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Re: Teaching perl over lunch

by Corion (Patriarch)
on Jul 27, 2007 at 14:22 UTC ( #629107=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Teaching perl over lunch

While I don't mind talking technical things over lunch, I firmly believe that (en)forcing work-related things over lunch is a bad thing. I think that lunch should be a break from work and hence work-related stuff should only be brought up if it's really important (to you, obviously). You cannot expect the others to care (obviously) and I see the "never seems to go anywhere" underlining that.

If the issue is important to work, people will set aside time outside of lunch for it. You could try to arrange a workshop before lunchtime and then go to lunch together after the workshop to discuss the stuff (making the lunch some perk, like bringing in outside "special" food or even going outside might be something to keep the people together). But I'd try to avoid forcing the mixture of private/personal stuff and work stuff - it will only end in people rejecting the goal (Perl) for the wrong reason (they want to eat when/where they want and talk about what they want).

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Re^2: Teaching perl over lunch
by Limbic~Region (Chancellor) on Jul 27, 2007 at 14:38 UTC
    Your comments are exactly the reason why I wrote this meditation. Due to contractual constraints, the exchange could only happen on non-duty hours. This means at lunch or after work. When I have brought it up in the past, there is always expressed interest that never materializes. These folks aren't against perl or learning, they have lives - I get that.

    I don't like the idea of making the participation mandatory and when I expressed that to the team lead, he indicated his company would pay for the lunch. I don't see how that makes a difference but on the other hand, I don't want to waste this opportunity either.

    I have two options. Refuse to teach while participation is mandatory or try and make it work. I haven't decided - which is why I posted the meditation. Thanks for your input.

    Cheers - L~R

      The difference to me would seem to be between "You must go to this on your off time" and "You must go to this on what's normally your off time, but we're going to try and make it up by picking up lunch". It's an acknowledgment that they're asking for extra and compensating for it (maybe not completely but at least making the gesture).

      My hangup would be that a lunch hour sounds too short a period of time to cover "enough" (but that'd depend of course on how much you're trying to cover as well as how quickly the learnees are on the uptake). I tried a similar "Here's Perl" talk a couple jobs ago at the company meeting, but because of the time constraint it was a few slides of syntax, a couple on modules like LWP or IO::Socket, and then some pointers to where to learn more. But again, that's dependent on what you're trying to cover and they might let you have several sessions so it could be moot (just tossing it out there though).

      I don't believe free lunch can lure people into learning Perl. How much does a sandwich lunch cost? It certainly does not worth anyone's private time.

      I guess that company is in a regime where people have no basic human right.

        Most companies are in regimes where basic human rights are denied - it is called Capitalism, descending from Mercantilism and Feudalism. That is only peripherally the point - assume that people are working in a "standard" business, and then talk about how to generate not interest, but attendance, at a learning opportunity on their off hour.

        My experience suggests that a free lunch is a more powerful incentive than the equivalent money - more people will appear at a study or survey for a slice of pizza then they will for $10. Strange but true. Other than that, if you can get one bellwether from each physical work area, they can announce their attendance before lunch, and others will follow.

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