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February 8, 2012 / lukewpatterson

KC User Group Tour, Part 1: Perl Mongers

Oh yes, I did! Adding “Part 1” to the title is pretty bold. Hopefully this doesn’t turn out like the time I tried to learn saxophone. Two middle school friends and I had big plans to start a trio – two saxophonists and a drummer. I guess I thought, if ALF can learn saxophone, how hard can it be? To make a long story boring, our dreams were dashed within a week. I am so uncoordinated – I once tripped over my own head while playing basketball – that after the third lesson I faked an injury so I wouldn’t have to go back. It was embarrassing. To this day, the other two members of the would-be trio won’t even acknowledge that episode of our lives.

So, with those memories in stow, I embark on a new adventure. This time around, though, the only coordination that I’ll need can all be done online.

Okay, so enough drumroll:recent post on the KC Java User Group got me thinking about what other user groups Kansas City has to offer. I found a nice site which gives me a calendar of events for local groups, and decided to blog my way through the list.

The first stop of the tour was last night at the KC Perl Mongers meeting at Barley’s Brewhaus in Shawnee. Earlier in the day, I had posted out to their mailing list to make sure the meeting was still on. I thought it was important to test the waters a little bit instead of showing up unannounced. Sometimes these things don’t go so well. Fortunately, my mailing list query was met with welcoming responses by Andrew Moore and the gang, so I felt pretty good about how things would go.

I think I’ll use the one-pass/stream-of-thought format to cover the details (mainly because fully-coherent writing takes so much time):

  • Perl
  • I was very interested to hear about the infrastructure of modularity and reusability. I kept thinking about the similarity and contrasts with JVM-based development. In Perl, your dependencies come in source-code form, not end-state form.
  • Maven Central vs. CPAN
  • One monger described the effects of morphine (or, as he described it, “catnip++”) on his cat. I missed the first part of the conversation about the vet and a prescription, so for a while I was pretty concerned.
  • The potato wedges are good. It is like a little bowl of cheese made out of potato skin.
  • A monger described a recent problem he fixed with transactional side effects. He was using SQLite in testing, and things worked fine, but was seeing different behavior in production.
  • User groups seem to be a good place for finding out what it is really like working at some of the local companies. And it’s not all negative – it’s not a whine-fest, although there are legitimate grievances aired sometimes – and I was happy to hear how some members loved their current jobs.
  • A monger told the story of how his GPS unit doubled as a flight recorder when he took a nasty spill on his bike. You know you aren’t having a good day when you have to perform your own road-side dental procedure. Putting the tooth back in upside down didn’t help either.
  • A monger told about his recent experiences with XML::Rabbit, and how it helped him remove the noise and clutter of a complex document by getting a highly-customized view of the data he needed.

Overall, I really enjoyed the group and the meeting. They requested that I come back after I visit the other user groups. I look forward to it.

Here is a picture with everyone:

Next Up: Atlassian User Group, the meeting is tonight at 6:30, at 810 Zone. Plus, I just heard back from the Atlassian group and it turns out this is their first meeting. I am able to watch the group from the start! Keep posted and subscribe to this blog to stay up with the future happenings in this series.

–Luke Patterson,

Other Stops On The KC User Group Tour

Part 2: Atlassian User Group

Part 3: Pythonistas

Part 4: Rubyists

Part 5: NodeLabs, by NodeKC (a guest post located on the Joyent blog site)


Leave a Comment
  1. adidas28 / Feb 8 2012 14:41

    Great writeup. Glad to see you didn’t have to put on 5″ white high heel man-boots.


  1. KC User Group Tour, Part 2: Atlassian User Group « Keyhole Software
  2. KC User Group Tour, Part 3: Pythonistas « Keyhole Software

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