This year the North West England Perl Mongers will once again ‘mix it up’ and attempt to find a comfortable balance for our rather widespread and diverse group. We have decided to have a regular location and format to the meetings in order to bring some stability and try to grow the membership.

So for 2012 we will meet on the last Thursday of each month and the meetings will be held in two halves. We will start by meeting at Madlab in Manchester from 6:30p.m.-8:30p.m. and then go from there to a local pub for a supper and swift amber nectar or two. We are hoping that this way we can have Perl/technical conversations with the option of sharing things we work on or think about in an environment conductive to conversation with a net connection (and the MadLab will allow us to bring food and drink in as well, so long as we clean up around ourselves).

The full list of dates for next year is:
Thursday, 26 January
Thursday, 23 February
Thursday, 29 March
Thursday, 26 April
Thursday, 31 May
Thursday, 28 June
Thursday, 26 July
Thursday, 30 August
Thursday, 27 September
Thursday, 25 October
Saturday, 24 November Hackday
Thursday, 06 December

As part of this Ian and I have decided we will likely take membership at MadLab and will also offer them a free course or two on beginning/learning Perl, we will also have a collection at the meetings for donations to Madlab as a thank-you for providing a great space for groups like us to meet.

Another change we are undertaking for next year is to have less Technical meetings. We will instead be discussing two dates to have a night of technical only talks/activities when we have our first meeting in January, it will replace a regular meeting and will hopefully consist of lightning talks and one or two longer talks.

Thanks to a suggestion by Jess “Castaway” Robinson we will also have three quarterly ‘virtual hackdays’ this year to complement our regular annual hackday in November. These virtual events will be a way for us to continue and improve on the work we start on the annual hackday as will the monthly meetings where we will have the option to discuss and fiddle with whatever takes our fancy. Shadowcat Systems will once again allow people to meet up in person on these virtual days if they so wish.

Saturday, 24th March Virtual Hackday
Saturday, 23rd June Virtual Hackday
Saturday, 22nd September Virtual Hackday
Saturday, 24 November Annual Hackday

We hope to see you at one of our events, or to join us on a virtual hackday. I will keep you updated on the news/changes as the year progresses.