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The Perl Conference in Amsterdam

August 2017 and I am sitting in Amsterdam after the three day “Perl Conference in Amsterdam“, or YAPC::EU. As a full-time Perl developer I am very pleased to say that I am encouraged by my boss to attend this conference and to participate in the amazing Perl Community.

This year I gave two talks, “Perl and Open Source in Olympic Judo” (Slides) and “Mob programming the CPAN Pull Request Challenge” (Slides). The first talk combined my passion for my sport of Judo and my passion for software development and Perl specifically. The second, my passion for software development and for coaching.

As well as speaking, I was able to attend three days of talks by amazing speakers and come away with a mind full of new and interesting ideas to explore. I spoke with people and greatly enjoyed what I learned from these conversations. I was also happy that people were interested in replicating our CPAN Pull request nights and asked about a guide to do so… so in those gaps between talks I started a small guide on how to do so and hope to expand it to a workable document. FInd it here:

Highlights were of course the superstars of the Perl world; Damian Conway, brian d foy, Curtis “Ovid” Poe and Larry Wall. The amazing pumpking Sawyer X and amazing Dr Ruth Holloway gave keynote talks that really resonated with me. In both cases it was the human aspects that caught my imagination as in fact was the case with much of what I experienced this year.

On the technical side, Ovid’s talk on modelling a universe was fascinating when translating the challenges he faces with coding a MMORPG with coding in my work perspective. Damian Conway’s talk was really interesting also as it really kept you thinking. The Perl6 track was strong and I was able to fuel that fire and am excited once more to explore Perl6 further.

The big feeling I come away with is that the Perl community is alive and well and doing fine. There is a positive vibe and a sense that it is not just “us” that know it.

I am positive about Perl6 and can really see it with just a little more time growing into an important language. The talks I attended on it helped cement that. I liked the talk on compiling Perl6 to Javascript. This is a pattern I see in the new languages and I do wonder if this project has the potential to really make Perl6 go “mainstream”.

Although not in the talks, I have been following the idea that branding Perl6 as Rakudo might well be an idea that makes sense. The hackernews crowd (of which I am one) will happily get excited about a young language that compiles to JS. This is actually basically what RakudoJS kind of is. Perl6 is only really 18 months old… 15 years in the making; 18 months since release.

I return to work next week excited and feeling very positive. It was so nice to have people express envy about the CPAN Pull request as a team project we have been doing at work! I feel part of the Perl community and it was nice to be able to say that my boss actively encourages us to join the community.

The next big Perl event for me is the London Perl Workshop. And after that the next european conference which will be held in Glasgow, so for me less exotic but I look forward to it.

I would very much like to thank the fantastic organisers and volunteers for running an amazing event. I would like to thank all the speakers and all the attendees!

See you next year!


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