy doing my job.  And I am a "perl programmer" (since I make
tools using perl), although I don't feel like one when I don't "speak your
language".  To be fair, not ALL postings to PPM have been unintelligibly
cryptic...  just quite a few.

At the same time, I am convinced that PPM folks are a very helpful, smart
and cool group.  I am repeatedly impressed at the generous sharing that
goes on, and the genuine helpfullness that permeates this group.  That's
what has kept me signed onto PPM for the past year & a half.   But if we
write only to the clique of well-versed perl masters who are "as smart as
us", the rest of the audience won't benefit from our post.

Ben, I don't think it takes reaching for the least common denominator, but
I do think we can consider our audience more.  I bet a lot of people read
PPM who don't post there (like me).  If we want to attract more students to
perl (and to PPM), we can try to write with them more in mind as our

Ken Skach

             <ben.hengst at gmail                                             
             .com>                                                      To 
             Sent by:                  "Corey Hollaway"                    
             pdx-pm-list-bounc         <hollaway at gmail.com>                
             es+kaskach=usgs.g                                          cc 
             ov at pm.org                 Portland Perl Mongers               
                                       <pdx-pm-list at pm.org>                
             04/11/2008 09:48          Re: [Pdx-pm] [meeting notes] What   
             AM                        can we do about the low student     
                                       SoC turn out?                       

Corey I understand to some extent, things that you do not know are
confusing. But I have a problem with your post is that I think that
you are taking the stance that to gain the masses we should not push
the limits and reach for the least common denominator as the norm. I
do not feel that this is the way for success on any level. The intent
for this community is Learning, and Learning by its very nature
requires that there be something unknown that becomes known. So at
some point we have to force people to deal with something unknown and
potentially scary. Where I think that we as a community do well is if
the learner shows some initiative then we tend to give them the
support that they need. Something that we could try and do more is to
reach further down the line and try and pick up those that have
interest but are not showing any initiative, though this is a very
hard task and can not be done en-mass. It has to be done one person to
one person one example at a time.

On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 12:45 AM, Corey Hollaway <hollaway at gmail.com>
> > > - Make perl 'cool' so that the kids think that it's exciting
>  > >  - parrot
>  I don't think parrot would make perl more exciting, as long as the
>  word "parrot" is left out of the discussion.  The reason is because I
>  don't know what "parrot" is referring to.  "parrot" is like a null
>  pointer, and therefore might lead to a segmentation fault (and
>  therefore a psychological negative response).  It's like when Java
>  people are talking about "JBoss" or when someone brings up "object
>  patterns" or when someone says they have a PhD, or they won the
>  Olympics.  Since "JBoss" or "object patterns" don't (to me) have any
>  defined way for how they can help me, they appear to make the speaker
>  look pseudo-"superior", in which the speaker becomes quickly inferior
>  and therefore I stop listening to them.  It's equivalent to someone
>  saying they're a Godly programmer, or showcasing themselves.  If I
>  started talking about parrot  to Fred (and he has no idea what parrot
>  is, but knows that it's something important about perl), is like
>  saying I am a God -- in which case he'll stop listening since he
>  senses my motives are to make myself look much better than he is.
>  To help kids think perl is cool is to talk about things that can help
>  them with stuff they already know about.  Not to talk about words that
>  lead to segmentation faults and false-intention-guessing and
>  inferiority build-up.
>  The only evidence I have is myself...I've been programming with perl
>  for awhile now, but when someone brings up the world "parrot," anxiety
>  and anger just burst out, for I feel the intention of the author is to
>  showcase themselves with a buzzword (VS helping me get problems
>  solved).  I know, I could look the word up on Wikipedia, but that's
>  not the point.  The point is, if one wants to boost the popularity of
>  perl (or anything), words like "parrot" need to be avoided so that the
>  $target doesn't execute $target->feelings_of_inferior($src);  we need
>  to prove that our intentions is to make the $target feel empowered and
>  powerful given the tools of perl, so that
>  $target->likeability('perl')++, you know what I'm talkin' about?  Our
>  mission is to psychologically avoid all negative implications.
>  That's my 2 cents.
>  Sincerely,
>  Corey
>  --------------------------
>  assumption: 99.99% communication is subjective.
>  assumption: Subjective is based on personal wants.
>  Conclusion: Therefore everyone is selfish.
>  --
>  Corey Hollaway
>  Programmer / Web Developer
>  E-mail: hollaway at gmail.com
>  On Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 10:28 AM, Kris Bosland <kris at bosland.com> wrote:
>  > Hey, I am working on a perl game, partly for fun and partly as a test
>  > vehicle for developing my testing-fu.  I am hoping for it to be like
>  > Crossfire.  Right now I am using Tkx and trying to get fileevent
working for
>  > socket communication.
>  >
>  > -Kris
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  > On Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 9:33 PM, benh <ben.hengst at gmail.com> wrote:
>  > > Here are all the things that I scribbled down from the meeting
>  > > tonight, add and comment as you feel necessary.
>  > >
>  > > - Make perl 'cool' so that the kids think that it's exciting
>  > >  - games
>  > >  - interesting apps
>  > >  - parrot
>  > >  - make it know where perl is used
>  > > - Make perl corporate/government safe
>  > >  - who do you call when something breaks?
>  > > - show those around you how neat perl is
>  > >  - we have this community for a reason
>  > >  - share the love, Tom(?) is creating parsers for others in need
>  > > - release Perl6
>  > > - inter-mingle with other groups
>  > >
>  > > --
>  > > benh~
>  > > _______________________________________________
>  > > Pdx-pm-list mailing list
>  > > Pdx-pm-list at pm.org
>  > > http://mail.pm.org/mailman/listinfo/pdx-pm-list
>  > >
>  >
>  >
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