I have come to the realization that a regular person going to an internet conference is equivalent to taking your forty-year-old-virgin cousin to a strip club, the regular person being the socially awkward cousin.
I usually think of myself as a relatively intelligent person, but standing next to Mr. I’m-a-coding-genius, I sometimes feel like a complete dork. The perfect example of this is the conversation we had about “forward slash” and “back slash.” Previous to this I hadn’t realized that there was a a sound more painful to a programmers ears than fingernails across a blackboard.
Now I know – it’s the sound of someone saying “forward slash.”
Seems like a regular old phrase- no big deal right? Not! This guy loses it when that pops innocently out of my mouth. You see, there is a different world out there.
A dark scary place where some words when uttered around the denizens of cyber world have the same effect as dropping an F’bomb in the middle of a reverently quiet Sunday church service. Some people snicker other want to throw stones.
The effect of my code-faux-pas was a lecture on “don’t say forward or back.”
It’s just a slash.
“Why?” I asked smiling.
“You just don’t.” and “It’s just a slash.” Where the only answers that I ever heard.
This poor guy was acting as if I had uttered the most vulgar thing ever, but wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me why it was offensive. But even better than this was the “Don’t say that if we go out in public.” What? Are the other programmers going to make fun of you for having uneducated friends?
This is what happens when you tease a group of people for many, many years- they develop their own social rules- and they don’t tell you what they are. Now we know what all the geeks were talking about at those Star Trek conventions when the doors where closed!
Next up: The “Google that shit before you ask me lecture”