Judean People’s Front

Monty Python Life of Brian

Men dressed as women dressed as men to throw stones


Last semester I was having some minor coding issues that I wanted to talk through with someone but I didn’t want to bother the teacher about. I reached out to him to ask if there was anyone he knew about who would be interested in pair programming with me. He told me to look into NSCoder.

NSCoder, for the uninitiated, is a night that you set aside to meet up with other programmers to work on code, usually at a coffee shop. This is traditionally on Tuesday nights.

So I looked into NSCoder and hey, there is one in Madison! I kept planning to go to their meetings, but the winter has been pretty brutal. We have had snow storms most Tuesdays and it takes as long to drive from school to downtown as it does for me to drive from school to home.

I decided to create an NSCoder group at Madison College. I reached out over our group mailing list to see if anyone was interested and days people could do. I did not get any response. The few people I talked to couldn’t do Tuesdays.

So I had another person pick up the ball. He sent out an email telling everyone to meet in the cafeteria on Tuesday afternoon any time after 2:30. A couple of us from the afternoon iOS Development class all went down after class at 4:30. No one there, including the guy who initiated the NSCoder meeting. We all stay for about 40 minutes. I left early because I had a brand new puppy that I didn’t want to leave for too long and everyone else had obligations.

I found out later that the initiator did show up a half hour after every one left and just coded on his own.

So yesterday I get an email over the mailing list from yet a third person saying he thinks this is a great idea and we should really start an NSCoder group at school that meets on Tuesday nights. He tells all of us grandly that he will be in the school cafeteria all day coding and welcomes us to join him.

This is a person who dropped out without finishing his degree, so he was unaware that this is Spring Break and no one would be there. He was informed of this fact by someone so he pushed it back by a week.

I pointed out that we have already been doing this and that Tuesdays are not a good night for people that I have spoken to who would like to do NSCoder. I propose we do Wednesday night. The only other people who seemed interested but weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel all said that day worked better. I immediately got smacked down by most of the people responding on this thread that you have to do NSCoder on Tuesday because that is the way it has always been done and that you can’t please everyone.

I feel like I am in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. I feel like no one wants to just belong to the group and code, they would rather bicker about who is the chief and whose idea it was and who is the leader. So now we have the Judean People’s Front of coders and the People’s Front of Judean coders.

I don’t care! I just want to meet up with at least one other person outside of class to code. Who cares what day it is? Why do we have to do things a certain way because someone unilaterally picked a day out of a hat that doesn’t happen to work for anyone several years later in a different state?

I do not understand the mentality of some of my fellow students. A large group of us went to CocoaConf Chicago together. We did an NSCoder night there and were able to meet up with some new people. My fellow students only wanted to talk among themselves.

I went to some amazing talks there. One of them was the Core Audio talk by Chris Adamson. One of my fellow students went to it. I went up to him after and gushed about how amazing the talk was. He said, “Oh, I wasn’t paying attention. I was coding my project and I tuned out what he was saying.”

Why bother paying hundreds of dollars to go to a conference if you are just going to do things that can be done at home more efficiently for free?

Most of them also skipped the keynote speech by Dan Steinberg. I felt pressured to not go to the keynote, but I was on Twitter and I saw all the enthusiastic gushing about how amazing it was and I realized I was being stupid and I jumped ship. I hope one day to get to see the whole speech in its entirety.

I went up to Dan and told him how much I enjoyed his talk. I also went on Twitter to say I wish I had the talk on video. He asked me why since I’ve already seen it once. I was too embarrassed to say I missed the first 10 minutes because I was trying to prove I was cool to a bunch of people I probably won’t be dealing with a year from now.

That is the other thing I don’t understand. These people we are going to school with aren’t important in the grand scheme of things. After you leave school you will have other coworkers and a whole community of professional developers that you will interact with, so if one fellow student is being a piss ant, ignore them. They don’t matter.