SPUG: Seattle Perl Consortium

Adam Monsen haircut at gmail.com
Tue Aug 3 21:12:23 CDT 2004

Interesting ideas, Jonathan! I may be wrong, but at first take this
sounds like a traditional consulting firm (with Frosting), albeit one
that sounds great to work for.

I would first suggest the name be changed to the "Seattle Programming
Consortium", to de-emphasize the importance of Perl. The programming
language shouldn't get in the way of obtaining contracts, and limiting
the consortium's name to something Perl-centric would definitely
reduce options. I agree with Matt Beland in this respect. This is not
to say, however, that Perl would and could be the language of choice
for every project!

Imagine this scenario: "We've evaluated several possibilities and
decided that this will be implemented as a SOAP Web service driven by
Apache/mod_perl on commodity Linux hardware. Your license fees will be
approximately $0 and development time will be minimal."

I've added comments within your email below. When I thought that an
idea would be ancillary to the core values of the consortium, I've
labeled it "Frosting": something nice to have but costs more money.
Perhaps features for future revisions of the SPC would also be
considered "Frosting".

On Tue, 3 Aug 2004 10:44:58 -0700, Jonathan Gardner
<jgardner at jonathangardner.net> wrote:
> Basically, we form a corporation called the Seattle Perl Consortium (SPC).
> We have members who are perl consultants. They pay membership fees. We buy
> advertising and we have a team of marketers and salespeople to convince the
> PHBs that perl is the way to go with glossy handouts and snazzy powerpoint
> presentations. The SPC acts like the marketing department for our small
> consultancies. With enough members and a big enough budget, we should be
> able to challenge anything Microsoft or Sun would do to market their stuff.
> SPC could provide legal assistance, accounting assistance, business advice,
> and misc. services.

Frosting? Core should be getting quality contracts lined up for SPC members.

> The idea is to move everything but perl work off of the
> consultants into the SPC where people who specialize in that sort of thing
> can do it properly and for far less than you would do it yourselves. (Going
> rate for an accountant << going rate for experienced perl consultant).

Core values! Nice.

> SPC could provide on-call 24/7 service with a call center and on-call
> consultants.

Interesting idea. I'm sure it's something that clients would appreciate.

> SPC may be able to fund its own projects. For instance, if there is a need
> for a specific piece of software, but no company is willing to fund it, but
> it would be useful to all of the members of SPC, SPC may hire some of the
> consultants to implement the project.

Or maybe a grant from The Perl Foundation, or some other charitable
organization? This would be easier to acquire were SPC not-for-profit.

Seems like Frosting.

> To smooth the market cycles, SPC may collect a hoard of cash that it will
> use to employ the consultants during difficult times. Rather than compete
> with the clients, SPC would wait to do its projects until the slow cycles.
> SPC may also be a standards body, codifying best practices and technology to
> make the work its members do consistent and unified.


> SPC could provide services you'd find in a guild or a union. We could set
> prices, establish accreditation, and help apprentices pair off with gurus.


> SPC will be basically non-profit. All the profit from the actual work goes
> into the pockets of the consultants, with perhaps a small cut to go back to
> the SPC to fund more of its activities.

Could it really be 501(c)(3)? That would be cool.

> In the future, if this is successful, we can expand this into the Seattle
> Open Source / Free Software Consortium, or maybe even a world-wide
> organization with chapters in every major city.

Woo hoo! Joining up with already existant organizations is a good
idea, especially if they've already secured 501(c)(3) status, assuming
that is what SPC seeks.



Adam Monsen <adamm at wazamatta.com>

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