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
So hopefully most of you will have heard we have finally announced dates for the YAPC::Europe conference. Getting to this point has been traumatic. In our original project plans we were all geared up to announce dates, call for papers, etc back in January. Discussion on the organisers list is fast becoming a torrent of activity, and is likely to continue to be so until the conference is over.
Now that we have dates out, at least everyone who needs to can schedule holidays, training and time away from families (although I'll come back to that in a moment). It also means the organisers can concentrate a little better on all the other stuff we need to sort out next. With the change in dates for Toronto last year for YAPC::NA, we didn't want to be in the same position where we had to commit to a set of dates and then find we had to move them. We were working with two sets of dates to try and get the best deals we could, so it was rather awkward to tell anyone what our plans were.
The venue we have is a little different. Look out for a future announcement, when we'll give you a bit more detail about the venue and what we're planning. But suffice to say it's in the city centre, stumbling^Wwalking distance from plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants, and we have it all to ourselves too.
Coming back to the families bit. Birmingham is a good place to bring the family. The city itself has had a complete facelift in recent years, and certain areas are still in their transformation stage. In fact if you haven't been to Birmingham in the last 3-4 years it's quite possible you won't recognise the place. I recently was talking to an elderly lady, who had got off the bus by New Street station, and was completely confused as to where she was. She'd lived in Birmingham all her life, but it was the first time she'd been into the city centre for a few years. It really has changed that much.
The shopping is considered to be some of the best in Europe, with the Bullring, Mailbox, Pavillions and Pallasades arcades, Martineau Square and the regular high street shopping quoted as making Birmingham one of the biggest shopping complexes in Europe. But shopping is only a small portion of what the city has to offer. There are plenty of sights to see as well as museums, galleries and places to visit within the city boundaries, and plenty more that are a short bus or train ride away. We'll be featuring a selection of them in future announcements. So if your other half is a little jealous over you disappearing for the week, why not bring them along. If you want to bring your whole family, there is plenty for them to see and do during the day, while you're hard at work learning the latest technological wizardry Perl has to offer
Getting to Birmingham will hopefully be the easy part. There are now so many worldwide flights into Birmingham International Airport (BHX), including a whole host of budget airlines that getting to your local airport will be the hard part. We're looking at travel options for everyone, and aim to have some directions and links for all that soon.
So where are we now? We're still looking for sponsors and while we have a few who have pledged their support, we are eager to get some more. Our budget has a looooooooooong wishlist of things we'd like to add to it. So if you work for someone who might be interested in sponsoring us, please ask them to get in touch.
More news, announcements and updates coming to a computer near you soon!