Tag Archives: lisbon

YAPC::Europe 2009

Today I travelled home from YAPC::Europe 2009 which was held in Lisbon. Readers of my other blog will know that I almost didn’t get there at all. The return journey was far less stressful.

On the weekend before the conference I gave a two-day “Introduction to Perl” course. We had six people on the course. I’m pretty happy with that as I think it’s a brave decision to have a beginners’ course at a Perl conference. I’m also happy to report that a third of the attendees were women.

There were four tracks of conference talks. This, of course, is guaranteed to lead to situations where you want to watch more than one talk at the same time. I think that at one point I really wanted to watch three of the four talks. Of course, there’s also the “hallway track” which is the best part of any good conference. This week there were two or three occasions when I found that I’d missed talks that I wanted to see because I had been so engrossed in an interesting conversation. All in all, I’m really glad that some of the talks were being recorded.

One highlight for me was meeting Paul Fenwick and Jacinta Richardson. I’ve been talking online to Paul and Jacinta for something like seven or eight years but we had never met face to face before because we spend most of out lives on opposite sides of the Earth. It was great to finally meet them. They’re as lovely in real life as they are online and they’re also both great speakers with interesting things to say.

Another highlight was the Marketing BOF that we held on Tuesday evening. There’s a growing concern in the Perl community that people outside of the community have an out of date and rather uncomplimentary view of Perl. The conference was full of people who had many ideas for fixing this. Ovid has a good description of this BOF over on use.perl so I won’t repeat the details here. I’ll just point out that some of us tried to have a similar meeting at EuroOSCON in 2005. At that time we had four people turn up. This week there were more than fifty.

The quiz show on Tuesday night was fun too. Greg and I were a last minute substitution as one of the teams failed to appear. We won our qualifying round, but came third (out of four) in the final. I was particularly embarrassed to have been beaten to the answer to the Buffy question.

And it seems that I owe the Perl community an apology. In his closing keynote, José Castro gave some examples of bad Perl advocacy. Number one on his list was my Why Corporates Hate Perl article. José pointed out that many people only read the title of an article and that my title was, perhaps, badly chosen. I’m sorry if I’ve caused any damage.

All in all, a great conference. Many thanks to the organisers for all of their hard work.

Hope to see you all in Pisa next year.

What I’m Doing At YAPC::Europe

Yet Another Perl Conference :: Europe :: 2009 I think I’ve now worked out all of the things that I’m doing at YAPC::Europe this year. It’s turned into quite a list.

The big news is that I’m giving a “Introductory Perl” training course over the weekend before the conference. One of the themes of the conference is to get more people involved in the Perl community (see, for example, Edmund’s Send-A-Newbie initiative) so the organisers thought it would be a good idea to run a beginners course just before the conference. The idea is to take people who know little or no Perl and get them to the stage where they’ll be able to get something useful out of the rest of the conference.

Details of the training are on the YAPC web site, where you can also book your place (it’s €220 for a two day course).

So the training is on Saturday and Sunday (the 1st and 2nd of August). The conference starts on Monday. I’m giving two talks at the conference:

It looks like it’s going to be a great conference (as always). I’m really looking forward to it.

YAPC Travel Plans

On the offchance that anyone wants to travel at the same time, here are my travel plans for YAPC::Europe.

  • Flying from Heathrow to Lisbon on BA502 on Friday 31st July. Leaving at 15:05 and arriving at 17:45.
  • Staying in the Hotel Alif (possibly the least useful hotel web site that I’ve ever seen).
  • Flying from Lisbon to Heathrow on BA501 on Thursday 6th August. Leaving at 11:05 and arriving at 13:40.

I’m travelling a little earlier than many people because I hope to be running a training course on the weekend before the conference. I’ll post more details of that here when it’s confirmed (hopefully in the next couple of days).