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Town Hall Meeting (2012 05 24)
Town Hall Meeting 2012 May 24 - Defining the culture of Mendicant University
Making the transition from a private to a public community creates some challenges. One of the most important right now is to keep developing a common culture while making things easier for newcomers. That's why we're trying to develop some guidelines or common values. Think something similar to Hacker News guidelines. Nothing will be set in stone though, our goal it to keep revising these ideas as we move forward.
The main points discussed were:
- The importance of safety
- Keeping Mendicant a safe environment as it grows
- Our reason for working on OSS
- Our plans to promote OSS in the future
The importance of safety
Mendicant University a safe place to learn and share ideas, where there was never a fear of unfriendly behavior. This doesn't mean that all communication took an extremely politically correct tone or people couldn't be critical of one another. It means however that no one would get ridiculed for lack of knowledge or making a technical mistake for example.
Online environments can be hostile to some point and having this feeling of safety is essential for the real learning to happen. Respect was always present on Mendicant and that's one of the reasons why it's a healthy community to this day.
Keeping Mendicant a safe environment as it grows
One thing we learned is that creating too much policy doesn't work. So we won't put much effort into keeping "bad eggs" out of the mix this time. Rather than define an "acceptable behavior" we'll lead by example.
As we set good examples and encourage others who are doing the same we create a nice positive influence on the community as a whole. By promoting and making the good deeds visible we'll send a clear message of what we're trying to do here and also attract people who share the values we identify with.
Our reason for working on OSS
Mendicant has always been an environment that encouraged OSS contribution. Many members made their first contribution while involved in some way or another with MU. There was always plenty of help to take that first step, which is in many ways the hardest.
A programmer might benefit from contributing to OSS when it comes to work prospects, while an organization might take into account the technical and economical benefits, but that's not why Mendicant promote it.
We promote it because we feel it's the most practical way for us to freely exchange ideas and make progress together as a group who want to use software to make meaningful changes in the world.
Our plans to promote OSS in the future
Now that our courses and main OSS projects are indefinitely on hold we need to find new ways to get people involved.
We already have our scheduled Hack Days. They are more suitable however to continued involvement to OSS. They are not the best approach for someone that wants to create his/her very first patch.
One idea we'll look into is to have an event devoted to foster contributions to a single project. Even if the limited time might not be enough to have a fully acceptable patch by the end of the session, it will get everyone at least to start a pull request.
2012-05-24 14:04:51 UTC - seacreature - hi everyone!
2012-05-24 14:05:16 UTC - jordanbyron - HI !!!
2012-05-24 14:05:25 UTC - aguids - hello
2012-05-24 14:05:25 UTC - captdowner - Hello!
2012-05-24 14:05:37 UTC - semmons99 - hello!
2012-05-24 14:06:21 UTC - seacreature - so today is our first public town hall meeting
2012-05-24 14:06:26 UTC - chastell - o/
2012-05-24 14:06:30 UTC - jordanbyron - \o/
2012-05-24 14:07:04 UTC - seacreature - we've done a few of these internally, and the idea is that we're trying to make Mendicant more of a community-run thing
2012-05-24 14:07:09 UTC - rafadc - hi!
2012-05-24 14:07:28 UTC - seacreature - so these events are a way for us to work together to figure out what the school should be, and to discuss any pressing issues
2012-05-24 14:08:08 UTC - ericgj - hello
2012-05-24 14:08:30 UTC - seacreature - So, one of our biggest challenges about making Mendicant open is that we want to keep developing a common culture in our group, but we also want to make it easy for newcomers to get invovled
2012-05-24 14:08:34 UTC - seacreature - *involved
2012-05-24 14:08:52 UTC - seacreature - We can no longer rely on me to be the arbitrary decider of all of these decisions
2012-05-24 14:09:06 UTC - seacreature - so we're hoping to come up with some sort of guidelines or values for our group
2012-05-24 14:09:34 UTC - seacreature - Think something similar to the Hacker News guidelines, but probably a bit broader in scope: http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html
2012-05-24 14:10:20 UTC - seacreature - We want to be adaptive though, so we want to start small and gradually revise our ideas as our community grows and changes
2012-05-24 14:10:39 UTC - seacreature - that pretty much outlines the challenge, and today's meeting is meant to help us work on that
2012-05-24 14:11:26 UTC - seacreature - Those of you who have been around here for a while, maybe you can share a bit about what Mendicant is to you
2012-05-24 14:11:40 UTC - seacreature - and we can use that as a jumping off point for what we want it to be
2012-05-24 14:11:55 UTC - seacreature - anyone want to volunteer to share a story?
