Six Apart - They Haz Open
Monday, August 11 2008

Six Apart has been for the last eight weeks an unbelievable ride in a variety of ways– the people, culture, and technology here are all just fantastic. Not only are 6A’s people some of the best anywhere, but they’re all amazingly friendly, and willing even to help answer the questions of a most definite n00b.

When I arrived in June, my experience in Perl was limited at best; a semester way, way back in high school in MT, and a few projects last semester at Hopkins. As I’ve mentioned before, however, I work with some of the most prolific Perl programmers in existence, and they were quite happy to help me where I encountered problems (e.g., everywhere).

Another amazing cultural facet of 6A is its giving back to the community– not just in terms of volunteerism and donations, although they do that too, but in terms of releasing programs to the outside world, so that programmers don’t have to solve the same problem that hundreds of others have already done. Six Apart is responsible for over 2% of the enormous CPAN Perl repository, with hundreds of modules used every day in millions of applications, including things that power some of the world’s most high-traffic websites. 6A was kind enough to let me release code that I worked on for one of our Hackathons– weekly events where we can work on any project we’re interested in.

I wrote an hCard parser in that one day, then spent several more not only adding (a lot of) tests, but adding creation abilities, polishing, bugfixing, and taking comments from a legion of 6A people who volunteered to give advice: Simon, Tatsuhiko, Ben, Brad, Bryan, and David. At long last, Ben and David said I could release it into the wild, and I’m happy to announce version 0.01 of Data::Microformat, freshly uploaded with my newly minted PAUSE account, is available in CPAN.

David was even kind enough to post about it on the official 6A blog– check it out!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have just nine (working) days left at Six Apart, and an incredible list of things that need doing.

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