My, Apparent, Ironman Status
My Ironman Status

Fun – fun – fun in the sun – sun – sun

Last Saturday was the Perl Oasis conference in Orlando Florida arranged, orchestrated and conducted by the Orlando Perl Mongers in the fleshy guise of Chris and Jamie (notice how those two names could be used by either of them?).

The Organisers looking busy

The conference is a relatively small affair attracting a core group of presenters and attendees numbering approximately 30 people, and one might think that this lessens the importance in the face of larger workshops and the continental YAPCs, but I say ‘nay’ and perhaps ‘pish and tosh’ to such fallacy. The truth is that this type of event is equally as important as any other. It has its own merits and shortfalls that nicely contrast with a larger event. It would be hard for anyone at a YAPC/similar sized event to be able to get to talk to almost every attendee, and comment to the speakers in person about their talks. It is also very easy to feel on the edge of a crowd, especially if new to conferences at a large event. Perl Oasis has no issues like this. The group size was large enough to gurantee a good range of talks on the schedule, a good number of opinions at the bar and let everyone socialise together. There were new faces at this conference who had not been to a Perl event before and suddenly they were drinking and discussing with the developers and authors of Moose, Plack and Dbic.


The Hallway track was well-attended

The Plays the thing…

I managed to see a good number of talks while at the event, as well as delivering my own rather ranty little keynote. I will get to see all the talks as I videoed the half I didn’t view on the day and will catch up with them during editing and posting online. Those I saw:

Stevan Little – Untitled Number 12 – Stevan brought us uptodate with his current thinking and work in the Perlverse and managed to talk about some of the other projects out and about and steal Miyagawa’s thunder at the same time by talking a lot about Plack.

IMG_6254Stevan points out where the screen is…

Shawn Moore – Surviving in the Cruel, Unforgiving World – What lengths a programmer will do to create a Perl powered bot to tackle a complex game.

IMG_6269Attendees in the talks – everyone has a laptop these days

Tatsuhiko Miyagawa – Plack: State of the art web framework superglue – Plack was a big thing in 2009 and will no doubt make greater impact in 2010, take a look at this exciting web framework/server interface tool. Make sure you click on this link to the Plack homepage and check this out.

Cory Watson – From Zero to CPAN – Adding a new product search to – although not primarily about Perl, Cory is a Perl user amongst other languages and a great conference speaker. He also sponsored this year’s event and was quite the demon for go-kart driving (except when someone killed his iPhone in a reportedly brutal collision).

IMG_6266Cory’s great presenting style – “it was this heavy”

Casey West – Writing a JQuery Plugin – another talk not really about Perl, but I attended to try and learn more about JQuery. Unfortunately for me it was aimed at people who already had a working knowledge. No matter as the talk was still good and Casey did move heaven and Earth to get there arriving late on the day of the conference and almost running into his presentation.

Devin Austin – Google a Summer of Code - Devin spoke about his experience completing the summer of code last year and how this has helped him develop. A good introduction as to why GSOC is important to Open Source and to Perl.

Matt S Trout – The Troll the God and the Mountain – In his indominable style Matt told us an epic story or he told us about developments in Dbic, nobody can be quite sure. My only complaint is that I have to now watch this again to learn about the Dbic stuff as the tale of the two Trolls was so interesting I missed the Perl :) A must see on the conference circuit or online this year.

It isn’t all fun and games…

The conference was fun and after it was over we retired into the night for the usual food and the Orlando Mongers’ preferred relaxation pursuit, Go Karts. Cory, Jay, Miyagawa, Stevan and mst had already been practicing the previous day (with Cory and Jay doing a lot of practice) and some injury had resulted (to Cory’s iPhone) – there were quite a few people who raced about the track, and some fun from the spectators as they sometimes spun out of control to end up in reverse or were taken by the kids.

IMG_6358Is this a conference organiser being beaten by a small boy?

IMG_6300Shaun, Cory and Jay, just before the infamous spin-out

So the conference was a great event and a good deal of congratulations, praise and general love should be poured onto Jamie and Chris for organising the event, making people happy and welcome and working their asses off to provide us with a great experience.

Shadowcat Systems expressed their gratritude by providing the Perl Mongers of Orlando with a mascot to keep them happy and agreeing to fund next year’s conference and pay towards the conference the year after (2011, 2012).

IMG_6251Niles (on right) and Aurelea (check spelling!) the Orlando PM mascot

Let’s see more of you….but not too many…then :)

-ttfn – Mark