2012-05-24 14:13:45 UTC - jordanbyron - I'll share :)
2012-05-24 14:14:16 UTC - jordanbyron - Mendicant means a lot of things to me, but one of the most important values I associate with Mendicant is a safe place to learn and share ideas
2012-05-24 14:14:33 UTC - jordanbyron - I love learning, and I love sharing my ideas with others
2012-05-24 14:14:50 UTC - jordanbyron - Mendicant has always been a place where that can happen without the fear of douchbaggery
2012-05-24 14:15:14 UTC - jordanbyron - So I'd love for that to always be the case
2012-05-24 14:15:39 UTC - seacreature - Yeah, that's something that I think we've always tried to focus on
2012-05-24 14:15:47 UTC - seacreature - in fact, that's why the program was private in the first place
2012-05-24 14:16:16 UTC - seacreature - I think that a feeling of safety is essential for any real learning to happen
2012-05-24 14:16:58 UTC - seacreature - and it doesn't mean that we can't be critical of one another, or that we need to be excessively politically correct, but it does mean that the idea that this is a place where you won't be ridiculed for a lack of knowledge, or for making a technical mistake, is important
2012-05-24 14:17:15 UTC - jordanbyron - Exactly
2012-05-24 14:17:54 UTC - seacreature - For other folks who have been part of the community for a while, is that something that was/is important to you as well?
2012-05-24 14:18:34 UTC - seacreature - also curious to hear what newcomers think.
2012-05-24 14:19:10 UTC - seacreature - In my experience, the "safe environment" thing is important because I've experienced hostile online environments a bit too often
2012-05-24 14:19:21 UTC - semmons99 - Yes. I've always found it important. For me it was "respect"
2012-05-24 14:19:22 UTC - seacreature - but it probably depends on what kinds of communities you've been involved with.
2012-05-24 14:19:26 UTC - rafadc - Respect is mandatory. It makes MU a really healthy community
2012-05-24 14:20:31 UTC - seacreature - I think respect is easier to maintain when everyone has a common purpose in mind, however general
2012-05-24 14:20:51 UTC - seacreature - it's much harder to maintain respect in say, the Ruby Talk mailing list
2012-05-24 14:21:07 UTC - seacreature - because the only commonality between people on that list is that they use the same programming language
2012-05-24 14:21:13 UTC - aguids - following on byron lead. There's also another fear that goes away on Mendicant which is the fear of not being good enough (specially for open source)
2012-05-24 14:21:35 UTC - seacreature - this wasn't so much true when traffic was lighter, but now trolling is common :-/
2012-05-24 14:21:59 UTC - seacreature - oh, btw, let me kick up an etherpad, we'll discuss here but drop some notes there
2012-05-24 14:22:36 UTC - seacreature - http://community.mendicantuniversity.org:9001/p/mu-culture-1
2012-05-24 14:23:54 UTC - jordanbyron - aguids: I hope that at Mendicant we foster an environment where contributing to open source isn't scary, but lots of fun. I think we do a fairly good job at that and I hope with this new model we keep that up
2012-05-24 14:24:06 UTC - jordanbyron - It was easy before with all our OSS projects and the core skills course
2012-05-24 14:24:15 UTC - jordanbyron - I think hack days will fill in the gaps
2012-05-24 14:24:22 UTC - jordanbyron - Plus any MUx OSS projects
2012-05-24 14:24:24 UTC - seacreature - I think there is a lot we can say about our involvement in OSS
2012-05-24 14:24:41 UTC - seacreature - but before we go down that road, I think we can talk about safety a bit more, because it's much more general
2012-05-24 14:25:01 UTC - seacreature - a question I have is how we will help make sure that MU remains safe as it grows and thrives out in the open
2012-05-24 14:25:21 UTC - aguids - jordanbyron: Yes. Many of us had our first contribution for OSS while involved with Mendicant in one way or another.
