It’s been over twenty years since I spoke at a conference in North America. That was at OSCON in San Diego. I’ve actually never spoken at a YAPC, TPC or TPRC in North America. I have the standard European concern about being seen to encourage the USA’s bad behaviour by actually visiting it, so when I saw this year’s TPRC was in Canada, I thought that gave me the perfect opportunity to put that right.
So I proposed a talk which was accepted.
It was also the first time I’d been to any kind of conference since before the pandemic. My last conference was in Riga in 2019.
Despite Air Transat’s determination to prevent it from happening, my girlfriend and I made it to Toronto a few days before the conference started. It was her birthday, so we spent Sunday and Monday relaxing and getting to know Downtown Toronto. On Monday afternoon, we moved to the conference hotel and prepared to geek out.
One of the first people I spoke to at the conference on Tuesday morning was fellow Londoner Mohammad Anwar. As is the law (I don’t make the rules!) I was mildly rebuking him about the ridiculous amount of work he puts into the Perl community. I told him the story of a senior member of the community who, about ten years ago, said to me: “I don’t understand why you still make so much effort, Dave. You have your White Camel, don’t you?” I swear I didn’t know that Mohammad was about to be awarded the 2022 White Camel – but it gave me the opportunity to go up to him and say, “See, you can stop making such an effort now!” I hope he doesn’t really stop; but he should really take things a bit easier.
The next three days were a happy blur of geekery. As always at these conferences, there were too many talks that I wanted to see and, inevitably, I still have to catch up on some of them on YouTube (thanks to the dedicated video team for getting making them available so quickly).
There are a number of talks that I’d like more people to see. I think it would be a great use of your time to watch these videos:
- No One is Immune to Abuse – Sawyer X
- Coming Soon – Curtis Poe
- Whither Perl? – Olaf Anders
- What’s New in Perl v5.38 – Paul Evans
- Perl 7 Retrospective – Sawyer X
I gave two talks – a lightning talk on CPAN Dashboard and a longer talk on GitHub Actions for Perl Development. After not giving a talk for four years, I felt a little rusty – but I think they went ok.
And then, after a seemingly-fleeting three days, it was all over and we all returned to our own countries. There’s another conference in Finland next month. Unfortunately, I’m unable to be there – and last week’s experience makes me regret that.
It was great to catch up with old friends and share our mutual interest in Perl. It was particularly great after four years without a conference to go to. I hope it’s not four years until I’m at another.