Archive for the 'YAPC::NA' Category

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!



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.


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.

YAPC::NA – VIP Event

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

I was late.  My conference day started at 7am when I went looking for breakfast, though thanks to the joys of jet lag I had been awake since 4am.  It was now nearly 7pm and all I wanted to do was sleep.  But instead I was walking up a steep hill, hoping I was going in the right direction.

Even with my terrible sense of direction the event was easy to find as I could follow the sounds of animated conversation.  When I arrived it was like walking into a cocktail party full of extraverts. Everyone was chatting, drinking, and looking relaxed. There was no doubt that the event was going well.  I was impressed: this wasn’t a group of extraverts or a group of old friends, but a mixture of new attendees and Perl luminaries.

I also felt nervous as I don’t like large groups of people.  But Paul Fenwick, someone I do know, came and greeted me, and it wasn’t long before people that I hadn’t met came up and started chatting.  The conversations followed a similar pattern, the person introduced themselves, talked a bit about how they used Perl, and went on from there.  Afterwards I was told it was suggested that this would be a good way to introduce yourself to others, and it did work.  There is no doubt that it’s easier to talk to a stranger if you have a plan as to what you should talk about.

The VIP event was created to give first time attendees the opportunity to meet other conference attendees – VIP standing for “Very Important to Perl”, and referring to the new attendees.  This is the second time that Yaakov has run this event at YAPC::NA, and I believe that it has become very important to the conference.

In Asheville, for YAPC::NA

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

I arrived in Asheville yesterday afternoon.  I was very happy to meet some other Perl people at the airport, but they aren’t staying at the venue yet.  So, I spent the evening by myself and it looks like I’ll be alone most of today as well.

I’ve been asked to write up my first impressions, as some of the other conference attendees are interested to know things like how much my taxi from the airport cost.  It was $41 which I thought was quite expensive for what appears to be a 13 mile or so journey.  The hotel does run a shuttle-bus for $30 that you need to call and arrange and I didn’t think to do that.

My first impressions of the venue are good.  I’m staying in a Villa as I wasn’t able to get a room at the hotel for my entire stay.  It’s a bit big for me with a living room, bedroom, kitchen, and two bathrooms, but it’s quaint and I’m getting used to the space.  The hotel staff have been friendly and helpful.  When I told the bell captain that I was here alone he offered to drive me into town so that I could do some sightseeing and told me that someone from the hotel would come back and get me later.

I had dinner in the bar last night.  I was really pleased that the bartender actually spoke to me as it isn’t always easy to eat alone.  I arrived in America on Wednesday so I’ve been eating alone for a few days and last night was the first time I didn’t feel as if I was putting the restaurant out by taking up a whole table by myself.  The food was fine but there was far too much of it.  I ordered a turkey sandwich and wasn’t actually expecting it to come with a large plate of fries, as the turkey sandwich was already a bit big for me.  But then I always find the portion sizes in America to be ridiculously big.  My meal and ginger ale came to $14 (including tip) so I think I got my money’s worth even if I did eat less than half of it.

I had the continental breakfast this morning for $7.41.  I had raisin bran and fruit, but there was a wider selection than that.  I’m not sure how much the full breakfast was but given the number of people eating it I’m sure it was overly expensive either.

I was concerned that it would be overly hot but it’s beautiful this morning.  I believe that it’s going to be quite a bit hotter during the week, but I’ll be indoors for most of that.

Hotel Villa

Outside the Villa

Summer Travel

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I’m not back in Tokyo yet but I have already started to arrange my summer travel.  It needs to be done, because I want to travel using airline miles, but at this point I feel like I never want to travel again.  I’m out of luck though since at the minute I’m sitting at the airport waiting to board a 15 hour flight.

Registration has opened for YAPC::NA and I do plan to attend.  I have also been trying to work YAPC::EU into my travel plans.  That’s proving a lot harder as I have visitors this summer.  I’m trying to decide if it will be worth attending even if I only make the last day.  I really do want an opportunity to meet up with the European Perl Mongers.

Conferences in 2010

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

I used to think of conferences as something that happened in the summer, and a northern hemisphere summer at that.  Now I know that there are conferences that I could attend in every month of the year, if I had the time, money, or inclination.

