Pair Programming – Great Idea For User Group Meetings

With the Jacksonville ColdFusion Group on somewhat of a hiatus (no meeting since August 2007) I decided to head over to the local Ruby on Rails User Group Meeting to see what was the haps in the Jacksonville Ruby community.
First off, let me say that I had no idea there was such an interest in Ruby on Rails right here in Jacksonville. To say the least I was shocked to find out that Obie Fernandez lives here and runs his RoR based consulting business HashRocket from Jacksonville Beach. For those of you not in the know, Obie is to the RoR community what Ben Forta and Ray Camden are to the ColdFusion community.
The meeting had a good turn out, Im not sure of the exact numbers but I would estimate around 20 people showed up. Since they had no formal presentation lined up, they decided to do some pair programming. Basically, taking one or two of the noobs like myself and pairing you up with one of the more experienced guys. For about an hour and 45 minutes I got to sit with an experienced RoR programmer who answered pretty much every stupid question I came up with and even helped me solve several problems in the RoR application Im working on as a learning aide.
Back 7 years or so ago when I was running the Jacksonville ColdFusion Group (Allaire days), we always struggled to get presenters so I ended up doing about 90% of the presentations. I sure wish I would have thought of pair programming back then. Its a great way to get some of the newer folks some personalized attention to help them out.
I suspect that getting presenters nowadays isn’t quite as difficult with the introduction of Adobe Connect, but, if for some reason you find your next meeting without a speaker, consider pair programming, I bet you get a great turn-out!

5 thoughts on “Pair Programming – Great Idea For User Group Meetings”

  1. Russ, it was good to meet you, and thanks for pimping the RubyJax Group (www.rubyjax.com). I didn’t get much time to talk to you but we are a pretty social group and hope you come back so that we can get that opportunity.

    Are you going to release the Rails site you are working on?

  2. Hi Russ,
    Figured I’d say hi, as I live and work in Neptune Beach!
    I’ve been using CF for 9 years or so. I’ve been working from home for the past 5 years.
    I’ve never attended any of the JAX CFUG meetings, but who knows… Maybe I’ll see you around some day.

  3. @Beebe4 – No prob. I enjoyed the meeting, it was really informative and you could tell everyone was really helpful and open. I will definitely be back, I plan to start participating regularly in the meetings. Yeah I plan to release it someday. I just need to get through the basics and make sure that the code isnt too horrid! 🙂

    @Terry – Great to hear from another CF guy in Jax! Maybe they will get the Jax CFUG rolling again and we can meet up.

  4. Thanks for coming out to the meeting! It was great to meet you Russ. Your questions were really good and your app looked great so far! Feel free to email me or the usergroup’s mailing list found on http://www.rubyjax.com if you have anymore questions. Hope to see you at the next RubyJax meeting!

  5. Hey Russ,

    I apologize about the lack of meetings at the JaxFusion group. I am working on a new location that would be more central to the ColdFusion and Flex users in the Jacksonville area. I started a new job last that required me to work in locations outside of jacksonville. I should be in town more often now and I am planning on having a meeting in March.

    Sorry about the lack of meetings,
    David

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