Friday, 04 September 2009

An Eye Opening Apology

Sometimes (always?), things don't go as planned. I wanted my next blog post to be about my new perspective on community events and how they can provide the most value to the developer community, but I needed to separate that topic from my experience attending the Jacksonville code camp. I wrote a post telling the tale of my trip to Jacksonville and the frustration I experienced there in order to keep the two issues discrete. One would be a stepping stone to the other. At least, that's how I meant for things to play out.

It turns out that in my rush to get out the first post, I did not take the time and care necessary to communicate with clarity and accuracy. I wrote the post, spellchecked it and re-read it. It said what I wanted to say, so I published it. It did not, however, say what I wanted people to hear. That is, I did not read the post from the point of view of readers unfamiliar with the events described, which turned out to be everyone but me.

Upon posting, I immediately got feedback that indicated that I had failed in my intentions. In fact, the feedback on my previous post has been universally negative. When everyone tells me I'm wrong, I'm willing to consider the possibility. :-)

Honestly, I violated the directive given to me by my friend Jeff McWherter which is: "Dude, don't be a dick." And so, I am sorry for being a dick. I am not angry with anyone associated with the Jacksonville Code Camp. At this point, I'm only angry with myself for confusing the issues.

As I stated in my final email, I was coming to Jacksonville no matter the status of the Community Courtyard. My wife and I planned to stay with friends, and we were going to visit with them whether or not I attended the code camp. Ultimately, I left JaxCC at lunch and spent the rest of that Saturday in St. Augustine having a wonderful time.

My point all along has been to tell the tale of how this experience shocked, frustrated and disappointed me to the point that I stepped outside my normal frame of observation and began to see things from a different and larger perspective. What has been most frustrating to me this week is that I created drama, through my own incompetence, which distracted from and delayed that discussion.



Friday, 04 September 2009 08:02:18 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
A Big Man. John Wayne-sized.
Mark Harr
Friday, 04 September 2009 08:15:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Great post. Refreshing to see someone have the courage and integrity to restate their position and offer an apology.
Friday, 04 September 2009 08:52:31 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
It takes some large cajones to make an apology like that. Having that kind of humility would do us all some good. Good for you, man.
Friday, 04 September 2009 09:42:54 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
"It said what I wanted to say, so I published it. It did not, however, say what I wanted people to hear."

Nicely said. Props for stepping up with the post.
Sunday, 06 September 2009 21:50:16 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Nice post Alan. I'm looking forward to hearing about your new perspectives on community events.
Tuesday, 08 September 2009 12:17:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Well spoken. Kudos brother, for having the balls to do what many folks don't.
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 16:38:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Alan, first off a bit of wisdom from Dr. Suess (funny isn't how we remember or find valuable such childish things) ~ "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
Second, I've purposely been quiet as I wanted to see how things played out - as it seems many people in Jacksonville (and those in TN) got pretty flamed over your perspective. I do not know you, and you do not know me, however I know many of those who responded to your post.
It hurt me to see many of the responses that came in on your original post, yet have failed (?) to follow-up post on your follow-up apology. It seems they were happy to call you out for being wrong, yet have lost the same fire to applaud you on your willingness to step forward and offer your reasonings and apology.

However, that all being said, I will have to say, it seems pretty much a quintessential example of the City of Jacksonville as it ranks in the top 10 angriest cities. :0) gee... go figure angry people in an angry city... Not a place you'd want to live for too long (unless you like being angry - grrrr...)

Puposely Quiet
Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:00:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
@Purposely Quiet:

What apology? He apologized for his post, but not his behavior at the code camp (as well as in the days after). This really didn't feel like a heartfelt apology, but instead one that was driven only by the negative reaction to his original post.
Thursday, 10 September 2009 14:43:39 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
re: Michael Eaton

I dunno man, this sure looks like an apology to me:

"And so, I am sorry for being a dick. I am not angry with anyone associated with the Jacksonville Code Camp"

Maybe it wasn't phrased exactly to your liking, but he admitted he was wrong and said he was sorry. Not sure what else you're looking for.
Thursday, 10 September 2009 15:25:40 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)

I read your aplology and am thankfull that you wrote it. When you call people out in an open forum like this blog, you only make yourself look bad.

"Was I too trusting? Should I have followed up sooner? Of course! This experience has only served to confirm what I knew already; that I’ve worked with some fantastic event organizers in the developer community. These folks just weren’t among that esteemed group."

We had a group of over 40 fantastic event organizers and volunteers. In order to get over 700 people to register for a Code Camp in Jacksonville the team in charge must be very well organized. We did a ton of great things this year by bringing a record number of people to our camp and raising some cash for a great community hospital. I am thankfull for all of the people who helped make this event such a huge success for Jax.

Please read your statement that you made about us organizers and then think about how your above statement offended us all.

I am a true believer in good Karma. If you really want to try and undo what you have done, why don't you simply apologize directly to the organizers for your statement above?

Purposely Quiet-

I met a ton of real nice people at our code camp. I am sorry you missed it. Turns out, there are several people here who might be able to be offended by off handed comments and not become angry. It does not matter what city you are in, when you make statements like Alan did to people who freely volunteered their time to give something back to the community you get similar responses.

-Kevin Randall
Kevin Randall
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