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Archive for the 'YAPC::NA' Category

YAPC::NA 2016, Orlando

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

I’m on my way to America.  I have planned a few things to do, but my main motivator for going is to attend YAPC::NA.  The conference is running from the 19th to the 24th June in Orlando.  As I’m involved in the organisation of the conference I may not get to hear a lot of the talks.  But I am going to try to hear Ricardo Signes speak on The Ongoing Disaster that is Perl 5. I’m also looking forward to hearing Damian Conway’s keynote and I plan to attend his tutorial on Presentation Aikido.

I really liked that the conference started a New to Perl program this year. This was inspired by the Send-A-Newbie program and offered a number of low-cost ($50) scholarships to the conference covering registration, accommodation, and the Zero to Perl Tutorial.  There is also going to be a beginners’ track again, which was popular last year.

As always I am looking forward to catching up with friends.

Jet Lag in Salt Lake City

Friday, June 5th, 2015

I’ve arrived in Salt Lake City a couple of days before YAPC::NA in the hope that I can adjust time zones before the conference.  This doesn’t feel like it is working well, but I did manage to stay awake until after 10pm last night even if I started waking at 4:30am this morning.  This would not be so bad if my head didn’t hurt and I was able to concentrate.  I appear to have my body here, but my brain is somewhere over the Pacific.

We held the last weekly YAPC::NA planning meeting last night.  There are some last minute things that need to be sorted out but things do seem to be on schedule.  I’m both apprehensive and excited about the conference.  This was the first time I was involved in the planning of training courses around the conference and I’m pleased to see that the Introduction to Moose course has sold out.

I’m looking forward to catching up with friends and there are a few people, who I have dealt with in email, that I’m looking forward to meeting in person.

Perl in February

Monday, March 9th, 2015

March is, well, marching on and I still haven’t completed this post on my work in February.  I’m just going to post what I have or I will never acquire the discipline to post about Perl every month.  February was hectic and I could not keep up with my workload.  A large part of the problem was caused by me having shingles and not being able to work on Perl Foundation things.  I did try to deal with urgent things, even when ill, but it’s not easy to do and I had to cancel a few meetings.

Every month I work on the Perl 5 Core Maintenance Fund as there routine task that are carried out on a monthly basis. It has been suggested to me that I shouldn’t deal with these tasks but I find that doing them helps me with procrastination.  I imagine that every volunteer suffers from a procrastination problem to some degree and I help overcome mine with routine tasks.  Once those are completed I can usually continue working for the whole time block that I set aside.   At the minute we have two running grants, Tony Cook’s Maintaining Perl 5, and Dave Mitchell’s Maintaining the Perl 5 Core. Every month I read the reports, post the reports, and authorise the payments. This month we also received a new grant request from Ricardo Signes, so that he could travel to the QA Hackathon.

As well as blogging about grants I have also been posting to the TPF Facebook page, the TPF twitter account, writing for the TPF blog, and updating the TPF website.  I’m not alone in doing these tasks as many people in TPF have access to do so including Mark Keating and the marketing committee.  We even have some outside help as this year, in order to improve our communication for YAPC::NA, we are using a PR company to promote the conference.

The preparations for YAPC::NA are well underway and I continue to work on the beginners’ track, the master classes, and the Perl 6 hackathon.  I’m excited about the conference and pleased that we have a capable team of people working on the many things that need done to run a successful 500 person conference.

We are going to be taking part in Outreachy, which is the successor to the Outreach Program for Women.  The winter round is not completed yet and at the minute we have a intern working on Dancer, and another one working on MetaCPAN.  We have funding for one intern in the summer round and I’ll have more to write about it in March as the application deadline falls on the 24th.

Admin work is constant and not something I find I want to write about.  One admin thing of note this month was the calling of a vote of confidence in the Secretary of the Grants Committee. This is part of the rules of operation for that committee and this will be done on an annual basis.  My email situation has worsened since last month but I’m still optimistic that I can catch up on the backlog.

As you can probably tell from this post my role in TPF isn’t a clearly defined thing.  Jesse Vincent stated during his time as the Perl 5 Pumpking that he was the project janitor — and I know exactly what he meant.

YAPC::NA – Getting Ready to Travel

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

YAPC::NA, the largest American Perl conference, is taking place in Orlando from June 23rd to the 25th. I’m going to be speaking on Working with Volunteers, and since the YAPC::NA schedule is now up I am thrilled to discover that I’ll be speaking on the first day. The schedule is not complete yet.  I’ve been looking at it regularly, waiting for the addition of the keynote that is going to be given by Charlie Stross, which I’m really looking forward to hearing.  It’s not listed yet but I have seen both the conference organizers and @cstross tweet about it, so I’m fairly sure it’s going ahead.

I’m pleased to see that there will be a VIP Reception on the Monday evening.  This event was created to welcome first and second time attendees to the conference and create a way for them to be introduced to other people.  After recently being at a conference where I didn’t really know anyone I know how difficult it can be to meet and speak to other attendees.  And I’m not the only one.  Ricardo, the Perl 5 Pumpking, wrote the following in a recent post about attending a conference where he knew only one person:

The most difficult part of the conference, for me, was socializing. Out of the hundred-odd attendees, I knew one — Mark — who was only there on the second day. I found it difficult to strike up conversations with a bunch of complete strangers, although I did try. In fact, I had a number of nice conversations, but it was difficult and uncomfortable to get started. I’m not sure whether there’s anything to be done about that, but it didn’t help that it seemed like half of the conference attendees knew each other already.

