Flex/Flash/Actionscript

My 360|Flex Survey Results – did I offend you?

So a bunch of people have been posting the results of the surveys from their 360|Flex sessions. I’ve wavered on this a tiny bit, I’m just a little embarrassed, both because of the positive feedback (*blushes*), but also because I offended some people in the session. So off the bat I want to say to anyone who was actually offended by anything said in my session: I’m sorry. I gave the session the way I talk in normal life, and in normal life I guess I have a dirty mouth.

Here are the full survey results from my session.
If you weren’t at 360Flex, check out the stuff I presented.

The good stuff
Overall the comments were very positive. There were 45 responses, with an overall average rating of 4.5 (which I’m hoping is out of 5, not 10 :P). 80% of people said that the session was what they expected, 80% said the slides were useful and 80% said the session was informative. So here are some of the positive responses (aww, shucks…).

The speaker had a good outline and followed it well, while also allowing community/group input.

Doug was AWESOME and funny. Loved it!

In typical fashion, Doug had a great presentation with a lot of good information. Doug is an inspiration to the whole community.

Doug brought to light components that we all can make use of in our apps – and some that are just fun. Very helpful.

The bad(ish) stuff
These are the only negative comments I received. The first one is about the discussion near the end feeling unorganized. I understand that sentiment, I felt rushed near the end when I was running out of time a bit. I love having good discussions with the audience, but I probably should have left more time devoted to that, and maybe even planned for that in my outline to make sure I had plenty of time to wrap up in a more organized way. The other three comments here are about my language. The last one’s not really that negative a comment, but the middle two sound like the writers were fairly offended.

The presentation could have been a bit more structured, as it felt like the discussion veered away from original intentions near the end of the presentation.

It caught me off guard how much the speaker cursed.

I don’t know what to say. It’s probably not a good idea to try to see how the sign language interpreters do cursed signs. That would make the deaf person uncomfortable.

This session was great for information and mentality about developing in the flex world. Doug is a little :-) unprofessional as a developer it doesn’t bother me that much and I would definitely hear him present again because I respect his knowledge and talents but the language is a little distracting.

The funny comments
And then a lot of the comments were pretty funny. I’ve cherry picked a few choice ones here for your amusement.

I appreciate his frank, unexcessively vulgar language

jiggly moving fun

Always a great time. Never seen so many curse words done in sign, damn funny.

Fucking-A

Okay, I am just chiming in that I really wanted to go to Doug McCune’s seminar but knowing that I lack experience with OOP and want to develop that further I went to that one instead. Can’t we put Doug McCune against sucky, uninteresting topics instead. *lol*

It’s “fucking” Doug McCune

The language issue
So let’s get this out in the open: I say fuck and shit a lot. Sometimes this comes through on my blog, but even more so when I actually speak. Given the session feedback I think a lot of people find my use of language refreshing and funny (what am I? a clown?). I like to think my presentations are informal, we all just get to hang out and talk about cool stuff, so since it’s just like chilling with friends I don’t censor my language. A lot of the comments in the feedback referenced my use of language in a positive way and said how “fun” and “hilarious” the session was. I like to think we had a good time and it wasn’t dry or boring.

That said, there were obviously a few people at least who were offended and uncomfortable. So in the future I may tone it down a bit, I certainly don’t want people walking out of my presentations upset. I’m sincere when I say I apologize if you were offended.

Maybe next time I’ll start by showing a clip of Goodfellas or Casino at the beginning, then whatever I say will be tame in comparison. Or maybe I should wear one of these on my chest:

screenshot021.jpg

At my next session I’ll be checking IDs at the door. If you’re under 17 you have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

So thanks to everyone who came to my session! And super double thanks to the 45 of you who gave feedback, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (well, most of it anyway).

P.S. To Andrew: yeah, your comment got to me :) Sorry I posted the survey results with your name still in there, if you got a problem with that send me an email (or better yet send Tom and John and email).

Standard

27 thoughts on “My 360|Flex Survey Results – did I offend you?

  1. if Tom/John start rating each session like movies, perhaps you could take this the other way and add more, enticing adult-oriented content to your presentation. You know the saying… Flex sells!

  2. Hi Doug,

    I attended both of your sessions, and I thoroughly enjoyed both. I think that your manner of delivering (including the vulgarity) is just part of your “brand.” I didn’t find it offensive at all, even though I personally wouldn’t communicate like that in a professional setting (but then again I wouldn’t have the cajones to get a mohawk.) I think if you give people a little disclaimer up front then it is up the individual whether they want to stay and be “offended.” Overall you came across as someone who really cared about the community and had something significant and meaningful to contribute. Keep it up, as people like you are really helping to create a unique community of developers that I think will be appreciated by many.