2012-05-24 14:26:20 UTC - seacreature - does anyone have thoughts on that?
2012-05-24 14:26:43 UTC - aguids - I believe that's something we cannot garantee in a strict sense
2012-05-24 14:26:54 UTC - jordanbyron - seacreature: That's a tough questions. I hope that we can do as much "self policing" as possible to keep any "bad eggs" out of the mix
2012-05-24 14:27:25 UTC - aguids - We can take measures to keep it healthy though.
2012-05-24 14:27:39 UTC - seacreature - As I mess around with +v flags, that was one of the ways I had in mind. I'm trying to make it easier to identify established community members. It's not meant to create two classes of participants, but instead, make it easier for newcomers to know who has been around here for a while and knows our culture
2012-05-24 14:28:12 UTC - rafadc - leading by example is important ;) and until now is has been for sure
2012-05-24 14:28:15 UTC - seacreature - But even that I worry about, because basically anything you do along these lines influences social interactions
2012-05-24 14:28:28 UTC - jordanbyron - rafadc: I love leading my example. Really important
2012-05-24 14:29:13 UTC - seacreature - one thing we've learned is that creating a lot of policy doesn't work well ;-P
2012-05-24 14:30:11 UTC - jordanbyron - seacreature: That's right.
2012-05-24 14:30:44 UTC - seacreature - So I guess that some combination of leading by example and shining the spotlight on what we feel are good examples would help
2012-05-24 14:31:04 UTC - seacreature - In some sense, Mendicant is going to be defined by the people running our activities
2012-05-24 14:31:33 UTC - seacreature - so if we can encourage them to put their best foot forward, it may create a nice positive influence on the community as a whole
2012-05-24 14:31:59 UTC - seacreature - and since activities are much more open now for others to run, it'll be a more diverse set of values than when I ran everything myself
2012-05-24 14:32:27 UTC - seacreature - aguids: did you have other ideas on what measures we can/should be taking to ensure a safe environment?
2012-05-24 14:33:02 UTC - aguids - seacreature: I agree with what has been said
2012-05-24 14:33:15 UTC - aguids - my point on not being able to garantee is that
2012-05-24 14:33:19 UTC - aguids - if Mendicant thrives in the open
2012-05-24 14:33:23 UTC - aguids - and hopefully it will
2012-05-24 14:33:32 UTC - aguids - the douches will come
2012-05-24 14:33:59 UTC - aguids - so we need to have a firm grasp on what we think crosses the line for bad behavior
2012-05-24 14:34:02 UTC - jordanbyron - I almost think that is a problem we should deal with when it happens
2012-05-24 14:34:07 UTC - aguids - or bad manners
2012-05-24 14:34:11 UTC - aguids - and act accordingly
2012-05-24 14:34:15 UTC - jordanbyron - But that is a good point aguids
2012-05-24 14:34:21 UTC - seacreature - I wonder though, I think that social disorder happens when a community grows beyond a sense of common purpose
2012-05-24 14:34:52 UTC - seacreature - Because Mendicant is organized around particular people and particular activities, we may at least have a slower decay rate
2012-05-24 14:35:27 UTC - seacreature - One of the things that we tried to do with the new model is make it so that we sort of put everything all through a single pipeline
2012-05-24 14:35:37 UTC - seacreature - for example, we don't want to run events concurrently
2012-05-24 14:36:07 UTC - seacreature - I think that making Mendicant a "place" as much as a "platform" will make it different than say... reddit
2012-05-24 14:37:10 UTC - seacreature - However, I think this article is relevant: http://www.shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html
2012-05-24 14:37:36 UTC - aguids - seacreature: having a single pipeline is a nice measure
2012-05-24 14:38:02 UTC - seacreature - I'm worried that if we work too hard on defining "acceptable behavior", we will end up sliding down a very slippery slope
2012-05-24 14:38:29 UTC - seacreature - but making an effort to constantly promote good behavior is probably worth our time
2012-05-24 14:38:53 UTC - aguids - it makes sense
2012-05-24 14:39:29 UTC - seacreature - maybe we can revisit this issue again in a future meeting, if folks feel like we've at least established a good starting point
2012-05-24 14:39:53 UTC - seacreature - at this early stage it's basically, set a good example, encourage others who are doing the same, try to make the good things people are doing visible
2012-05-24 14:40:09 UTC - jordanbyron - seacreature: I like that plan
2012-05-24 14:40:48 UTC - rafadc - create inertia
2012-05-24 14:41:28 UTC - aguids - seacreature: You did those Hat Tip posts in the past. I think we could use something in that sense here as well.
