WHAT IS IT
YAPC::Russia "May Perl" is a Perl-conference that took place on 17th and 18th of May, 2008 in Moscow.
This event is another one in a series of Perl events organized by Moscow.pm group. The first one was "Perl Today", the first Russian Perl Workshop last year, the second (together with Kiev.pm) - first Ukrainian Perl Workshop in February.
Initially the plan was to host just a second Russian Perl Workshop "May Perl" but then the name and status of the event were broaden and became YAPC::Russia "May Perl" 2008. Despite this change we managed to save the date which was announced earlier. We only moved it one day later to fit it within weekend instead of Friday.
I asked in a mailing list of Moscow.pm if someone could help to find a venue of amphitheatre style. In a couple of "peer-to-peer" steps we met with a guy from the Club "Business in
Number of talks is at the same time good and bad element. It it good because we had to find second auditorium for one of days, bad is that attendees sometimes wanted to be at both at the same time.
There were several 20 to 40-minutes talks and one longer master-class devoted to using POE. By the way, despite that master-class was moved into a second room, it was preceded by a 20-minute talk in the main room.
One of the speakers received a special prize for the most balanced talk (in the sense of organizers, well, me personally).
We had three cameras recording the conference (but unfortunately did not manage to organize good sound recording).
ATTENDEES AND GEOGRAPHY
241 people were registered on a website, about 100 of them showed up. It is not possible to say real number because not everyone has checked in their registration desk in the venue: either just missed it or did not appear in the first day.
The list of participants includes three countries (Russia, Ukraine and Denmark), about 20 cities and attendees of all ages.
From the very start of Moscow.pm events the registration process was automated with personal barcodes, which were sent to attendees several days before the event and which should be printed and brought to the venue to speed up registration process.
Participation in a conference was free for everyone, and even more: there were two free coffee-breaks, one per day. We also had a possibility to give everyone a conference's T-shirt (thanks to Act that allows to see T-shirt size statistics). We also had free Wi-Fi (but it did not work too well in the first day).
Thanks to Alex Kapranoff, the conference was "equipped" with a lightning session of 10 talks. By the way, we have localized the name and call them "blitz-talks" (well, word is German but is pronounced much easier than "lightning" by local people). Several months earlier Alex had prepared web pages explaining what LTs are (http://perl.lv/lt). Later he lobbied LT session on another IT-conference in Moscow.
Funny thing is the localization of the Gong. We had this musical triangle to stop talks.
At the registration desk every attendee received a printed schedule and extra two pages with tasks for the contest, YAPC::Russia::Golf. Its name tells that it is like traditional Perl Golf contest. We gave two algorithmical tasks to be solved with minimum of code. Winners were announced in the end of second day of the conference. Tasks and solutions are located at contest's website http://golf.yapcrussia.org/, and this page will be later expanded to include comments to solutions, as well as video recordings of the process.
There were four prized: three one year VPS hosting packages and a license for ActiveStates' Perl Dev Kit.
http://perlrussia.ru/mayperl2008/shots/_MG_4561.JPG (thinking of the task)
http://perlrussia.ru/mayperl2008/shots/IMG_4735.JPG (analyzing solutions)
http://perlrussia.ru/mayperl2008/shots/DSC_0705-webbig.jpg (getting the prize)
Several mistakes were made during the conference itself and during the preparation to it. Well, they did not break the conference, but are rather things to take more care of next time.
While the registration was automated with barcodes (which eliminates the difficulties of speech channel for parsing attendee's names in a noisy room) it was dramatically slowed down because of need to search the badge, it was slow even while we had sorted them alphabetically.
Next time we have to be more strict when accepting talks. There were several which could be deleted. Unfortunately two speakers did not showed up at all.
Coffee-breaks were great, but lunches were not. We planned one hour lunch each day. But in the first day we (organizers and several people came with us to a cafe outside the venue) spent two hours there (but talks were continued during this lunch, although with a delay). Along with this and problems with Wi-Fi second part of POE master-class was abandoned.
We had prepared lots of AC supplies (in fact, wires are just a part of organizers' toolkit). Next time we should add to our own stuff several wireless microphones to be more flexible in the room.
ORGANIZERS AND SPONSORS
Again huge thanks to Russian search engine Rambler (http://rambler.ru/) who was the Prime sponsor. Personal thanks to Alex Kapranof (Rambler), Ivan Serezhkin (another search engine, Yandex, http://yandex.ru/) and Andrey Zavyalov who helped with Golf contest. Coincidently, both Alex and Ivan work in web-mail and anti-spam divisions, but in different companies. Thanks to Anatoly Sharifulin with whom we made badges last night before the conference.
Thanks to ZSupport (http://zsupport.ru/) company who created and solved problems with Wi-Fi support, and most of others - to the Club "Business in a
Photos in this message with names started from DSC_ are made by Alex.
Bonus slide: Ivan Serezhkin vs. R. Geoffrey Avery