As I mentioned a few weeks back, I'll be headed to Notacon 8 a little later this week. If you're going, drop me a line and we'll grab a drink or something. And if you can't make it, not to worry - there's another event right around the corner. It's called Penguicon, and it's being held in Troy, Michigan from April 29 - May 1.

Penguicon is a unique blend of open source software and science fiction. When I first heard about it, I gave a Teal'c/Tuvok-esque eyebrow raise, and then realized, hmph... I guess there is a bit of an overlap. But it's a whole lot more than just that, as the events page shows. Take for example, this video from Penguicon 4 where Rob Landley (one of the co-founders) threw a bowl of liquid nitrogen into the hotel swimming pool.

This year, I'll be joined by Lorne Kates, and we'll be doing a number of TDWTF-related things.

Title Learn to Write Awful Code (… so you won't)
Format Presentation (Alex, Lorne)
In Brief An high-level overview presentation on common coding pitfalls and malpractices. Presentation with slides (projector + screen needed)
Description Come learn teh codez! Implement the latest anti-patterns 2.0! Earn job security through unmentionable code! Avoid (discoverable) bugs! Digest you design documents and drop the remains behind the couch for future generations to discover . (Not that you ever would, good sir or ma'am. We believe in you. Just nod, back away slowly, and check-in your revision before anyone notices.)
Title Pitch a WTF?!
Format Round Table (Hosted by Alex & Lorne)
In Brief Interactive with Alex & Lorne. An open forum for participants to rant about the WTFs they've encountered (or caused). We'll have stickers on hand, and if things go well, we hope to turn a participant's WTF into a featured article on
Description Have you've ever been driven to uttering those other three little words? Join us and share, rant, vent, or just absorb the awfulness from your fellow coders. Shared pain is lessened, or at least funny at someone's expense.
Title WTF Unplugged
Format Presentation, solo (Lorne).
In Brief A live, dramatic reading of an upcoming WTF Featured Article. It will be one that isn't on the site yet, so you'll get a sneak preview to boot.
Description Lorne will give a reading of the upcoming featured article. A Penguicon exclusive sneak peak!
Title Open Source Gateway Drugs
Format Panel w/ Alex, Lorne (moderator), others
In Brief Specific recommendations of libraries/frameworks to showcase the usefulness of open-source to closed-source shops. (e.g. showing how to replace dozens of lines of javascript with a single line of jQuery, painless alternatives to MS AjaxToolkit).
Description Most closed-source shops could benefit from open source, but avoid it out of fear or ignorance. How do you approach non-technical roadblocks (resistant supervisors, co-workers, etc) to 'just try one'? And once you do, which libraries/frameworks provide the most convincing and addictive bang for the buck?

Get a TDWTF Mug!

After registering you'll be able to get one of the elusive The Daily WTF mugs! Simply print out this coupon, and then scan it to a .jpg file and send it to me. I'll also accept a photograph of the coupon.

15oz of Awesomeness

About Penguicon

Penguicon is a convention in the United States that deliberately brings together the often-overlapping communities of science fiction fandom and Linux User Groups. In addition to educational panels on areas of interest to science fiction fans and both professional and beginner-level panels on Linux and Open-source software, Penguicon participants can enjoy an anime room, filk (the folk music of science fiction fandom), swordfighting demonstrations, dancing, OpenCola, gaming—live action role-playing game, computer, board and cards—and more.

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