This experience really made me think again about YAPC and other conferences that I attend where I already know half the attendees and, even if I don’t, am in a privileged position by virtue of my position within the community. Remember, fellow conference veterans: go talk to the new people and make them feel welcome. It’s important.

I’m leaving for America soon and I need to decide what I’m taking with me. I’m tempted to bring a board game, for the YAPC::NA Game Night, but I’m not sure that I have room in my suitcase.   I also need to finish my talk as I really should take that with me.  I’ve been working on it today, but haven’t quite gotten to where I feel comfortable with it. I still have time, and thankfully, unlike the last conference I attended, I’m not expected to hand in my slides in advance.

 

YAPC::NA – Training Courses

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

There are training courses taking place before and after YAPC::NA in Orlando that require a separate registration.  For the first time the conference organizers have decided to use Crowdtilt to help them decide which training course should run.  The possible course are:

Introductory Training

Effective Testing – Curtis “Ovid” Poe
Introduction to Moose – Dave Rolsky
Perl for Programmers – John “genehack” Anderson
Zero to Perl – Jay Hannah

Advanced Training

Advanced Moose – Shawn Moore
Agile Companies Go Pop! – Curtis “Ovid” Poe

The introductory training courses will take place on the Saturday and Sunday before the conference and the advanced training will take place on the Thursday and Friday after.

5000 Steps

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

I spoke at LinuxCon last week on “Understanding Volunteers”.  As always I felt terrible before I was speaking and oddly I still felt rather glum after I finished.  It was difficult speaking in front of a mostly Japanese audience.  I was incredibly worried that no-one would understand anything I was saying and very aware of cultural differences.  Like most of the talks I saw I ended up finishing early which left extra time for questions.  I was asked two questions but one of those was “what questions do you get asked at other conferences?”.

I ended up walking an extra 5,000 steps that day though, just in pacing around in circles before I had to talk.

I did learn some things by giving the talk.  I now have a much better idea of how the research I have read on the motivations of people who work in Open Source can be applied to the community.  And I got to have a couple of conversations regarding the concept that Japanese people are not good at trusting strangers and that they don’t necessarily want to work in an open environment.  (These were not my ideas, but the ideas of some people doing post-graduate research on this area.)

Next month I will be speaking at YAPC::NA on Working with Volunteers.  I’m already nervous about this and I’m really hoping that I don’t have to wait until the last day of the conference to speak.

YAPC::NA 2014

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

It’s that time of the year again when I need to think about conferences.  This year I am hoping to attend YAPC::NA in Florida.  The deadline for talk submissions is February 15th – which seems earlier than previous years – and I have just submitted my talk proposal.  I wasn’t able to attend YAPC::EU last year and I’m not sure if I will make it this year.  But YAPC::EU takes place in Sofia towards the end of August and the talk submission deadline is the 1st July – so I have time to decide.

 

A Time For Perl

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

YAPC::NA is quickly approaching and I am experiencing my usual mixed-up feelings of trepidation and excitement.  The thought of speaking always fills me with dread. I know I will be fine once I start but thinking about starting does something odd to my brain and I fear I won’t remember any words. I spoke on Wednesday night at the Windy City Perl Mongers and they would never believe that I could be without words.  I easily spoke for over an hour on The Perl Foundation.  I only have 20 minutes at YAPC so I will need to be less loquacious.  I really enjoyed meeting the Mongers in Chicago.  They were incredibly welcoming, appeared to be interested in what I was saying, and asked lots of questions that allowed me to babble at length.  There is no doubt that I can be passionate about the work we are doing at The Perl Foundation.

And I’m excited because JT and his team have put so much effort into YAPC::NA that it’s going to be an amazing conference.  There is so much happening that I have no idea where I’ll get the energy to fit everything in, but I’m certainly willing to give it a go. I have been in America for over a week so at least I won’t be jet lagged at this conference.

This is my 24th YAPC and over the years I have made many good friends in the Perl community. I love the hallway track and I’m looking forward to the conversations.  There are some regular attendees who can’t make it and I know I will miss Jesse Vincent and Yaakov Sloman.   But soon I will get to see Shawn, Casey, Matt, Rik, Jacinta, brian, and so many others that I’d be here for some time if I tried to list them all!

 

Behind

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

Things lately in my personal life have been overwhelming and unfortunately this has caused problems with the volunteering work that I do.  I am, however, still planning on attending YAPC::NA and I hope to catch up on my todo list in the next couple of weeks.  I will also be going to the Windy City Perl Mongers on Wednesday night to talk about The Perl Foundation.

Travel

Friday, April 27th, 2012

I have finally booked flights for my summer travel.  I start travelling next week and will be away from home for 14 out of the next 21 weeks.  I have booked 20 flights and plan to be in Seoul, Pittsburgh, Rome, Chicago, Madison, Amsterdam, Belfast, Frankfurt, London, Tallinn, and Sydney.  I’m a bit apprehensive about the amount of travel I’ll be doing, but I will get to catch up with a lot of people.  As well as a number of family events I’ll be attending YAPC::NA in Madison and YAPC::EU in Frankfurt.  I’ll also be back home in time to attend YAPC::Asia in Tokyo.  As always when I travel I will try to meet up with local Perl Mongers.

Attending and speaking at the Perl conferences is important to me but I haven’t managed to come up with an interesting talk this year.  I will be speaking about The Perl Foundation at YAPC::NA and I may do this as well at YAPC::EU.  But I had really wanted to create a lightning talk based around the number 25 as YAPC::EU will be my 25th YAPC and this year marks the 25th anniversary of Perl.  I still have time to get inspired, but I have so many Perl related things that I’m working on that I don’t know if I’ll manage to make the talk a priority.