This was my first YAPC. Quite an interesting time. What I enjoyed most was putting faces / personalities to names. Larry, Damian, Mark Jason Dominus, Simon, Nat, Schwern, Abigail. The whole bunch.
What I don't quite understand, though, is how these people make a living. Or, more to the point, what kind of living can you make it if you get into the high Perl Priesthood?
Here's my best guess as to where their income comes from: (And hey, no offense to these folks -- maybe they don't want their incomes discussed. I don't mean it personally, I'm just curious about what the income possibilities are for our most lauded wizards.)
Perl Foundation Grants:
Larry, Damian and Dan Sugalski are all on 2002 Perl Foundation grants. Those pay a $60,000 stipend and a $20,000 travel allowance (but they are only 52% funded to date, and I believe Dan and Damian's expire at the end of July.)
Larry, Damian and Nat presumably have ongoing royalties from their books.
Simon has a book out next month (http://www.manning.com/jenness/).
Mark Jason Dominus seems to be perennially working on a book due out next year some time (http://perl.plover.com/book/).
Schwern works as a contractor.
Nat and mjd work as trainers for the Tom Christianson Perl Consultancy.
Let's see, YAPC-NA offered free conference attendance to presenters. There's a whopping $85 value.
mjd asks for $25 and a plane ticket to give a talk in any city.
And I can't seem to figure out what Abigail does.
So, is that it? Is that what getting to the top of your profession looks like? Book deals and Perl training? Do you get a 401k with that?