I accept planetmcd’s criticism of my previous post. I’m aware that I’m less than eloquent and my arguments less than logical at times. I can’t say for sure whether anyone has ever done a presentation like that here. I do know that something like that wouldn’t be accepted not just because of the images (sexual or not), but because it doesn’t conform to corporate standards. Ruby/Rails/Web2.0 has no such standards, more, the culture is one of being risky, on the edge, and of pushing the limits.
There are probably many ways that it could have been done better, but it wasn’t. The problem stems from not going to Matt, and expressing that they didn’t like the presentation. They could have suggested using ‘Fragstar’ next time (via Renae Bair). Instead choosing to drag Rails through the mud publicly, “Here is a professional community that doesn’t respect women”.
I’m aware that Matt has defend his position, and the DHH may have made it worse, but I don’t condone the method this was approached in the first place. It’s sensationalist and unnecessary. Do people actually think they’ve improved the community by acting in this manner?
The dress code is only one facet of what I was trying (albeit poorly) to express. If you asked a programmer whether he would prefer to wear jeans and t-shirt or suit and tie to work which would he pick? What is the dress code at the Web2.0 development houses (not having worked at one I don’t know)? If it is jeans and t-shirts then that workplace is different to mine. My current employers wouldn’t consider them very professional either - This is where it goes to the heart of the community. You can do development the traditional, non agile way, any time you want to put on a suit and tie and forget you know techniques like metaprogramming/bdd/tdd (and don’t forget how to use windows, because that’s what corporate professionals use).
I have worked for a few industrial clients where staff had nudes as desktop wallpapers (we’re not talking partial nudity either), and pinups scattered around the sheds. There were certainly females around, though how they felt about it never came up. They would consider themselves professional, in that they provide top notch solutions to their clients. Warranties & quality assurance, etc. I doubt my current employer would find them very professional either, sweaty, greasy, and not very formal.
One of the things that I’ve heard raised when Australian corporate entities deal with overseas counterparts, is that we’re a good deal less formal and respectful than they are. Socially and culturally Australians are more laid back, some might say unprofessional. Different people are always going to have differing opinions on professionalism, I find it unlikely that Matt felt he was being unprofessional in using the pictures and analogy that he did. I would hazard he still doesn’t feel he was unprofessional, though he undoubtedly realizes that it was a mistake.