2012-05-24 14:42:37 UTC - seacreature - rafadc: yep, that's what I have in mind. (Non-abusive) people tend to decide to participate in groups based on how the group already acts, and tends to follow social norms
2012-05-24 14:43:18 UTC - seacreature - so we need to establish social norms we all can identify with, and that should help attract others who appreciate the same kinds of things
2012-05-24 14:43:53 UTC - seacreature - and aguids, yeah, that's a great idea. By visibly promoting the kinds of things we value, it should send a clear message of what we're trying to do here
2012-05-24 14:44:09 UTC - seacreature - above all we want to be defined by what we do, not some big preachy manifesto anyway
2012-05-24 14:44:42 UTC - seacreature - As much as I've wanted Mendicant to be a social movement from day 1, I don't want it to become analogous to the free software foundation :-PP
2012-05-24 14:46:27 UTC - seacreature - anyone have more to say about the safety topic before we move on?
2012-05-24 14:47:10 UTC - seacreature - also, those of you who are here and don't have much experience with Mendicant, feel free to chime in, or to ask questions as we go
2012-05-24 14:47:44 UTC - seacreature - It's understandable that it'll probably take a few months of Mendicant being out in the open before non-alumni start feeling a sense of ownership in it, but you are welcome to participate!
2012-05-24 14:47:56 UTC - captdowner - As a recent observer of MU, and having been assisted in development after a single announcement to the mailing list, I am impressed by the spirit, the expertise and the helpfullness of MU members.
2012-05-24 14:49:07 UTC - jordanbyron - captdowner: <3
2012-05-24 14:49:13 UTC - seacreature - awesome!
2012-05-24 14:49:32 UTC - aguids - \o/
2012-05-24 14:49:40 UTC - seacreature - that's definitely the kind of reputation we want to have
2012-05-24 14:49:44 UTC - rafadc - :D
2012-05-24 14:51:26 UTC - seacreature - Okay... so maybe this is a convenient time to discuss Mendicant's role in OSS
2012-05-24 14:51:40 UTC - seacreature - who wants to talk about that?
2012-05-24 14:51:58 UTC - seacreature - someone other than jordanbyron
2012-05-24 14:53:04 UTC - rafadc - ok, for me it's been an invaluable way of making my first contribution
2012-05-24 14:53:24 UTC - rafadc - it's the kind of thing that you always want to do but never dare to
2012-05-24 14:54:08 UTC - rafadc - there is plenty of people here helping you to make that first step
2012-05-24 14:54:12 UTC - rafadc - that always is the harder
2012-05-24 14:54:25 UTC - rafadc - that is important
2012-05-24 14:54:44 UTC - seacreature - So one thing I wonder is now that we no longer have the core courses, how do we keep encouraging people to make that first contribution
2012-05-24 14:54:55 UTC - rafadc - exactly
2012-05-24 14:55:19 UTC - seacreature - It felt like we could ease people into it over a period of weeks, and we also had a fair degree of control over what projects people were working on which allowed us to hand-pick maintainers that were friendly
2012-05-24 14:55:33 UTC - aguids - I believe there's much untapped potential there
2012-05-24 14:55:36 UTC - aguids - with MUx projects
2012-05-24 14:55:45 UTC - jordanbyron - seacreature: And now that we've all but killed off our "easy to contribute to" OSS projects (PuzzleNode / Community / etc ...)
