OpenTech is an annual one-day conference in London where geeks get together and share information about cool things they are doing with technology. The emphasis is on projects that improve society in some way so you’ll see a lot of talks about really interesting projects. Usually the talks concentrate more on the user aspects of the projects and it’s rare to hear very much detail about the underlying technologies.
I was therefore slightly surprised to be invited to invited to give a talk about Modern Perl at this year’s conference. But I grasped the opportunity to speak to a room of geeks who might not be keeping up to date with Perl technology.
The slides are now on SlideShare. Bear in mind that I was aiming at a non-Perly crowd and that I only had twenty minutes – so it’s possible that I didn’t have time to cover your favourite Modern Perl project.
I mentioned a few months ago that I’d be running an “Introduction to Modern Perl” training course at YAPC::Europe this year. But in the interests of speaking outside of the Perl community as much as possible, I’m also going to be giving a slightly different version of that course at the OpenTech conference in London in September.
I say “slightly different”, but that’s a bit of an understatement. The original training course runs for six hours. The OpenTech talk is twenty minutes. But hopefully that will be long enough to introduce some people to many of the interesting things that are going on in the Perl world.
It you’re going to be in London in September, then the OpenTech conference is always a lot of fun. I highly recommend that you come along. It’s cheap too – just a fiver on the door.
The YAPC::Europe organisers said that they would tell speakers which talks had been accepted on July 1st. Well, it seems that the excitement was too much for them and they decided to do it a week earlier. Yesterday I got email telling me that some of my talks had been accepted and the list of accepted talks is now on the web site. As always, it looks like a really interesting conference.
I’ve had two twenty-minute talks accepted:
The Perl Community
The Perl community is a complex and interesting city. I’ve been exploring it for almost fifteen years and I’m not sure that I’ve been to every corner of it.
In this talk I’ll attempt to guide you round some of the more interesting and useful parts of the Perl community. I’ll point out some ancient monuments, some nice new areas and warn you about some places where you really shouldn’t walk alone after dark.
Things I Learned From Having Users
When I first started releasing modules to CPAN it was great. I released modules that no-one used. I could release new versions as and when I wanted to.
Then people started using a couple of my modules. I started to get email about them. Suddenly my modules were no longer just for me. I had to deal with users.
In this talk I’ll discuss how having users effects the way that you develop and release software. I’ll also look at a few ways to keep on top of things.
I’m also doing my first lightning talk for several years:
You might not believe it to look at us, but the Perl community is a deeply fashionable place. If you’re not using the currently fashionable modules in your code then people will be sneering at you behind your back.
Join Dave Cross for a quick review of the history of Perl fashion.
See you in Pisa.
The London Perl Workshop is getting closer. It’s on Saturday 5th December at the University of Westminster’s Cavendish Street Campus (the same place it’s been for the last few years).
The schedule was announced a couple of days ago and, at always, it looks like a great line-up. I’m particularly pleased to see that Tatsuhiko Miyagawa will be there talking about Plack and PSGI (although, slightly less pleased to see that it clashes with a presentation that I’m involved with).
I’m going to be involved in a few things at the workshop. They’ve invited me to give the keynote again, so I’m giving a talk called The “M” Word. Later in the day I’m giving a two hour tutorial called The Professional Programmer which will discuss some of the practicalities of working in the IT industry (this is largely aimed at the university’s students but others will also be welcome). Finally, towards the end of the day, I’ll be speaking alongside Matt Trout, Curtis Poe and Ed Freyfogle on a panel called Skills in the Workplace.
The LPW is always a great day. I hope you’ll come along and join in. Oh, and even if you can’t make it you can pretend you were there by buying one of the workshop t-shirts.
Last Thursday I went to visit the nice people at Milton Keynes Perl Mongers. I think I’ve spoken at one of the technical meetings every year since they started holding them in 2006. I always enjoy speaking to MK.pm. They’re a small and friendly group. And they always make me feel really welcome.
This time I tried something a bit different. I had a few talks prepared that I’d given earlier this year, but on their mailing list I asked them to suggest what they wanted me to talk about. After a bit of discussion they came up with a few interesting suggestions and I agreed to present two of them. And, interestingly they came up with two talks that I would never have considered writing.
The talks seemed to go down pretty well and the slides are now available on Slideshare. They probably won’t work quite so well without me waffling on in front of them, but you might find them interesting.
- Maintaining CPAN Modules – the tools and techniques that I use to maintain my small selection of CPAN module
- Perl Training – Some experiences, anecdotes and vague conclusions drawn from the right years that I’ve been running Perl training courses
I found it an interesting experience writing talks that I hasn’t planned to write. It’s one that I hope to repeat in the future. Perhaps conferences should consider changing the way that Calls for Papers work. Maybe they should add a checkbox which means “I don’t care what I talk about – please give me a title.”
I spent some time over the weekend adding events to the london.pm group on Facebook. If you’re on face book, then joining the group is a good way to keep up to date with what london.pm is doing. But for the three of you who aren’t on Facebook, here’s a summary of what I added.
There’s a technical meeting this coming Thursday. More details (and sign-up) on the web page. It’s being held in a pub on Queensway.
Then on October 8th there is the monthly london.pm social meeting. This will be in The Gunmakers in Clerkenwell. I believe that a breakaway sect of London Perl Mongers will be holding a heretical meeting on October 1st, but you’d need to ask them for details of the venue.
But the big news is the announcement of the date of this year’s London Perl Workshop. It will be on December 5th at the usual venue (the University of Westminster’s Cavendish Road building). The organisers are already taking talk submissions, so if you want to share your knowledge with a large number of Perl hackers (we usually get a couple of hundred people there) then please sign up and submit a proposal.
And a couple of plugs for non-london.pm events. On October 15th, miltonkeynes.pm will be having a technical meeting and I’ll be speaking there. Somehow I got talked into giving two presentations so I’ll be speaking on “Teaching Perl – Experiences,
Anecdotes and Vague Conclusions” and “How I maintain
my CPAN modules”.
Finally, I’m running three days of Perl training at the Imperial Hotel in Russell Square, London in November. The three days are completely separate courses, but they are arranged so that you can come to all three – although going from complete beginner to the advanced course in three days might be a bit of a stretch. The three courses are:
- 24th Nov – Beginners Perl
- 25th Nov – Intermediate Perl
- 26th Nov – Advanced Perl
Full details are on my training page and to keep up to date with my forthcoming speaking and training dates you can subscribe to my calendar or join the mailing list.
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.