Thursday, March 02, 2006

Brown Bagging

One of the guys on another team just announced that he was going to be doing a brown bag training session on something (how they can better teabag each other or somesuch). I dare say there is a palpable sense of excitement among them. I don't particularly care to attend as I'm really not interested in the topic and I doubt that anyone in that group could teach me anything other than how to engage the "bear defense" as my career slowly dies. Great bunch of guys.

My real, bitter point in all of this is that brown bag sessions suck. Employees give up their lunch hour to learn something on their own time that is presumably relevant to their job. Nevermind that these guys pick irrelevant topics in an ill fitting technology on a dying product. If they really think what they're learning about is important, why is there a need for them to do this on their own time? No, if it has to do with my job I'll go ahead and learn about it on company time--I'm not writing their products for my own amusement. Brown bags should be saved for things that are 1) orthogonal to work in general but still fun or interesting, 2) things that are helpful to my career but not my job, or 3) something so earth-shatteringly powerful and enriching that I'll gladly take one for the team to learn about it.

These guys should be spending that lunch hour either getting even fatter or learning a language more appropriate to building software and better design skills so they can wind up somewhere other than the state.


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