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Fri, 06 Aug 2010

My first YAPC - YAPC::EU 2010 in Pisa

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This week I attended my first international Perl conference, the YAPC::EU 2010 in Pisa, Italy. I very much enjoyed it.

I arrived a few days earlier, and spent the time visiting Pisa, talking with old and new friends, and did some collaborative hacking. I especially enjoyed meeting people with whom I had had only contact via Internet so far, and found all of them to be very nice in meat space.

On Tuesday, the day before the conference started officially, a group of Perl 6 hackers met and discussed topics around Perl 6 and Rakudo. I recall talking with Patrick Michaud, Jonathan Worthington, Carl Mäsak, Paweł Murias, Gabor Szabo, smash (I can't spell his full name correctly from memory, sorry for that), and we have a very productive discussion (about 5 hours or so). Notes from the discussion will be published later.

On Wednesday the actual conference started, and there were plenty of very interesting talks, and very amusing lightning talks. I generally like the humor that is widespread in the Perl community.

On Thursday I continued to attend nice and informative talks, and also gave a talk on my own. It was about physical modelling with Perl 6, and in general the feedback was very positive, and somebody even commented that while he didn't understand everything I wrote, it reminded him that it was important to learn Perl 6 now. Win \o/. (There was also some criticism, but from somebody who apparently hasn't read the abstract; the "write-only" meme seems to apply to perl bloggers, not code). You can find the slides to my talk here.

Firday was the day of my departure too - sadly I had to leave after the first talk, and missed the rest of the day, including the closing keynote by mst (I did attend a talk of his) and the traditional auction.

I especially enjoyed...

  • meeting Patrick, Larry, Gloria, Aaron, Gabor and many others for the first time in real-life
  • a thorough, high-bandwith discussion with Larry, Jonathan, Patrick and Carl about p6 spec questions, and the Perl 6 discussions mentioned earlier
  • a lightning talk imagine you're in a data center with no connection to the outside, and you accidentally executed chmod -x chmod. What would you do?
  • good Italian Pizzas (although I had to wait 50 minutes for one of them)
  • A talk by Tim Bunce, where he demonstrated database access in Perl 6 both with libraries that do native calls, and through the Blizkost project using the Perl 5 DBI/DBD::SQLite modules
  • the general relaxed attitude in the Perl community, where people help each other, and don't seem to be easily offended (at least in meat space :)
  • being surrounded by many other geeks
  • realizing that several Perl hackers brought their family to the conference

It was an overwhelming experience, and I look forward to my next YAPC!

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