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    It’s 2015, and I saw a presenter at a Python conference make fun of Java. How would that feel to people trying to move from Java into something else? I wouldn’t feel welcome, and I’d have learned that the idea that the Python community is welcoming wasn’t true.

    My brother-in-law teased me about buying a Subaru and not God’s Chosen Car (Chevrolet). My father (an Aggie) teased my wife about going to an obviously inferior school (UT). I got teased for running Linux for Babies (Ubuntu) instead of Gentoo. My last talk at Black Hat I had a joke about the obvious superiority of Python over Ruby.

    None of these cases are actual examples of anyone being unwelcoming. There’s a fair amount of good-natured ribbing in the world, for just about anything. It is a normal method of human interaction.

    There are certainly asses out there who really do get way into their language/car/tool of choice and are actually unwelcoming, but that is certainly not unique to computer science or software engineering. To judge a whole community by those asses is applying a standard that wouldn’t work in any field of human endeavor.

    And there’s the additional problem that some tools really are just better and not even just for specific cases. That doesn’t mean you should make fun of the people who use them, of course, but those people shouldn’t get offended if people wonder why they’re using an inferior tool when other tools are just as easily available. (Maybe it’s because it’s what you know, which is fine, but if a doctor tells me that they only use medical techniques from 30 years ago because it’s “what they know best” I’m going to find a different doctor…)

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      Good-natured ribbing, like any other form of humor, is kind of audience-dependent. Making fun of someone who is already your friend is different from making fun of a whole class of people who aren’t even there to defend themselves. A joke about Ubuntu being Linux for Babies might be fine with someone who is already confident enough in their abilities to present at BHW, but it can be soul-crushing if you’re actually a noob.

      A conference presentation should probably avoid jokes unless you’ve shown them to other people to try to make sure that they actually think it’s funny.