    - Tom

  3. I dunno… this is kind of a silly issue. I don’t think you should have to apologize to grown-ups offended by you being who you are. This whole ‘unprofessional’ thing is blown way out of proportion. If people don’t have a problem reading your blog on a daily basis, then they shouldn’t be offended by you in person either. I suppose if Tom/John decide that you’re still worth the admission price, then give all the weenies who can’t stomach the F-bomb a warning, and leave it at that. I say you keep being you, and tell everyone who doesn’t appreciate that to fuck off. Just my 2 cents :-)

  4. I would think that, by now, people know what the package is when you see Doug speak. Personally, I think it’s unintentional marketing genius. Everyone ends up talking about Doug, not only for his technical prowess, but also for “what is he going to say next?”. Getting Doug to speak at your conference is going to be a draw because of this. Plain and simple.

    Doug is the Guns N’ Fucking Roses of the Flex world (except a bit less of a flake than Axl, and you can quote me on that GNR line). Doug McCune: “The most dangerous developer in the Flex world.”

    Now, is Doug’s style the way I present? No, it’s not my style, but everyone rolls a bit differently. Is it bad? I don’t think so. Like I said, you know what you’re getting with Doug. Besides, who else was going to make a sign language interpreter uncomfortable?

  5. Fucking-A B & C. I’ve heard a number of the presenters from 360 at various venues, and I’d prefer Doug’s style of telling it like it is, and if word choice is an issue I just have to say BS (or Bull Shit): for me it’s about content. I’m just now leaving a production environment (deadline is king) and being able to play with around is what I’m all about – if that means learning that a couple of wiggles and a rude hand jesture or two means ‘cool shit’, then it’ll be in me next app (just wish I had recorded the audio … hmmmn).

    Bottom line – conference talks are “hey that’s cool” give me a link, not “I didn’t quite catch that reference on slide 2.3.a.v3_1 and I really need it for my summary report to my boss”.

    Ted says “Aaack”

  6. Rex Sheridan says:

    “That would make the deaf person uncomfortable.” What? Are deaf people like little kids now? They don’t curse?

  7. D to the mutha-fucking M homeboy…D to the mutha-fucking M! Keep it up man, whether you – or anyone – swears or not you – or anyone – will end up offending someone…so be yourself man…you got some cool shits! Oh and I can’t wait till you roll out to the next 360 with the Parental Advisory shirt…it’ll be classic!

  8. Oh and one more thing, according to Yakov who commented above:

    “I got accustomed to the fact that no matter how good you are there will be always someone who will badmouth you.”*

    So like I said…be yourself.

    *http://yakovfain.javadevelopersjournal.com/do_you_curse_on_public.htm

  9. Nice to see you decided on the MO-H since we talked about it at the OC Flex User group presentation. I am sure you rocked it as well as you did in the OC. Don’t change a damn thing dude! Flex is new, refreshing and kick ass. You are one of the leaders of the new, refreshing and kick ass flex developers out there and I think you should wear the badge proudly. Fuck em if the cannot take a joke!

  10. Dylan says:

    It is best to be yourself; you can’t please everyone. Toning down your language would probably just add to the bottom what you cut off the top.

    Perhaps you could put an explicit language warning on your presentation announcement ;)

  11. Dude,

    It was a great presentation. I think it was very relaxed and informative. Sure it may have offended some “fragile sensibilities” but that’s what made you engaging and interesting. You had the majority of the room laughing. Nothing against anyone else cause there were some great presentations in Atlanta, but your style sorta has that “Head’s First” feel which is memorable because it is so different.

    Most Groovy.

    Shawn

  12. bettinamaria says:

    Just before I typed my response, I spilled my soda on my desk and laptop and blurted out, “Shit!” Haha .. talk about irony.

    Anywho, I enjoyed Doug’s presentation on personal consulting which has encouraged me to do some personal consulting of my own. I’ve worked in Corporate America for over 10 years and it’s all stiff collars, starched shirts and fancy ties. I found Doug’s presentation to be refreshing. It was nice to see someone be REAL for once and not bs around the issue at hand. I love Doug’s “tell you how it is, fuck the politically correct bullshit” attitude. I would love to work with him because he will get straight to the issue and do whatever it takes to get it done.

    I wouldn’t change a thing.

  13. slum says:

    look, all you have to do is what youve done here. stick a parental advisory on the session door and let the babies go take a css class.

  14. kakophony says:

    How pathetic that vulgarities in speech are now thought of as a “fun” and “entertaining” form of communication. To all who think so, I’d encourage you to grow up and try listening to those who have an adequate vocabulary at their disposition to engage and entertain their audience and not have to resort to the unrefined and hackneyed forms of speech.

    Chris Trudel: If it is a simple word that can’t hurt anyone, why is it that it is almost always part of angry and belligerent exchanges?

  15. @kakophony: I find it amusing that out of all the comments posted here, your “proper” comment is the angriest and most condescending. You managed to call most people in this discussion (myself obviously included) “pathetic,” childish, unrefined, and uneducated. I’d be offended if I gave a fuck.

    I also assume you weren’t at my session so you don’t actually have any input on anything that I actually said; you just wanted to make your little comment so you can appear better than us lowly, unrefined peasants. Please don’t insult my intelligence with uninformed condescension. My session was anything but “angry and belligerent.”

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