keep up the good work Verity
The technical conference season is once more upon us. The speakers at these affairs spend a lot of time sharing their software design patterns and anti-patterns with us; as a regular attendee it seemed to me that we punters were overdue for revenge. Here is some of their own medicine. Pattern: BTDTGTTS Motivation: At a talk …
Or if they somehow corner you at the bar you can probably force them into a game of Fizz-Buzz-Guzz-Wuzz (3,5,7,11) in roman numerals with no technical aids. And lie so they get drunk quickly. If not rohipnol and youtube stream should keep them away from conferences for a while.
This is the guy (it almost always is a guy) who goes on training courses on subjects or skills he is fully conversant in so he can continually contradict the trainer, or ask obscure questions and finish the practical tasks in 2 minutes so he can sit there making snide comments about how he cant believe everyone is taking so long on what is a fundamentally simple task.
I'm planning to acquire a taser before going on my next course to deal with these kinds of individuals
> ... who goes on training courses on subjects or skills he is fully conversant in
Actually, I think you'll find he's the guy who is sent on those courses by colleagues (who willingly transfer their training credits to him) just so they can get him out of the office for a while.
I was actually giving a talk last year and had an 'expert' who winced visibly or snorted or muttered every time I said something he disagreed with, and who gradually took over the day as the moderator lost control. My nay-sayer's expertise seemed to have peaked in 2003, but he was a big man in his company now, having engineered a job for life by making himself irreplacable (and we know how these sort do that), so he felt free to pontificate on anything anyone said. I had the painful experience of being unable to give what was deemed in advance a really practical talk. One prat, one day wasted for dozens of delegates. Solution? Moderator must have tazer.
There's always one. I was on a training course a couple of weeks ago where one smartarse said "I can't believe you are telling us this stuff, surely everyone in the room knows it already".
Fair play to the lecturer, it put him off a bit but he recovered well enough. Still annoying though.
Or if you drove there, simply stop in the services close to the venue to buy some fuel and a sandwich, make sure receipt shows the location and then head off and do something useful like shopping, photos or playing the in the arcades at the services! When you get home pick up the PDF conference notes and scan it for the buzzwords to the report to the management the next day!
Indeed... most engineers I know will never turn down the chance of free food - work on the assumption that ever free meal could be your last.
Unfortunately most conference organisers are no longer stupid enough to offer a free bar (at least not when there are hardware engineers in the room).
nip into the bar where you can often find the speakers indulging in a bit of dutch courage before going to give their talk. Engage them one-on-one about the topic, get all the info you want out of them. And finish with a 'don't worry about the talk, judging by what you've told me, you know the whole thing inside out.' He gets the encouragement he needed, you get all the info required to bullshit your boss the next day.
> Long ago, the writer heard Bjarne Stroustrup himself complain that "object-oriented" had become a marketing synonym for "good"
At ECOOP 1987 (in what may have been a keynote - don't remember), Bjarne exemplified this issue with the following syllogism:
Ada is good
Object oriented is good
Ada is object oriented
This talk has been scanned at http://www.ifs.uni-linz.ac.at/~ecoop/cd/papers/0276/02760051.pdf
The 1991 revised version is at http://www2.research.att.com/~bs/whatis.pdf
All the other papers from that very first ECOOP conference can be found at http://www.ifs.uni-linz.ac.at/~ecoop/cd/tocs/t0276.htm
This was at university, but similar situation.
Guest lecturer at front giving interesting talk. Guy(male) at back (long black hair, slightly high pitched voice) asking annoying questions.
After question 5 he actually raises an interesting point, but lecturer is frustrated, so says
"The girl at the back has made a good point...."
no more questions, lecture continues uninterrupted.
I'll admit I can sometimes be the guy who thinks he knows more than somebody talking. But I attempt to bring things up in a better way by asking questions of what they've said
I can't think of any good examples off the top of my head, but effectively they explain something and the you ask
you: "Sorry, just want to make sure I'm understanding this right, so you're saying XXXX"
Them :"Well, not quite, what i'm actually saying is XXXX"
you: "But if it does XXXX, wouldn't that mean that XXXX would happen?"
Them: "Well, no because of YYYY"
you: "But if you do YYYY then ZZZZ becomes redundant, wouldn't it be better to do 1111?"
so on so forth. Because you aren't correcting them you're just airing your thoughts, eventually they correct themselves. Most of the time you only need to ask the first question and somebody else will take over from you afterwards.
Of course when somebody is delivering a lecture or keynote on something they don't fully understand, or something they're only referencing a single source for they really can't be that bright anyway.
I think that if I thought there was an error in the presentation I'd try to talk privately to the speaker afterwards. This would help if I mistook what was being said and the presenter can rephrase for me then I don't look dumb, and if the speaker has made an error or was unclear has the opportunity for them to make corrections without being shown up.
The ones that drive me insane are the people who sit next to you and complain to you about how the speaker is blowing smoke for the whole 40 minutes. Maybe you're right, and maybe you're not, but I'm trying to bloody well listen so I can decide for myself!
As far as escaping, fake phone calls are fun. "Hello honey. Oh, she said yes? I always knew she was a lot of fun. Well, let me tidy up the hotel room and then you two can come over. The bed's big enough for all of us". Walk out as you say this, and watch the attention paid to the speaker plummet. Come back in a few minutes later smiling sweetly and revel in the fact that 100% of the audience are constructing jealous fantasies and not paying a blind bit of notice to Mr Design Patterns up the front.
I'd suggest the solution to "room for little me" is to take a women's coat and bag, place it on the seat so it's hanging against the ground and conceal a glass of wine on the floor next to it. When the whale arrives he's almost guaranteed to kick over the glass all over the coat, or knock it over when shifting the thing, and you can scream bloody murder at how he's ruined your friend or significant other's brand new accessories.
Theoretically anyway. If anyone could test this for me I'd be most appreciative.
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