By the time I finally got to Pisa the conference was well under way. At the start of any conference it usually takes me a while to work out where everything is, as I have absolutely no sense of direction, but since I was staying at the conference venue getting around was incredibly easy. Just as well really as I didn’t want to waste any time getting lost.
I don’t get to see many talks at a YAPC as it’s a great opportunity for me to work on projects with people in person. I usually manage to see a couple of talks a day and I was disappointed that I had missed some of the talks on previous days. These were talks that I had also missed at YAPC::NA with the thought that I would get to see them in Pisa. I also didn’t get to spend enough time working with other people. I had a whole list of things I wanted to discuss in my notebook and I maybe touched on half on of them.
I managed to see José Castro’s talk on how he runs jobs interviews. It was an interesting mix of technical questions and trying to work out how the person being interviewed will react when they are faced with a problem they can’t easily solve. Mind you I hope he wasn’t hoping to recruit at the conference as he probably scared off any potential employees with the amount of glee he showed at the thought of how difficult the whole process was!
I also got to see most of Matt Trout’s “State of the Velociraptor” talk. I had seen this before at YAPC::NA and it was an excellent upbeat keynote. It would have been a great way to end the conference, as the talk was a celebration of the good things in Perl, but in Europe the conference finishes with lightning talks and the auction.
I attended the lightning talks, but since I was speaking I found it hard to focus on the talks that went before mine. I gave a talk called “10 Things to do with a Conference T-Shirt“, which involved making something new out of 10 t-shirts. It was a five minute talk that required more than 20 hours of preparation but it was worth it. I’m going to find it difficult coming up with something equally creative for next year. (I have been asked to put up the pictures of the modified t-shirts but I’m probably going to give this talk at YAPC::Asia, so I want to wait until after that conference.)
The conference finished with the auction. It was much too long, which tends to happen every year, but I did like the new format. Usually we have one auctioneer but this year the auction was carried out by three teams. It was planned to be much faster than usual, as there were only 12 lots, but as the teams were competing against each other to raise money some of the lots did take a long time.
The teams were from the U.K., U.S.A, and Europe. I loved how the different cultures were evident in the styles used to sell and also thought that the different accents helped keep it interesting. All the auctioneers were good but the Daves were my favourite as Dave Cross has one of those accents I could listen to all day and Dave Rolsky really can sell.
I enjoyed the conference and was sorry that I had seen so little of it. Next year I’m going to have to plan to arrive days before the event to allow enough time to cope with travel delays, as I seem to be plagued by these no matter where I go.