2012-05-24 14:56:03 UTC - seacreature - I have been thinking that we need to start looking into pushing MUx along, but there is just so much more to do
2012-05-24 14:56:10 UTC - semmons99 - I believe we could encourage OSS contributions through events specifically for it, something akin to greg's upcoming technical writing event
2012-05-24 14:56:13 UTC - jordanbyron - seacreature: Indeed
2012-05-24 14:56:27 UTC - seacreature - in particular, we need cultural guidelines before we can have independently organized projects which claim to value those guidelines
2012-05-24 14:56:44 UTC - seacreature - but let's pretend that all was already hashed out
2012-05-24 14:57:07 UTC - seacreature - semmons99: That's an interesting idea
2012-05-24 14:57:29 UTC - semmons99 - I was thinking of running a "First OSS contribution" using Anita
2012-05-24 14:57:38 UTC - seacreature - do you mean general OSS contribution events, or something like a "Ruby Documentation Project" night, or an "rstat.us night", or both?
2012-05-24 14:57:57 UTC - semmons99 - similar to office hours, but we'd work for 3 hours on a specific project and try to get everyone to at least start a pull request
2012-05-24 14:59:34 UTC - jordanbyron - semmons99: I like that idea. We could do that for any MUx project
2012-05-24 14:59:41 UTC - semmons99 - exactly
2012-05-24 14:59:46 UTC - jordanbyron - Or any OSS project for that matter
2012-05-24 14:59:55 UTC - semmons99 - really anyone who leads an OSS project could run a clinic
2012-05-24 15:00:01 UTC - jordanbyron - Sure why not
2012-05-24 15:00:14 UTC - chandresh - sure
2012-05-24 15:00:14 UTC - jordanbyron - As long as they follow our guidelines and values
2012-05-24 15:00:50 UTC - seacreature - right, a key part of the new way of doing things is the idea that people can propose and run their own events
2012-05-24 15:01:21 UTC - aguids - semmons99: I like it. Having a single project defined is much easier to coordinate than giving assistance to whatever obscure project a participant might bring if we go the open route
2012-05-24 15:01:28 UTC - seacreature - we'd give those who produce a few good events commit bit to mendicantuniversity.org so that they could schedule events on their own
2012-05-24 15:01:56 UTC - seacreature - Right, I think the hack nights should be more about information exchange than about being an OSS clinic
2012-05-24 15:02:38 UTC - seacreature - So introducing these activities would give people a way to get involved that is more structured than "Just show up and ask what people are working on"
2012-05-24 15:02:59 UTC - seacreature - I think the hack days are great for continued involvement in OSS, but maybe not best for creating your very first patch
2012-05-24 15:03:38 UTC - seacreature - I'd like to keep moving the conversation along here, can someone update the etherpad with our thoughts on OSS stuff?
2012-05-24 15:03:38 UTC - jordanbyron - seacreature: I agree. You could do that at a hackfest, but it's probably not the best environment for it
2012-05-24 15:03:40 UTC - semmons99 - so, as an actionable item, I'd like to run an "OSS Clinic with Anita" next week
2012-05-24 15:03:43 UTC - jordanbyron - Especially if the room is really active
2012-05-24 15:04:01 UTC - seacreature - semmons99: that sounds great!
2012-05-24 15:04:23 UTC - jordanbyron - semmons99: I'm writing a bunch of feed back on your pull request now. Be prepared :)
2012-05-24 15:04:45 UTC - semmons99 - :)
2012-05-24 15:04:57 UTC - seacreature - so here's another thing, we need to have some understanding of why we want to promote OSS
2012-05-24 15:04:59 UTC - chandresh - "OSS Clinic with Anita" - how does that work?
2012-05-24 15:05:35 UTC - seacreature - while that might be something that sounds obvious, the commonality between folks who write open source software is simply that they write open source software
2012-05-24 15:05:59 UTC - seacreature - Mendicant needs a more principled reason why we dedicate so much time to this activity, just to set expectations adequately
2012-05-24 15:06:31 UTC - seacreature - chandresh: semmons99 is writing up meeting notes right now, but I imagine he would introduce you to his project (https://github.com/mendicant/anita)
2012-05-24 15:06:42 UTC - seacreature - and then he'd help you figure out how to contribute to it in some way
2012-05-24 15:06:55 UTC - chandresh - thanks
2012-05-24 15:07:08 UTC - seacreature - the group would work together, which means that ideas would cross-pollinate a bit
2012-05-24 15:08:20 UTC - seacreature - so anyone want to take a stab at WHY open source matters to us?
2012-05-24 15:09:34 UTC - seacreature - when I say "us", I'm fine with you describing your personal relationship, not necessarily speaking on behalf of MU
2012-05-24 15:09:36 UTC - chandresh - Well.. its because of open source we have a lot of tools which are non-proprietary..
