I was wondering how many people are travelling to YAPC::Asia from outside Japan. There are 24 confirmed registrants from outside Japan and 497 from Japan. The biggest YAPC in the world to date seems more a Japanese conference than an Asian one as there are only a handful of people attending from any other Asian country.
The thing I wasn’t expecting to see in the statistics was how few people list themselves as members of Perl Monger groups. Only 53 confirmed attendees out of a total of 521.
This conference was sold out in just over a week. How do all these people find out about the conference? Where is all this Perl interest coming from in Japan? One thing I can’t easily tell – because lots of people didn’t fill this in – is where in Japan the attendees are coming from. Are they nearly all from Tokyo?
Hopefully next week I will get some feeling as to why there is so much interest. I may not though. This will be my third YAPC::Asia and I didn’t find out very much during the last two conferences. I have a big language barrier to overcome. At the first conference I spoke no Japanese. Last year I had some Japanese but not enough to be that useful. This year I have more but I can’t talk about technical things or anything much beyond food, shopping, weather, and other basic life things. I am looking forward to the day when I can speak enough Japanese to properly interact with people in Japan.
I also feel less comfortable than I do at either YAPC::NA or YAPC::Europe. I have heard other women say that they feel like some sort of alien when they attend a big male dominated technical conference. Well in Japan I am a card carrying alien and I do feel out of place sometimes at tech events here. Actually, I haven’t gone to some because I didn’t want to be the only Western woman in the room. This was after my experience at a Free Software event where no-one would even sit in the same row as me. YAPC::Asia was nothing like that but I can still feel out of place at times. That being said I am really looking forward to this conference.