June 21, 2004

Thoughts from YAPC

Another YAPC has come and gone. The conference itself appeared to run fairly smoothly and as Uri mentioned a few times Jim Brandt (the main organizer) was the calmest one he’d seen. The facilities were good (no A/V problems), although I missed the lunch-in-common-area from last year’s conference.

There weren't any wow-pop-your-eyes-open talks for me this year, partly because I missed a whole day of them on Thursday as I was doing my own talk and partly because there seemed to be fewer talks this year. But there were a few enjoyable ones. The Apache::Test talk from Geoff Young was not only well done but he really seemed to focus on the interesting and useful parts of his topic. Part of the reason is that he's given the talk multiple times before, but also because he actually uses the technology every day. (Feel the envy...) It's inspired me to really try to get that part of the OpenInteract2 test suite up to snuff sooner rather than later.

Also the talks from Andy Lester and Pierre Denis on hiring were good. Each was geared toward a different audience and poked a few holes in how many people think about applying for a job, what's most important in the process and so on.

Gnat's lightning talk will probably be discussed for quite some time. I guess a changing of the guard problem is a good one to have -- it means you're maturing and growing out of old skin, maybe heading in new directions. (But Perl's such a large beast to do that now....) While I missed his Perl 6 talk, Damian's final talk was entertaining and provocative as usual. He's got an awfully high bar to clear based on his previous talks though.

I also got on IRC for the first time. (Not coincidentally this is my first conference with a working laptop.) It seems to be a fairly deep current running through all these conferences and it was pretty much what I expected. (People talk about it enough that you get an impression.) I'm not sure if I'm going to keep that up -- I've maintained my distance from IRC for a long time because of its potential as a huge timesuck.

I've been to four previous YAPCs and this was probably the one I've spent the most time talking to people -- and not just at my talk. I finally got to meet people I'd long encountered online like Perrin Harkins and Geoff Young as well as the usual crew I see at YAPC like Jeff Bisbee, Gavin Estey, the Fotango crew, Eric Andreychek, Keith Ivey and other folks.

Finally, a big thanks to Greg Fenton and the folks at iAnywhere who provided me with a license for SQL Anywhere Studio. I plan on using it for one of the OI2 demo sites I'll be installing in the next few weeks.

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