2012-05-24 15:10:02 UTC - lsone - OSS Contributions are priceless to people that are looking for more career options. Employers love that you are contributing back to the community that more than likely got you where you are.
2012-05-24 15:10:55 UTC - chandresh - and for example.. if there would be no open source only students, scientists and employees of big companies would be using *nix
2012-05-24 15:11:28 UTC - jordanbyron - For me it's all about learning and sharing ideas. I get to play and explore things I normally don't get to do in my day job with OSS projects. That's really cool.
2012-05-24 15:11:36 UTC - lsone - I can personally say that OSS is what made me who I am today, and has definitely defined my learning curve.
2012-05-24 15:11:44 UTC - chandresh - I using Linux and so many open source tools and it feels great to give back
2012-05-24 15:12:11 UTC - jordanbyron - Then of course there is the social good that some OSS projects support. That's another major reason for me :)
2012-05-24 15:12:16 UTC - seacreature - even here, we have many different reasons for doing OSS
2012-05-24 15:12:55 UTC - seacreature - lsone mentioned the benefits when it comes to work prospects, chandresh mentioned the technical benefits / economic benefits, and jordanbyron emphasized the learning/fun aspect of things
2012-05-24 15:13:05 UTC - aguids - I think that the crux for Mendicant is that OSS is a two way avenue. As much as we are benefitting from other people work we can use our work so that others can benefit as well. And that really resonates with our shared learning environment.
2012-05-24 15:13:31 UTC - semmons99 - I participate in OSS because of my belief in the free exchange of information and ideas
2012-05-24 15:13:42 UTC - seacreature - aguids: well put. Personally I think that MU should promote OSS not because it is special, but because it is obvious
2012-05-24 15:13:43 UTC - semmons99 - soceity cannot advance without it
2012-05-24 15:14:04 UTC - seacreature - if we care about self-improvement and helping others, we will naturally want to freely exchange information
2012-05-24 15:14:14 UTC - seacreature - and F/OSS is a logical consequence of that
2012-05-24 15:14:37 UTC - seacreature - So for example, while I have built my entire career on building a reputation in OSS (as lsone mentioned the benefits of)
2012-05-24 15:14:51 UTC - seacreature - I don't think that would be the reason why mendicant promotes OSS
2012-05-24 15:15:54 UTC - seacreature - so we're standing somewhere in the middle of a spectrum of "I do it because of its practical benefits" and "I do it because I am altruistic and want to save the world"
2012-05-24 15:16:48 UTC - seacreature - would it be fair to say that we promote open source because we feel it's the most practical way for us to freely exchange ideas and make progress together as a group who want to use software to make meaningful changes in the world?
2012-05-24 15:17:22 UTC - aguids - super fair
2012-05-24 15:17:25 UTC - lsone - That sounds like a pretty good middle ground to me.
2012-05-24 15:17:32 UTC - chandresh - rightly said
2012-05-24 15:17:32 UTC - seacreature - i.e. because we want our community to have as much freedom and openness as possible, so too must be the technology stack we use
2012-05-24 15:17:54 UTC - seacreature - because there is very little separation between technology and social interaction online
2012-05-24 15:18:16 UTC - seacreature - for example, if we were using google+ right now for this discussion, I would need to use a VPN if I were living in China
2012-05-24 15:18:26 UTC - seacreature - and possibly attract unwanted government attention
2012-05-24 15:18:59 UTC - seacreature - not to say that China can't/won't block freenode :)
2012-05-24 15:19:05 UTC - chandresh - :)
2012-05-24 15:19:20 UTC - seacreature - but because of the openness of the tools, these things can always be worked around
2012-05-24 15:20:09 UTC - seacreature - Well... it looks like we've gone over two things that matter to us
2012-05-24 15:20:17 UTC - seacreature - having a safe, welcoming learning environment
2012-05-24 15:20:32 UTC - seacreature - and promoting free exchange of ideas, information, and code through open source involvement
2012-05-24 15:20:51 UTC - seacreature - we've discussed a bit about WHY these things matter to us, and have talked about some of the things we can do to support them
2012-05-24 15:21:25 UTC - seacreature - because we originally called for a 1.5hr meeting, I don't want to go into another major discussion toic before wrapping up
2012-05-24 15:21:32 UTC - seacreature - *topic
2012-05-24 15:21:44 UTC - seacreature - we can keep working on this over the coming months
2012-05-24 15:21:52 UTC - chandresh - sure
2012-05-24 15:22:05 UTC - seacreature - so for now, I'd like to open things up for a bit of open Q&A / discussion about all things Mendicant
2012-05-24 15:22:22 UTC - seacreature - Officially we've got about 10 minutes left, but I can stick around for a while.
