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
On Wednesday evening, Birmingham.pm resumed normal service and had our regular technical meeting. It was all good stuff and we had a good crowd in. The talks started with me talking about some of the modules available on CPAN that can produce line graphs and pie charts for use in reports and the like. I wasn't too in depth and hopefully I've shown how easy it is to produces simple and complex graphs. Interestingly the examples I used were all created on Windows
Next up was David Morris, whose company TSS was a sponsor of YAPC::Europe::2006. Unfortunately Dave wasn't able to make the conference, so it was nice to be able to thank him in person. His talked about the original TAP, Telocator Alphanumeric Protocol, which is used by the pagers that you'll most often see doctors with. He looked at how it works and even gave a demo. It was interesting to note that you could potentially spam a pager as the server requires no authentication for you to send a message. Surprisingly it turns out that only Vodafone in the UK now support the pager network, as all other providers have switched to SMS/Mobile networks, even though the pager network has better coverage than SMS.
Finally I stepped back up to the stage to present a first look at the results of our conference survey. There have been just over a third of responses so far (if you haven't submitted yours please do so), and cover quite a spread of attendees, both from speakers, sponsors and regular attendees. There were some very interesting results that I managed to highlight, one of which was that an increasing number of people are coming to the conferences afresh. It certainly goes to prove there is still interest in Perl. I think we proved that getting the profile raised for the conference is important, both to attract sponsors and in getting fresh blood into the community. I'll not go over the stats now, as I want to give people a little longer to complete their survey, but I will be producing a report that will cover all the stats and my take on some of the findings and the suggestions/feedback.
Next month we have two guest speakers. Ovid is coming over from Nottingham to talk about HOP::Lexer and Alex Wilmer will be talking about GPS and GIS on Linux. Our own Colin Newell will be giving his first talk and if we have time, JJ will be looking at presenting a back to basics kind of talk for many of the beginners we have coming along these days. One aspect that has been leveled at our technical meetings is that we haven't done enough introductory type talks. On occasion we've had some very in depth technical discussions and sometimes it can be a bit baffling for the newcomers, so the regular crew are going to start doing some talks for them.
I've been very pleased with my call for talks last week and have pretty much sown up all the slots for this year. However, if anyone would like to come and talk to us in the new year, please let me know. So far we have Davorg on the guest list, but I'd like to make that list a little longer