Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
Birmingham has a prime opportunity to get not only Perl people together, but sysadmins, students and people who are just interested in the language. We have a melting pot of technological companies in the midlands (sadly not enough of them hiring Perl programmers, but that's another story), together with over 10 universities within an hour's commute of the city. Plus there is a big incentive to move technical companies to the "Birmingham-Worcestershire Technology Corridor", which runs from Aston University, along the Bristol Road (pass my house) to Worcester. A 20-mile stretch of potential attendees and interested parties
When Steve first suggested the idea, I was a little terrified at the thought of all the stress and strain that could be involved. After realising that there are now enough people in the group (currently 46 on the mailing list) to help shoulder the responsibilies, I think we can do quite a respectable job of organising a great conference. I also think we could potentially get a record attendance.
We have started to approach venues and there is one that is a strong contender. The cost doesn't seem to bad and they have onsite audio-visual equipment and recording studio, which can also stream presentations across the internet. This would be an extra expense and may require sponsorship, but it's a nice thought. Steve is making headway with The Movie and is getting through a fair number of script ideas. Our next immediate task is planning the presentation pack, that will be given to prospective sponsors and advertisers, in order to show why getting involved and giving us some dosh would be a really good idea.
When you plan something like this it isn't until you start talking to people that you realise just how much is involved. If it wasn't for the fact two of us have major birthdays to organise over the next 2 years, we would have been preparing for a bid alot earlier. And probably have got out of our depth very quickly.
Going by the number of attendees for each Perl Monger group at this year's YAPC::Europe, Birmingham.pm were 6th. Of the others only Copenhagen.pm hasn't been successful in winning a bid to host the conference. So we reckon we are more than eligable to go for it. Plus I want to go back to Denmark soon, as I had such a great time last time I was there with Ark
I'm currently working on the website already, which will be based on my Labyrinth project that I started a year ago, as it'll give me an incentive to finish it. It'll be a way of showing sponsors and the like that we mean business and a way for them to see the progress we're making. I haven't decided how visible it'll be before the conference, as I don't want to take away any of the thunder from the conferences for the next 2 years. But you can expect some kind of grand unveiling at the conference where we win the bid
Last night Steve put forward the idea of having a competition to design the conference logo, and we got the offer of two professional cameramen and loads of extras for The Movie. It's gonna be grand.
Conference motto: "No Bull, Just Perl"