Code Jam #1 - July 11th, 2010 12:00 PM to ?

The Northwest Arkansas .NET User Group is planning some awesome events for the coming year.  To be able to get these events of the ground we need to get together and work on the websites.  If you have some time pack up your laptop and join us on July 11th, from noon till whenever for an evening of fun and code where we will get started working on sites for the Northwest Arkansas Give Camp and Northwest Arkansas Community Camp events.

If you plan on showing up let me know by registering.

Pavlov’s Monkeys: Understanding the Status Quo

It has always bothered me when I hear “Because that is the way we have always done it” as a reason for not trying something new.  Most of the time the person that says that has no understanding of why things are they way they are.  They also feel like something bad will happen if they do try something new.

Every time I am in this situation I tell the story of Pavlov’s Monkeys to demonstrate how this mindset can be established and hopefully open the minds of those in the room.

I am not sure of the origin of this story but wanted to share it in hopes that it might help you change this behavior where you work.

PAVLOV'S MONKEYS:

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana
on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will
go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he
touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a
while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the other
monkeys are sprayed with cold water.

Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other
monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace
it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the
stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him.
After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the
stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new
one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer
takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third
original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.

Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of
the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted
to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the
newest monkey. After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the
remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no
monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.

Why not?

Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done around
here. And that, my friends, is how company policy begins.

 

Note: The image is from a blog post by Kumar AbhishekBeing Monkey! A Sad Reality of Teams and Workspaces, which deals with the same subject.

Nwa Code Camp Announced for October 23, 2010 in Springdale, AR

NwaCodeCamp2008_Logo

*** Update: Registration Link updated ***

I am proud to announce the Northwest Arkansas Code Camp 2010.  This is the first developer focused conference in Northwest Arkansas.  Organized by the Northwest Arkansas .NET User Group this event promises to be one of the best this year.

When: October 23, 2010

Where: Tyson World Headquarters, Springdale, AR [MAP]

This year we are aligning our event with the Tyson Development Conference, a 2 day internal conference for Tyson Foods.  Tyson is sponsoring this event by providing the venue and keeping some speakers from their conference another night so they can present at the this event.

This year we will celebrate the growth of our community with the addition of new tracks for Project Managers, Designers, and more.  If you are a group leader in the area and would like to have a track for speakers at the event please contact me.

Call For Speakers

If you are interested in presenting at this event please email your Name, Bio, and session abstracts to jay@jaysmith.us with the subject of Code Camp 2010.

Registration

Attendee registration is open and available here.

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