2012-05-24 15:23:05 UTC - seacreature - aguids: you're going to write up meeting notes to post on the wiki, right?
2012-05-24 15:23:31 UTC - seacreature - (within the next few days)
2012-05-24 15:23:33 UTC - chandresh - I am new here and was wondering about a few things.. how does open office hours work
2012-05-24 15:23:44 UTC - aguids - seacreature: yes, sir
2012-05-24 15:23:45 UTC - aguids - :)
2012-05-24 15:23:49 UTC - seacreature - aguids: great.
2012-05-24 15:24:22 UTC - seacreature - rafadc: can you take the notes from the etherpad (and whatever aguids writes up) and use it to make some updates to our community guidelines draft?
2012-05-24 15:24:55 UTC - seacreature - I still want to keep working on that draft as we go, since it tries to capture the "whole picture"
2012-05-24 15:25:04 UTC - seacreature - if not, we can coordinate someone else to work on it.
2012-05-24 15:25:08 UTC - seacreature - chandresh: okay, sure
2012-05-24 15:25:39 UTC - seacreature - chandresh: semmons99 and jordanbyron recently gave office hours, they can tell you a bit about what went on in their sessions
2012-05-24 15:26:25 UTC - semmons99 - chandresh: so open office hours are a time for you to come and ask questions
2012-05-24 15:26:42 UTC - semmons99 - whether they're about a project you're working on
2012-05-24 15:27:00 UTC - jordanbyron - I just did my first one yesterday and in the description (http://mendicantuniversity.org/activities/2012/05/23/office-hours-with-jordan-byron.html) offered help specifically on frontend development since that's my area of expertise. But I'd be willing to help out on anything anyone wanted
2012-05-24 15:27:14 UTC - semmons99 - an open source project you'd like to contribute to, puzzle node problems or just looking to bounce ideas
2012-05-24 15:27:22 UTC - jordanbyron - BTW, I use expertise very loosely
2012-05-24 15:27:30 UTC - jordanbyron - I am by no means an expert
2012-05-24 15:27:58 UTC - semmons99 - it's just a time for members of the community to sit down and help others
2012-05-24 15:27:59 UTC - seacreature - semmons99, jordanbyron so can you give examples of the kinds of questions you guys answered?
2012-05-24 15:28:05 UTC - chandresh - k.. sounds great.. I need to discuss some BDD and cucumber related issues .. I think there is one open office tomorrow
2012-05-24 15:28:26 UTC - semmons99 - my last one focused on helping a member refactor their puzzle node problem
2012-05-24 15:28:33 UTC - semmons99 - and some general MU questions
2012-05-24 15:28:39 UTC - jordanbyron - I helped sean_m with rails partials
2012-05-24 15:28:50 UTC - jordanbyron - That was about it :)
2012-05-24 15:29:01 UTC - chandresh - Yes, I am reading the transcript..
2012-05-24 15:31:11 UTC - seacreature - anyone else have questions or stuff they want to share?
2012-05-24 15:31:56 UTC - seacreature - A key part of these town halls is that we're welcoming people to be candid about their thoughts about the stuff we've been working on. I don't think we're doing anything terribly controversial right now, but this is the time and place to air concerns when they arise
2012-05-24 15:32:55 UTC - lsone - How long has MU actually been around? I just started looking into it over the past week.
2012-05-24 15:33:10 UTC - chandresh - Nothing, just wanted to say.. its a great idea.. This gives people like me who are freelancers to connect with other programmers and learn stuff.