The first conference I’ll be attending in 2010 is Perl Oasis and it’s taking place in Florida next weekend.  I won’t be speaking.  It will probably take me until April to have new talks written for 2010.  I had also wanted to go to Frozen Perl, but I’ve decided that it’s a bit expensive.  Not the actual conference, it’s low-cost at $100 (US), but the flights and hotel would cost me more than $1000.  As well as the cost there is the cold.  It is being held in Minneapolis, which is expecting a low of -23°C today.  In the past this has appealed to me but I’ve already had enough travel hassle in the past month due to cold weather to make me want to avoid this where I can.

This year I’m not going to attend  I enjoyed the conference last year but the four days I spent in hospital with food poisoning after the conference has put me off, even though I know it wasn’t the conference that caused the illness.  I do want to attend some non-Perl conferences again this year but I’m not sure which ones yet.  Gabor has been organising an events team on behalf of TPF to attend FOSDEM and CeBIT but I’m going to be in America during FOSDEM and won’t be able to travel to Germany at the start of March for CeBIT.

The main Perl conferences of the year take place between June and September.  So far, there is no information on YAPC::NA apart from the fact that it will be held in Columbus, Ohio.  I’m hoping that it takes place some time in June as this year family commitments will prevent me from attending conferences in July and early August.  This means I won’t be going to OSCON and I won’t be able to attend YAPC::EU.  I’m disappointed that I will miss YAPC::EU as I’ve been to the past 9.

As for the rest of the year I haven’t decided yet.  There’s been noises made about a Vancouver Perl Workshop and I really enjoyed OSDC in Australia this year.  But I think I’ll wait until I finish my next trip before I make any more decisions.

YAPC Speaker Feedback: Remote Controlled Volunteers

Monday, September 28th, 2009

This year I gave a talk called “Remote Controlled Volunteers” at both YAPC::EU and YAPC::NA.  Today I received official feedback from  YAPC::EU and two weeks ago I got the feedback from YAPC::NA.  This is the first time I have ever received formal feedback for speaking at a conference and I’m impressed that a volunteer is willing to put in this much effort for the speakers.

I was curious to see how similar the feedback for both conferences would be.  As I suspected the talk was better at the second conference.  (My average score out of 10 for overall presentation went from 8.80 to 9.23).  I didn’t do an exact count of the number of people at my talks but I think in both cases around 10% of the attendees have provided feedback.  This means that the results aren’t statistically significant.  They are interesting though and the written comments provide useful information on how to improve the talk.  Some of the comments also amused me, my favourite being:

speaker was confident and had no strange odors; laid bare the
problems with being a jerk in a volunteer community, which is
something people often need reminding of

I would love to receive the feedback sooner.  I tend to use a talk for one particular conference season.  This year that meant I was giving the talk at both YAPC::NA and YAPC::EUYAPC::NA took place on the 22nd – 24th June.  The surveys for YAPC::NA were kept open for responses until the 14th August by which stage YAPC::EU, which took place at the start of August, was already over.  I understand that people need to be given enough time to respond but I can’t imagine that much speaker feedback is given at that late stage.  I could be wrong but I know I would find it difficult to answer a survey on a talk more than a month after I had heard it.

Now that I have seen the feedback I’m going to make more of an effort to fill in speaker evaluation forms at next year’s YAPCs.  One other quick point about feedback.  After my talk in YAPC::NA, Miyagawa made a comment to me about my presentation materials.  He was very polite but basically he was telling me that I could do much better.  So it’s thanks to him and a crashed hard-drive (I lost the final version of the presentation) that my average score out of 10 for presentation materials went from 8.70 to 9.0!

Travel Planning

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

It’s nearly 2009 and I’m starting to plan my conference travel.  I need to find a balance between conferences I want to go to and realistic amounts of travel.  I am tempted to attend Frozen Perl at the start of February.  I’ve read the schedule, looked at hotels, the city, and even checked the price of flights.  But I will be travelling in January and the conference is much too close to my return to Tokyo.  It would exhaust me to go.

I really like living in Japan but it’s so far away from most of the conferences I want to attend.  I have actually fallen asleep at conferences because I was suffering from jet-lag.  I didn’t expect it to be so difficult for me to travel when I moved here but I am going to try to be realistic in my future travel plans.

I will attend YAPC::NA and YAPC::Europe.  I will probably attend YAPC::Asia but at the minute I’m not sure when it will be or if it will be in Tokyo this year.