Frugal Fennel at Sloppy Sams

Frugal Fennel at Sloppy Sams, the latest of the bi-monthly Geek Dinners, was fun. The venue worked well, and the upstairs tables added a theatrical element.

The food was pretty bad value, no, strike that, abysmal value for money though. R130 and the ‘main course’ veggie option consisted of a few baked potatos and… wait, I’m sure there was something else. Oh yes, a few other veggies on a side plate.

There weren’t too many talks, so more time for chatting to others (though there’s never enough time to chat to everyone I’d like to). The talks were also good quality, and stuck to the time limits, and for the first time I found myself wishing the talks could have carried on longer.

Henk’s topic was The Evil People in Marketing: The Real Reason Why User Interfaces Suck, and it was basically a repeat of the talk he gave at the 27 dinner in August. Most people hadn’t seen it before, and it was worth hearing again.

Shaun O’Connell spoke about the (amateur) psychology behind “being in the zone”, that state of blissful presentness where everything seems to come together. It’s a topic that warrants a lot more than 5 minutes, and I wish I could remember the name of the person he mentioned at the beginning of the talk to explore more. Help somebody?

Joe spoke on Using Chandler and GTD (Getting Things Done). Strategies for being more productive. He approached it from a very different angle to how I’m currently approaching it, which is to do less, and be much smarter about what I do do, rather than try optimise everything I do.

Niclas Nilsson, visiting from Sweden, gave a talk on TDD vs BDD. And why words matter.

Finally, Tania was in the hotseat for Slideshow Karaoke, and turning on the charismatic preacher in her, handled the lesser-known Norse gods with aplomb.

And finally finally, as a sort of teaser for next time when I think he’ll be speaking for a full slot, Peter Hundermark gave a brief overview of of Scrum.

Perhaps because of Bloggerati Cape Town in Long Street, things emptied out quite quickly – I would have liked to hang around longer. But I still needed to open the Ethical Co-op for orders, so maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing that I had an early evening, and avoided the siren call of Long Street. After all, we all know how many people are champing at the bit to place orders at midnight don’t we.

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