Why ban free lunchers from in-person tech events

2022-09-26 community, nontech, thoughts

Note, these are just my views and I am free to express this. I have organized events and gone to events but it annoys me that some people might actually be ruining an event.

I'm not trying to be judgemental, I just observed how tech events that could have been great become not-so-great places to discuss ideas and make connections because of the phenomenon of “Team Freebies” or “Free-lunchers” going to the events. These are people who are simply there to eat foods and not really participate with others, or basically have nothing to add to the table (pun intended).

From my point of view, tech events are not a charity. They are organized so people have a venue to discuss ideas, share their thoughts, and improve the knowledge of attendees, or to promote a company or a product.

Basically these “free-lunchers” are not really there to add to their knowledge, but to simply eat-and-run. Tolerating the free-lunchers does not do any good. IMHO, it somewhat lowers the experience of the meetup, and foreigners who see this might lower how they view our tech community. Furthermore, actual people who might “add to the table” (so to speak) get discouraged as the event does not offer much value to their time.

This is the reason why there are communities that have a great first meetup and the succeeding ones start to be not-so-great.

One could argue that the food is going to be wasted if more people don’t come to consume it. Since most tech people are too busy with their work or other hobbies that they don’t have time to go to the actual event, sayang ang foods. For this, maybe organizers could contact actual charities that can give the extra food to people who really need them.

It would be difficult to ban them like having a bouncer to screen them and could cause a scandal. We don't want scandals.

Maybe one thing could be done to emphasize the quality is important to the organizer is to gently ask that only qualified people can go.

Then, leftover food can be donated to a charity whose mission is to feed the hungry.

Quality over Quality”.

Again, not naming names here, just sharing my thoughts. Let's all have a great day!


Substitute your middle managers for scrum roles

2022-05-22 management, agile, nontech

First, a little bit about myself. I used to just be a programmer - you know - write code, get the specs, write code, and go home. Later on in my career, I got the opportunity to be a quasi-leader. I came up with designs and create prototyes to push to the dev (scrum) teams to use in the product. Then I started being active in the local Agile and Product communities and this how I became acquainted with more meta-level stuff.

In a lot of large big enterprise companies, middle managers are there to help the C-level executives understand and know what’s happening at the ground level.

In my experience with companies doing agile transformation, it’s usually these people that feel a bit out-of-place. It’s because they have no direct control on the people who are running the show, and are like peacekeepers and firefighters (I mean this metaphorically) when issues come up. They can be proactive at times, but it can sometimes cause some friction.

I like the Agnostic Agile way, and advocate just embracing the fundamentals agile principles. It’s similar to the awesome LESS framework gives us an idea as to how one can deal with this - simply shift them to a role where they can do more valuable things for the org for example as a Product Owner, Business Analyst or Product Manager! With this, they can be more aligned with the agile transition.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Sending email through mailgun wordpress plugin


On digitalocean with the mailgun wordpress plugin, for some weird reason it is not working even though I configured postfix.

I’m following the tutorial already through setting up a relay with these tutorials: How to Set Up a Mail Relay with Postfix and Mailgun on Ubuntu 16.04 and Configure Postfix to use Mailgun SMTP Relay on Ubuntu .

After setting it up, I realized it still would not pickup from that. So, I decided to use the mail() of PHP. The reason is that if I call wp_mail() in another plugin, and I do not know yet if mailgun plugin has kicked in already (that’s still something I should research).

So what happened was first try to use the default mail() function, then if it still fails ($result = false) then try wp_mail() (which I do not know if mailgun plugin already over-rode).

My next step to make it more elegant is to actually put Mailgun’s latest class through composer and use Bedrock so wordpress is using composer.






Learning magit


I attended a recent Javascript meetup where Zak showed us the power of using emacs for javascript.

For me, other than note taking, the thing I like to really learn is using the emacs magit plugin. To get it installed in a cinch, I did brew install magit. Yes, I am lazy and brew is amazing. Also note that I also got the emacs from brew as well, btw.

One thing I struggled a bit was intalling other plugins. After getting the melpa repo wired in to emacs, it was a simple M-x list-packages and then Ctrl-s magit (which searches for magit) then pressing i (mark install) and x (execute).

So for my first thing to try, I went to my dotfiles repo and tried to commit something new. After opening a file using $ emacs <filename>, I just typed M-x magit- and pressed TAB. I found the command to use: M-x magit-commit and then typed my commit message. Then, to finish up the commit and actually commit, I typed C-c C-c. And it was commited.

Since I was on master and will push to master, I just did M-x magit-push-popup and then pressed P.

Well magit was easier than I thought it was. Hope it was a nice introduction to using magit.

I’m pretty sure I’m just touching the tip of the iceberg of what it can do, will keep posting new learnings about using magit as I go along.

Life snapshot Q1 2016


What I’m studying

  • Figuring things out with front-end tools (ES6/Babel/React)
  • Checking out PHP7
  • Started writing a book on PHP7


  • Venice Piazza Mall is almost finished
  • Team building to Balagbag + Sombrero Island. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy but I did anyway.
  • Discovered Salad Lunches at Rustans Fresh Foods at the nearby mall
  • Finally tried to swim again at the Fitness First Gym

make npm3 install look like npm2


Got this tip from a friend - rico sta. cruz:

Just set the config to use loglevel http and not show the progress bar progress false and you’re good to go.

npm config set loglevel http && npm config set progress false

Joe Palala

Web/UX Developer. Laravel PHP Community organizer.

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