Fayette County

Geeks Night Out: How geeks pick up girls

OK, so the idea was to get all the entrepreneurs, innovators, techies, engineers and people who know what "xml messages" are together in some networking event. But nobody wanted to call them "geeks" or call the get-together "networking."

Thus was born the first ever Alliance of Forward Thinkers which, when the invitations finally came out, actually read: Geeks Night Out.

Photo slide show

The culture can be so hard to overcome.

No matter what you called them, there they were Thursday night at Victorian Square, 100 or so strong, some in business suits (you know, where the pants and the coats actually match and the ties are in festive colors and knotted), some in preppy khakis, some in pencil skirts pearls, some in plaid shorts and shower shoes. Yet all are talking the same language.

Which is to say, yes, they were fluid in both Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

"We're here to meet more people so we can have trouble socializing together," says Todd Willey, chief executive officer of Rubidine, a custom software company that writes awesome code and groks Ruby, whatever that is.

A lot of people in town will know what that is, what with the whole Lexington area becoming something of a burgeoning Silicon Hollow.

"I prefer Holler," says Willey.

Others are tending more toward a more dignified "Silicon Bluegrass."

No matter what you call it, the idea is to work "to get synergy with all these clusters of technology that are rapidly growing right here in Lexington," says Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington.

An odd cluster was happening Thursday at Geeks Night Out, to a certain extent, what with three men to every woman currently in the industry.

At Brooklyn Pizza, Thomas D'Andrea, a PeopleSoft guy, and Willey, the Ruby grokker, were trying to impress Sylvia Murphy.

"Is it standard ERP implementation?" asked Willey.

"It's close. We customize," says D'Andrea.

"(Something, something)... propriety language....Internet code...much like interface object."

The .net developer gal does not seem so interested in either of them yet.

"It works with any predefined Oracle blah, blah," says D'Andrea, like that's going to work some magic on the tech babe here. "It has different compartmental functions not technical functions."


No, says Murphy when queried further.

Maybe if it were all in French.

She speaks French, she says, so no.

Never fear. Commerce Lexington has deemed this first foray into meeting and greeting so successful they will most certainly do it again soon.

Plenty of time to brush up on the different compartmental and technical functions by then.