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Shibuya.pm – November Technical Meeting

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

I am always amazed at the number of speakers they manage to find for a Shibuya.pm technical meeting.  Granted they don’t have these very often but 17 speakers and 18 talks is still a lot for one meeting. This does mean that many of the talks are very short but this is something I really like.  It’s easy to listen to a speaker for a short time – no matter what they decide to talk about.  It’s one of the things that made lightning talks so popular at the YAPC conferences.

There are about 100 people here and the meeting also has remote venues (there is a screen at the front of the room showing a video feed of the people at the other three locations.)

The meeting, like every other Perl event I’ve attended in Japan, is very well organised.  The meeting room is large enough for the attendees, there is wireless, and everyone has table space for their computers.  Sometimes I don’t like wireless at meetings as the attendees appear to be spending more time playing with computers than listening the speaker but here it’s evident that they are paying attention to the speakers.  The people around me, who are using computers, are writing up the meeting (like I am) or commenting on it on various social networking sites.

The meeting is running very smoothly.  With so many speakers it would be easy to have problems with the projector but so far so good.  Marcel described this meeting as a conference and although that’s not quite the case there is no doubt that a lot of time has gone into organising this event.

Shibuya.pm Technical Meeting

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

On Monday evening Marty and I went to the Shibuya.pm technical meeting. This exhausted me as my understanding of Japanese isn’t really up to two and a half hours of technical talks. I was thrilled that Gugod spoke in English as it was a relief to be able to understand something – although when he started I thought he was going to give his talk in Japanese. The only other talk I understood was the one Miyagawa gave. But I had heard an English version of this in Vienna and he used English slides on Monday night.

Marty briefly mentioned one of the differences between this and the European meetings we used to attend but there were quite a few others. The meeting was really structured. They used a bell to let people know when their time was nearly up and they stopped the talks at the end of the allocated time slot. In Europe talks tend to go over and people don’t really seem to mind. Mind you we would have been there all night if they had let this happen as there were 3 ten minute talks, 2 twenty minute talks and 12 lightening talks scheduled.

There was less banter and heckling from the audience (I am not sure that there was any during the talks). Actually there was a lot less noise in general. During the breaks people were fairly quiet. There were around 100 people at the meeting and I couldn’t work out how many of them actually knew each other.

It was noticeable that lots of the talks were on topics associated with the web. The words “mash-up”, “catalyst”, “javascript” and “jifty” occurred quite frequently. Two talks also mentioned “gungho” which I hadn’t heard of before. There was also a lightening talk on Gopher and one of testing and refactoring but these were the exceptions. The lightening talks were also serious and not the stand-up comedy these have become at the YAPC conferences.

Two of the talks had slides that contained pictures of half naked women. I can’t remember seeing this at a technical meeting before. I have no idea why this sort of picture appeared in a talk on Class::Component – but then that’s because my Japanese isn’t good enough. The second set of pictures appeared in a talk which I think was about creating a web-site with erotic content using Plagger and Catalyst. I also don’t know why the women’s nipples were covered with stars in both pictures – but I think I have a lot to learn.