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Embrace your Community: an open model for business

  • Talk: Embrace your Community: an open model for business
  • Speakers: Mark Keating (Managing Director) & Matt Trout (Technical Director), Shadowcat Systems Limited
  • Location: Madlab. (Manchester Digital Laboratory).
  • Address: 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester. M4 1HN.
  • Date: Tuesday, 17th January 2012 (3rd Tuesday of the month)
  • Start time: 19:00
  • Finish time: 20:30


"How can you benefit from free software in business? How can you run a business in which most of what you work with and produce isn't charged for? What is the value in engaging with a non-profit orientated community? Why would you want to engage with a community that can critically be described as a social exercise in collaborative one-upmanship?"

"In this talk Mark will use the experience gained from several years managing a free software consultancy to discuss the benefits to business of working with free software and engaging with the community. Using Shadowcat Systems, the Perl language and associated community as a basis for that talk."

The event will include a Q&A session, discussion and then lively debate in the pub afterwards.


  • Mark Keating:

"Mark Keating is the managing director of Shadowcat Systems Limited. He is married to Leigh and has a son called Benjamin Connor, they all live in Lancaster, in the United Kingdom with a cat called Darwin and several tropical fish. He stumbled sideways into the magnificent world of Perl by way of linguistics, literature, a publishing company and an undefined close association with Matt Trout. He is a neophyte evangelist of modern Perl and an advocate of Enlightenment thinking."

"Mark likes to think that he fills his days as an 'adminion' but is also a writer, keen amateur photographer and herder of (programming) cats. Mark has been advocating free software and open organisations for many years and has become deeply involved in the communities associated with the work carried out by Shadowcat Systems."

Mark is: Director and Secretary of the Enlightened Perl Organisation, Marketing Chair of the The Perl Foundation Marketing Committee, Marketing and PR for The Perl Foundation Steering Committee, co-Leader of North West England Perl Mongers, Organiser of London Perl Workshop (UKPW), co-Organiser of the Dynamic Languages Conference and manager of the Send-A-Newbie initiative. In 2011 he also helped to organise the QA Hackathon, and the Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in (in which he also mentored) on behalf of the Perl Foundation."

  • Matt Trout:

"Matt S Trout was thrust into Perl at the tender age of seventeen by a backup accident. Two weeks later he realised that he was in love with the language and has been happily using it for systems automation, network, web and database development ever since."

"He is co-maintainer of the Catalyst web framework (and co-author of The Definitive Guide to Catalyst), the creator of the DBIx::Class ORM, Web::Simple, Tak and HTML::Zoom and a core team member for the Moose metaprotocol and object system, as well as contributing to assorted other CPAN projects."

"Matt spends his days leading the technical team at Shadowcat Systems Limited."

"Is an free software consultancy specialising in Perl, CPAN, applications deployment and systems architecture. Shadowcat sponsors web, source repository, integration initiatives, conferences, workshops, hackathons and mailing list hosting for a large number of projects related to Perl and the broader open source and free software communities. Shadowcat creates and releases free software both internally and on behalf of its clients."


The meeting will take place at the usual time, 7pm, at Madlab on Edge Street in the Northern Quarter. "(Between Thomas St and the Craft Centre, opposite A Bar Called Common)". The venue provides wifi. The talk is followed by an informal discussion in the bar opposite (A Place Called Common).



Around the venue there are parking meter bays that become zero cost after 8pm on Tuesday so you'll have to pay up until then and the maximum stay is 2 hours BUT MAKE SURE YOU VERIFY THIS. There are paid parking lots around the venue, the light blue P in this OpenStreetMap centred on Madlab. A lot of them, perhaps all, are are owned by NCP. If you can't decide otherwise then park in Manchester Arndale.

Public Transport

Manchester Victoria (MCV) train station, Shudehill tram station and Manchester Piccadilly bus station are all fairly close to Madlab, see OpenStreetMap centred on Madlab. Manchester Piccadilly (MAN) train station and Manchester Central Coach Station are not too far either.

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