2012-05-24 15:33:33 UTC - seacreature - lsone: we ran as a private program for two years
2012-05-24 15:33:56 UTC - seacreature - we did open calls for participation, but they closed very quickly due to high demand
2012-05-24 15:34:13 UTC - seacreature - and those who didn't make it through our core skills course were not invited to continue being part of our community
2012-05-24 15:34:19 UTC - lsone - Ah ok, gotcha.
2012-05-24 15:34:24 UTC - lsone - That makes sense.
2012-05-24 15:34:29 UTC - seacreature - there are tradeoffs to different kinds of community structures
2012-05-24 15:34:38 UTC - seacreature - before we were sinking massive time investments into our courses
2012-05-24 15:34:45 UTC - seacreature - which helped people learn a lot very quickly
2012-05-24 15:35:01 UTC - seacreature - but over time we decided we wanted to make things a bit more flexible
2012-05-24 15:35:03 UTC - seacreature - and open-ended
2012-05-24 15:36:14 UTC - seacreature - lsone: this document explains why we made the change, although it's a bit specific to MU alumni: https://github.com/mendicant/mendicantuniversity.org/wiki/We-need-to-change-%282012-May-02%29
2012-05-24 15:36:40 UTC - seacreature - this diagram shows the 1000+ person hours a single course costs though: http://is.gd/WvUmrF
2012-05-24 15:36:56 UTC - lsone - Understandable. The whole thing seems like a very interesting concept, and I will definitely be following along. I personally have relatively no Ruby experience, but many years of various other languages behind me.
2012-05-24 15:37:26 UTC - seacreature - lsone: we're trying to become more of a polyglot environment
2012-05-24 15:37:52 UTC - lsone - Oh wow, that is a lot of hours invested.
2012-05-24 15:37:59 UTC - seacreature - so while you're welcome to learn Ruby from the folks here, you are also encouraged to work in (and maybe even offer others help with) other languages
2012-05-24 15:38:19 UTC - seacreature - for example, you definitely don't need to be coding in Ruby to participate in our hack days
2012-05-24 15:38:50 UTC - seacreature - or if we did study sessions around a general software development concept (like Test-driven development), it'd be fine to reference examples from your own language of choice
2012-05-24 15:38:50 UTC - lsone - I have read a handful of Ruby books already. Like The Pickaxe book, and Eloquent Ruby, and a couple others.
2012-05-24 15:39:06 UTC - lsone - And I am always open to helping people out. :)
2012-05-24 15:39:12 UTC - seacreature - Ruby is for the moment our lingua franca and may be for some time, but don't let that box you in
2012-05-24 15:39:41 UTC - lsone - I personally am looking to make the career jump into Ruby, so that's why I have jumped deep into the Ruby pool as of late. :)
2012-05-24 15:41:26 UTC - seacreature - awesome, you'll find plenty of people here in the same boat.
2012-05-24 15:42:06 UTC - seacreature - I think now is a convenient time to wrap the meeting up. I'll be AFK for a bit, but always feel free to use this channel to discuss pretty much whatever you'd like
2012-05-24 15:42:10 UTC - seacreature - thanks for coming everyone!
2012-05-24 15:42:48 UTC - chandresh - Thanks
2012-05-24 15:43:52 UTC - jordanbyron - Thanks for coming everyone :)
2012-05-24 15:44:50 UTC - lsone - Thanks :)
2012-05-24 15:45:43 UTC - sean_m - Thanks for doing this :)
2012-05-24 15:47:05 UTC - chastell - thanks!
2012-05-24 16:24:07 UTC - ckrailo - ACTION pokes lsone
2012-05-24 16:24:22 UTC - lsone - No!
2012-05-24 16:24:29 UTC - lsone - :)
2012-05-24 17:07:17 UTC - billiamii - Question about code review: Can I open an issue for a general, project-wide code review? How specific does the request need to be?
2012-05-24 17:11:48 UTC - semmons99 - billiamii: If you'd like a code review that broad, most likely someone will first setup a time to talk to you about the project
2012-05-24 17:12:07 UTC - semmons99 - that way they can get better insight into what you're looking for
2012-05-24 17:12:20 UTC - semmons99 - but if you can be more specific, they'll be able to skip that step
2012-05-24 17:13:51 UTC - billiamii - Ok, great. Thank you
2012-05-24 17:16:50 UTC - semmons99 - np