The current state of play

YAPC::EU::2010::Pisa is just a week or so away and I thought it would be time to talk about the send-a-newbie initiative once again. (If you are unfamiliar with send-a-newbie visit the website at send-a-newbie.enlightenedperl.org)

As I spoke about previously this initiative was organised last year by Edmund von der Burg to great effect and was taken over by the Enlightened Perl Organisation to continue the good work. This year we had 3 successful applicants and all was going well until a communications SNAFU which has resulted in just one of our “newbies” able to attend (for specific details of the communications problems please talk to me privately, they aren’t suitable for this blog).

The Newbie

So with no undue haste and grandeur allow me to introduce you to Leon Timmermans who will be attending this year thanks to the donations of the wonderful Perl community. If you see Leon at YAPC::Europe make sure to say hello, perhaps buy him a beer in the bar and make him welcome to the conference going community.
I will be unable to attend the conference this year due to my wife having given birth to our first child just four weeks ago and it being a mite too early to attend such ‘fun’ events. I will miss you all and ask you to act as ambassadors for me in welcoming Leon.

Where do we go from here?

Well, now we have completed our first year of the initiative I am taking the time to reflect on what we did and how I will be doing it differently in the future.

1. Paypal is an easy way to collect money but makes a poor location to act as custodian. Paypal is easy to use, but many people do not like/trust its services and for some donating directly to a bank account is simpler and more satisfying. As of next year the money will be controlled by the main EPO account for ease but the funds will be kept separate in the EPO records and only used for the initiative.

2. Promotion of the event (YAPC::EU) and the Initiative should start directly after this years YAPC. This will allow more time to raise awareness, collect donations and allow many more applicants to apply and discuss needs (such as visas etc.).

3. More integration with the other community groups. Promoting the initiative amongst the monger groups so local representation and support can be obtained; tighter co-operation with TPF (though they were and are amazing and donated to this years initiative); co-operation with next years organisers of YAPC and with YEF to get their support and promotion. Also I would like to see information go to colleges to people on Computer Science courses etc., so that they can be targeted for sponsorship, this will most likely be done through local Mongers again.

4. Sorting the sponsors out two months earlier than this year to try and avoid any last minute communication issue(!).

So we end our first year knowing that the initiative works and seeing a road forward to improve the program. We also have funds left over to start the ball rolling next year. Once again I will be doing the rounds, cap in hand, to companies and individuals seeking to raise cash and push out the awareness.

A round of applause…

To all those who have donated and helped out this year I wish to offer my heartfelt thanks. You are all excellent people. To everyone else I urge you to seek these people out and thank them (or buy them a beer). To the companies and organisations I offer congratulations on doing a fine job of helping to support the community and I look forward to speaking to you about doing the same again ;).