On Tuesday night, we had an open house for customers and friends at our new office, 206 S. Fifth Ave, Suite 200, in Ann Arbor (across from the Blue Nile, just above the Linux Box). It was great to see people we haven't seen in a while, and we had a lot of fun.
The media seems interested when you open an office. Perhaps they're starved for a little good news with a (thankfully short-lived automotive strike) and a state government that's threatening to shut down due to a budget impasse. But SRT opening an office is a nice little story. We are growing and we are having a lot of fun deciding what interesting things we can do with our new space. I'm pretty sure that Bill is tired of answering the phone to hear, "Hey! I had an idea …". But he's made as many of those calls to me as I have to him, so it's OK.
In our interview with Kelli Kavanaugh of MetroMode Magazine which appeared online today, we mentioned the lightning talks (starting October 12). We mentioned the user group meetings (AACS and Python User Group here next week). And yeah, the open house too. But what she really seemed to pick up on in the article was that the stereotypical view of a programmer who sits in a cube all day, bangs out code without talking to anyone, and slides it under the door around midnight after consuming a pizza and a case of Coke is really not all that accurate. Hurrah! Seriously, I swear I'm sick of hearing, "But you don't LOOK like a computer programmer". OK, so we all know what those people are talking about because that's mainly what you see on tv and movies (and yes, a few in "real life" too). But I still maintain (here and in the interview) that good communication skills are essential for computer scientists, especially those who are consultants. Yes, writing code is fun, but there's SO much more to the job than that.
And yes, most of the attendees at user group meetings are male. I can certainly understand why some of the moms (especially) don't make it regularly. Now that I have family commitments, it's harder to make it to a lot of user group meetings in the evenings, but it's important for me to be able to attend when I can. The first week of the month, especially, requires a lot of negotiation around our house, and I suspect it does in some of the guys' houses who have small children as well!
So anyhow, I think it's fun to be around developers who like to talk about what they do and listen to what other people do, and I know I'm not alone in that. Ed Vielmetti's a2b3 group is quite popular (Thursday lunches; I missed it today while I wrote this blog post). The user groups are popular. I hope that we're able to snag some younger participants into groups like the Ann Arbor Computer Society, because we have a lot to learn from them as well. Zattoo guys and everyone else, hope to see you there sometime!