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
John Pinner previewed the launch of his company's new product, PayThyme. The product is unusual in that the company are licensing it under the GPL, and giving it away. John Pinner is a stong believer in Open Source and a long time ago realised that if Linux was going to make it in business, then the killer apps it needed were not the Office type products, but bread and butter apps that are part of every business. These primarily being Accounts and PayRoll. PayThyme is Clockwork's contribution to the payroll app. The talked started with an introduction to payroll computing, with J. Lyons Bakeries running the first automated payroll system. As an aside my father and Brian's mum worked on this many years ago (LEO would eventually become ICL). Some 50-odd years later, PayThyme starts its life running the payroll for Durham-based Peter's Cathedral Bakers. The talk generated many more questions than I had anticipated, and a 45mins talk quickly grew to nearly 90mins!
Next up was Shevek, who followed up his talk from earlier in the year, looking at 'A Computational Introduction To Security Systems'. He's promised to come back and a practical talk at some point and put all his ideas on show. Although there weren't too many questions, it did generate some interest afterwards. Unfortunately Shevek did have to shoot off before the end to catch his train back to Bath. I'll allow a bit more time in future.
Last up was Brian, talking about his Games::Fluxx module. Since Belfast, Brian has been coding away all the game elements for Fluxx. He is now reaching a point that he needs some help. Mainly regards graphics and testing. I volunteered for the testing and others have raised their hands for odds bits too. Brian did say at the beginning of his talk that Birmingham.pm doesn't have a group project, so perhaps this could be it
Among the audience we also had a couple of longer distance travellers. Andrew Ford had come along, and had confessed to being disappointed he hadn't been able to get along to others in the last few months. Hopefully we'll see him a bit more often next year. I've already got him to tentatively agree to do an XS talk for us.
The other honoured guest among us tonight was Karen Pauley. Karen was in town for a couple of days on business, and decided to coincide her trip with one of our meetings. Unfortunately we didn't get too much time to chat, but we did take her to a nice pub and kept her glass filled. Some of us are hoping to return to Belfast in the new year, for one of Belfast.pm's technical meetings, although Karen has to organise one first!
All in all another successful meeting, and great company too.
We're having a break from technical meetings for the next few months, as I don't have time to organise them. Next month Christmas gets in the way, and January and February I'll be too busy playing Daddy again. Ethne is due to arrive on 1st Feb, but in all likelihood she'll be early. I don't expect to be too active online during those months, but I'm hoping normal service will resume in March.