This week i attended my third European Perl Conference, this time held in Glasgow.
I attended all three days and spoke on two of them, the first being a 5 minute “lightning” talk on the #Scuttlebutt project and the second a 20 minute talk on my experiences writing https://www.myjudo.net?utm\_source=rss&utm\_medium=rss in Perl6 and the re-write from Bailador to Cro. On the third day I lent a hand and manned the live video streaming station in one of the rooms.
Scuttlebutt talk and #crab-meet
My lightning talk on day one of the conference came about from discussing Scuttlebutt with a work colleague also attending the event in the mid morning break. So I put in a talk abstract via the conference software and a few short hours I was stood in front of the conference attendees doing a live demo of Patchbay and all it’s amazing features.
After day two I meet-up with happy0 who wrote the correspondence chess system that runs on scuttlebutt in Patchbay. We sat in the corner of the venue and had a video call with someone else about future plans for chess tournaments run over the scuttlebutt system. Gordon then talk myself and some others out for food and drink and a fantastic time was had by all!
Creating a web app with Perl6 and Cro talk
On the second day I gave my planned talk on my experiences creating a website using perl6 and cro. This went pretty much to plan and I was able to finish on time and I was pleased with how the talk went.
It was held in the main theatre and my stress level was running pretty high looking out into a room with people all the way to the back. I’d expected it for the lightning talk the day before, but that was because everyone goes to the lightning talks. But this was a 20 minute talk and I was really nervous. Especially looking out and seeing some of the key names in perl and perl6 sitting there, including of course Larry Wall the creator of both perl and perl 6!
I hope and thing it went well and the balance of code and generics along with a little about the “why” seemed to go down ok.
Talks I attended
A three day conference gives lots of opportunity to explore technical and non-technical talks; the usual problem for me is trying to decide which ones to attend. At this event there were normally 3 talks on at anytime with exception of keynotes etc.
I tried to spread my attention across Perl5 and Perl6 talks and attend some of the soft-skills talks. All the talks will be online soon so I look forward to being able to watch those talks I could not attend and re-watch those I did attend.
I was pleased to see lots of Perl6 talks, especially talks that described Perl6 being used in production. I run my https://myjudo.net/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss on Perl6 of course, and find it to be great; but at work we are all Perl5 so it was great when people described where they have used Perl6 “at work”.
It was interesting also that there was no discussion about the impending death of Perl, in fact the vibe felt very much the opposite. That Perl5 is doing fine and perhaps and this is my feeling it is doing better as the hype cycles around other development languages settles and look what is still there… Perl5.
It was really good to see two former colleagues now elsewhere describe how they have delivered a perl5 website for a large government project and it was a greenfield project where Perl5 is not in use because it has been for years; but because people had a choice and decided on Perl5.
Community / Friends
This is my third YAPC::EU and I have really enjoyed it. It is nice to meet people who are new and people you have met before. This year more of my work colleagues were in attendance. It was also great to meet former work colleagues and be able to catch up with them and see that things are going well for them after they fall off your radar as work colleagues do when they leave your employer for another.
This experience reminded me that colleagues are friends and that theperl community is a collection of friends getting together to catch-up. Meeting Gordon (happy0 from Scuttlebutt) reminded me that the Perl community is part of a wider community of software developers.
This makes me think I might try attend some non-perl conferences along with my feeling that I would like to attend more Perl events like the Swiss Perl Workshop. Perhaps I will seek out some Scuttlebutt events (there is one in London I have my eye on already: http://viewer.scuttlebot.io/%25CrprzW1j%2Bcf8uZ1QxHvCpDQT9o0g4unbl1z1h5Mhmys%3D.sha256?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss ). Of course I should also get involved with some local events in Southampton.
The event was great, writing my slides helepd me gain a deeper understanding of some of the things I hacked and did not really fully internalise. I attended a great talk on a small subset of Perl6 which actually clicked somethings I had done in Perl6 to make things work to the fundamental language feature I exploited.
It is also interesting to see a mix of people who are luminaries in our community, people willing to stand in front of people and share and also those who are not talking; but brave enough to attend.
I find attending conferences exhausting and three days has left me drained. Though I love it, I do love the solitude of my hotel room. I loved the chats and the smiles, the talks and the feeling of the event. I also knew how hard it would be and was able to pace myself.
Volunteering to man the live streaming in one of the rooms was probably the best thing I did. It meant that on the final day I was able to be in the background and recover whilst still being at the conference and actually to be part of the conference.
To anyone who is at all intimidated by attending a conference, consider volunteering instead. It I feel would be a great way to attend and be able to avoid lots of the stress of not knowing people, not knowing how to talk to people, etc.
Event organisers perhaps can highlight and call for volunteers using this idea that rather than it being work, it being a chance to be part of the background. You have the chance to be engaged in a way you don’t get as a attendee nor as a speaker; you are part of the event.
I guess I should have realised this earlier seeing as this is what I do for Judo all the time, attend events as part of the IT team setting things up and working during the events.
I shall update this post with video links once available.
Finally… thank you!
First up a huge thank you to Mark Keating and all the people involved in running the event; it was fantastic and ran smoothly and I have really enjoyed and benefited from attending.
Secondly, thanks to my current work colleagues for coming to this YAPC::EU and for keeping the pressure on me to attend. It was touch and go for a while; but eventually you brought me around and I am really happy to have not missed this years event.
Thirdly thanks to www.cv-library.co.uk?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss (my employer) for allowing me to attend this during the work week event and even more so for allowing other people from the development team attend and improve themselves and participate in the Perl community.
Lastly and importantly, a huge shout out to Gordon who as well as being an awesome Scuttlebutt contributor (ssb-chess was one of the things that made me adopt scuttlebutt), was an amazing person to meet in person and sitting in a Glasgow basement bar with you and my work colleagues is a highlight.