Traveling evangelism, or, On the road for open source

by Andy Lester

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The Grand Rapids (MI) Perl Mongers meeting on Thursday will feature yours truly, talking about automated testing in Perl. The meeting is open to the public, so if you're in the area, please come. I think the face-to-face time provided by user group meetings are incredibly important, and I want to do what I can to encourage that.

I've been inspired so much by Mark-Jason Dominus in the past year or two. He started me on my path of giving talks by accepting my 5-minute lightning talk at YAPC 2002, and he's a great speaker to watch and learn from. So recently I was looking through his
page of appearances and found this at the bottom:

I will speak to any .pm or other user group for free.

All you need to provide is an invitation, a room, and audience, and my minimal travel expenses.

Send me mail to arrange it.

P.S.: People sometimes think I will not want to visit their town because it is too small, too out-of-the-way, or too boring. They are mistaken. I want to visit everywhere.

I thought "Hey, I could do that, too, but for the midwest," so I started talking to people, and voila, I wind up talking to someone in Grand Rapids who saw my talk at OSCON 2003 and got his company to foot the bill. What amazes me is that people rarely take Mark up on his offer. I chatted with briefly about it, and he said he does it maybe once a year. What an opportunity for PM groups, to get someone of Mark's caliber speaking for next to nothing!

I hope to make this a regular (bimonthly or so) happening, where I visit a different PM group within a day's drive of Chicago. If you're interested in having me talk to your group, Perl or otherwise, please let me know.

What do you do to support open source besides contributing code?