• Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Sun Microsystems
  • BT
  • IBM
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • Zimbra
  • Atlassian Software Systems
  • Disney
  • EnterpriseDB
  • Etelos
  • Ingres
  • JasperSoft
  • Kablink
  • Linagora
  • MindTouch
  • Mozilla Corporation
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • OpSource
  • RightScale
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • Tenth Planet
  • Ticketmaster
  • Voiceroute
  • White Oak Technologies, Inc.
  • XAware
  • ZDNet

Sponsorship Opportunities

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Press and Media

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People for Geeks

People, Tutorial
Location: Portland 255 Level: Novice
Presentation: external link
Average rating: ***..
(3.94, 17 ratings)

People, whether other geeks or “normal” people, we’re bad at them. They’re such an important part of our lives and jobs and the point of all the technology we love so much. Misunderstandings between people can be the root cause of so many vast, deep, frustrating, and expensive mistakes. Yet we put so little effort into understanding them, or learning how to work with people.

You can learn how to deal with people, and you can even learn to enjoy it. This tutorial gathers together some of the best speakers on “people topics” and teaches you—the programmer, the sysadmin, the DBA, the geek—how better to deal with people.

Even if you yourself are good with people, you probably work with someone who isn’t. This tutorial will give you an insight into how to deal with them, or drag them along.

Speakers include:

  • Brian Fitzpatrick, “How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People”
  • Ben Collins-Sussman, “How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People”
  • Amy Hoy, “When Interface Design Attacks”
  • Selena Deckelmann, PostgreSQL User Group Liaison
  • Kirrily “Skud” Robert, geeketiquette.com
  • Andy Lester, perlbuzz.com
  • Michael G Schwern, geek2geek.info
  • David Adler, Mister Perl Monger
Photo of Michael Schwern

Michael Schwern

eval Empire

Michael G Schwern has been programming Perl for over 10 years and is responsible for such modules as Class::DBI and Test::More. He writes for the Beautiful Code Blog as well as about Geek Ethology on http://geek2geek.info. In all probability, Michael has code on your computer. He can destroy CPAN at his leisure.

Michael currently resides in Portland, Oregon and has no intention of leaving. He runs Schwerniverse.com providing freelance QA, Software Engineering and Socialization consulting and training.

He owns no cars nor cats, though he kind of wants a cat.

Photo of Selena Deckelmann

Selena Deckelmann


Selena Deckelmann bikes herself to work everyday at Chris King Precision Components, a bicycle parts manufacturer in Portland, OR, where she is Information Systems Manager. She is User Group Liaison for the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. She currently leads PDXPUG, a PostgreSQL Users Group, and is helping start a programming group, Code-n-Splode, whose goal is to get more women involved in open source. In her spare time, she collects eggs from her chickens, gardens and occasionally mixes drinks for her local Perl Mongers group.

Photo of Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick


Brian Fitzpatrick started his career at Google in 2005 as the first software engineer hired in the Chicago office. Brian leads Google’s Chicago engineering efforts and also serves as engineering manager for Google Code and internal advisor for Google’s open source efforts. Prior to joining Google, Brian was a senior software engineer on the version control team at CollabNet, working on Subversion, cvs2svn, and CVS. He has also worked at Apple Computer as a senior engineer in their professional services division, developing both client and web applications for Apple’s largest corporate customers. Brian has been an active open source contributor for over ten years. After years of writing small open source programs and bugfixes, he became a core Subversion developer in 2000, and then the lead developer of the cvs2svn utility. He was nominated as a member of the Apache Software Foundation in 2002 and spent two years as the ASF’s VP of Public Relations. Brian has written numerous articles and given many presentations on a wide variety of subjects from version control to software development, including co-writing “Version Control with Subversion” as well as chapters for “Unix in a Nutshell” and “Linux in a Nutshell.” Brian has an A.B. in Classics from Loyola University Chicago with a major in Latin, a minor in Greek, and a concentration in Fine Arts and Ceramics. Despite growing up in New Orleans and working for Silicon Valley companies for most of his career, he decided years ago that Chicago was his home and stubbornly refuses to move to California.
Photo of Ben Collins-Sussman

Ben Collins-Sussman

Google, Inc.

Ben is a member of Google’s Open Source Program Office, working on projects to promote the spread of open source software both inside and outside the company. He is a technical lead for Google Code’s open source project hosting service, available at http://code.google.com. He helped port Subversion to Google’s Bigtable technology, which now runs across numerous machines and serves over 80,000 open source repositories. Prior to Google, Ben spent five years with Collabnet as one of the original designers and founders of the Subversion project. He is still active in the Subversion community and is also a co-author of the O’Reilly book “Version Control with Subversion”. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago, and enjoys speaking with Brian Fitzpatrick at various conferences on topics both serious and irreverent.

Photo of Andy Lester

Andy Lester


Andy Lester (http://perlbuzz.com) is the lead programmer for Book Wholesalers Inc, (http://bwibooks.com/). He’s active in the Parrot, Perl 6 and Perl 5 projects, and maintains over a dozen testing-related modules. His current non-code project is a book for Pragmatic Bookshelf on job search strategies for programmers, sysadmins and other technical people.

Photo of Kirrily Robert

Kirrily Robert


Skud writes geeketiquette.com

OSCON 2008