The company I work for just had Damian Conway come in to present three days of training. In addition, he made a special appearance at our local San Diego Perl Mongers.
So, with a complete and utter disregard for my mental health, I attended Monday night's Perl Mongers presentation of Sufficiently Advanced Technology. That was fun. Shame my wife couldn't make it; she wanted to meet this crazy Aussie I kept talking about after OSCON. Anyway, after a day to recover, I made it to Wednesday's lecture on Perl Best Practices, Thursday's on More Perl Best Practices and Advanced Regular Expressions, and finally Friday's on Advanced Interface Design (otherwise known, to anyone who attended OSCON 2006, as the 7 Principles of Better API Design). I thought I was losing sanity before, but now I'm quite positive. I'd like to share an important safety tip: thinking in Perl is unhealthy. Sometimes I feel like that boy from The Sixth Sense: "I see Perl code."
I didn't get a chance to meet Dr. Conway at OSCON, so this was a nice opportunity for me; both to meet him and to see longer versions of his courses. He's very personable and extremely knowledgable. Even being quite a good programmer myself (he said modestly... hey, even Damian said I was, though he may have just been saying that... either way, I can die happy), I still learned quite a bit. In fact, I think these courses are great even for people who do know the material inside and out. It's much easier to pick up on the really scary stuff that Damian throws into his ad-hoc demonstrations. I hope we can get him back next year. I'd love to see his course on Vim.
Oh, and Damian even picked up on the fact that I tend to be a workaholic, asking me if I ever went home (my wife often wonders the same thing). Hey, so what if I was the first person there, sitting right in front? I'm a geek, I can admit that. I hear there are meetings I can attend. "Hi. My name is Chris. I've been using Perl for 10 years."