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cog (4665)

Journal of cog (4665)

Monday September 12, 2005
05:36 AM

YAPC::EU::2005 from my perspective

[ #26689 ]

Larry, Gloria, Allison and Nick arrived on Saturday, so we went to the airport to get them.

On Sunday, we went to the Bom Jesus with them, after which we had lunch in a nice restaurant, followed by a walk in the centre of the city of Braga.

We dropped them at the hotel and picked them up again for dinner.

We spent Monday doing the last preparations for the conference. That day I got sick and remained so through the rest of the conference. If you were there, you probably noticed.

On Tuesday we had most things done, so we could relax a little bit.

Tuesday night I joined a bunch of Perl hackers for dinner, at a Mexican restaurant near the venue. Magda joined another bunch of them in the centre of the city.

I stayed at one of the hotels for the next four nights. The hotel was quite nice, and the employees very friendly, so we might use it again for future conferences.

Wednesday.

Conference starts with me doing a little speech. People enjoyed the little surprises we had in store for them:

Larry does his keynote, after which Allison speaks too. By the time Allison started I had to leave the room for some more organization issues.

We prepared the morning coffee break and noticed that by the end of it all the food was gone.

One of the sponsors was kind enough to offer us some fruit for the remaining 5 coffee breaks, which I think the attendees appreciated. From then on there would always be some food left. Food which, btw, was comprised by Bolos de arroz, small Croassaints, small Pastéis de Nata, Bicos de Pato com Fiambre, water, juices, coffee, tea, etc. The fruit was bananas, apples, pears, tangerines and two different kinds of grapes.

The organizers and volunteers, thanks to a well devised plan (cough, cough), managed to get lunch.

There was a BOF on Perl monger groups, hosted by Barbie, by the end of the day. After that, I ended up not following my original plans of eating at McDonalds and going back to the hotel to prepare slides for the next day and instead leading a huge crowd of people (many not on the photo) up the Bom Jesus. On the way down a van with some of my co-workers stopped next to me and took me to a very nice dinner (right after buying some beers) with one of our clients' team. I finished my slides there.

Thursday.

Day starts with the lightning talks, which were very cool. One of them were the Perl Ninjas, for which I dragged acme, trelane, barbie and dha with me. Afterwards we got to see the lovely memories of YAPC Europe auctions. BooK++.

I had my talk on Perl Black Magic to give. Unfortunately, something went wrong... Despite having more slides than last time (this time I had a bunch of secret operators), I took *even less* time than last time, finishing my supposedly 90-minute long talk in about 25 minutes... so I had to improvise.

No, I didn't dance.

I went to Perlmonks and went on showing several examples of obfuscation, such as domm's Space Invaders, BooK's 59 e's, etc. Abigail also went on stage to show some great japhs. The talk ended with something I wanted to do for a while, but that had to be called off because it wasn't going the way I wanted it to... I had the original japh (just the regular print) and I asked Marty to go on stage and change something in it, and then picking up someone else from the audience. At some point there me, Marty, domm, BooK, Simon and Abigail on stage. It was interesting.

Meanwhile, some people enjoyed the University gardens, the organizers/volunteers were quite relaxed, Alberto thought of leaving us and everybody enjoyed the coffee breaks.

I spent the rest of the day with the organization issues again, until it was time for the RSI BOF, called by me, which was quite interesting: first, there were a bunch of us (30, 40?); secondly, lots of interesting ideas/experiences were shared.

Later on we had the Conference Dinner, which lots of people enjoyed. At some point people were saying "Wow, that was a lovely dinner," to which we'd reply "But... those were only the starters... the food is coming after this." And so it was. Lots of food, plus soup, plus desserts, plus... the Beers of the World BOF, called by BooK.

Lots of people brought beers brewed in their own countries, and everybody shared and enjoyed. I don't drink beer, but I enjoyed just looking at the table to all the different beers around.

We spoke to some of the attendees and they were all happy for all the things that had happened so far: orange t-shirts, yapc hats (also orange), a bus taking the attendees from the hotel to the venue and back again by the end of the day, etc. But our surprises weren't over yet...

And the night wouldn't have been completed without some card games, of course.

Friday.

Day starts with lightning talks once again, and once again they were very funny. Geoff announced by the beginning that there was a secret speaker who was already in the room. By the time the penultimate LT finished (a talk on national workshops, with the organizers from the {London,Austrian,Italian,Nordic,French} Perl Workshops), Geoff announced the secret speaker would talk now.

So Gloria Wall got up, laughed and hit Larry on the head with some sheets of paper she took on stage with her, while all the crowd clapped. When there was silence, Larry said "Now I'm in trouble..."

Gloria started by saying that in order to keep the talk secret from Larry she had had to keep her slides very low-tech, and started showing the A4 sheets of paper where she had written the slides for her talk "10 things about Larry." It was quite amusing and interesting. Everybody loved it.

Afterwards we had some awards: NJAPHs awards by dha, Best paper award by Alberto (Paul Johnson won, with SureSpell), Girls awards by me (Allison and Gloria won), and the White Onions awards by acme and clkao.

There were some announcements and the day proceeded with more talks inside the rooms and more confusion outside them, with us organizing things.

By the end of the day we had the announcement for next year's YAPC, which will be held in Birmingham. Barbie & Co. presented their movie, "The Birmingham Job", which is absolutely fantastic!!!!

Then we had the auction, with Greg doing it. Greg is an awesome auctioneer, so everybody had lots of fun and some people spent tons of money.

Later on it was time for my closing presentation, which was very well received.

The day ended with people meeting at the city centre for beer and proceeding to have dinner.

The interesting thing was that you could go have dinner, come back again and there'd still be there the group of Perl hackers, still drinking beer. Smylers bought me an orange juice, which I enjoyed very much.

We had some more drinks, some very enjoyable conversations with lots of people, and even some singing!

Everybody enjoyed, sometimes by themselves, sometimes in company.

Saturday.

I check-out of the hotel and moved my stuff to Magda's house.

Somehow, I don't seem to be allergic to her cats anymore.

I had the honour of having the first breakfast at her new house.

Later that day we managed to have dinner with some Perl hackers.

Sunday.

I took Simon and Max to a monastery close by, where we had lunch and got in touch with nature...

Simon apparently got more in touch with nature than we did, as a part of his camera now lays on the bottom of this small lake...

There was a exhibit and lots to explore. Unfortunately, you couldn't take pictures inside the main building (which was huge).

We left.

Back in Braga, I managed to go, for the very first time in my life, to a museum there.

Monday.

I was supposed to head off to Viana after all this... and I did, but I returned. I stayed with Magda for the remaining of my vacations (one more week), which were very relaxed.

Last Friday was Magda's birthday, which means she got to cook for over 10 people.

I absolutely loved this YAPC. We might do it again in a couple of years.

Many people told us it had been the best YAPC::Europe so far. Some people told us it had been the best YAPC ever. I don't know, all I know is how much I enjoyed it all, and how much I miss it now.

Lots of things happened on those few days. People buying me drinks and asking for my signature were a first for me.

Amazingly, with such a wonderful conference, I didn't see many posts about it, but I did get to see lots of pictures around. A more complete list here.

And I guess that's it. I hope you all enjoyed it.

See you around.

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  • ... to you, Alberto, Magda and all your volunteers. It was worth all the effort. Several people have already said to me you've rasied the bar. Birmingham.pm are now looking to see how much more we can raise it. Thanks to you guys, we're aiming high ;)

    This years conference seem to fly by so quickly too. I got to meet some new people, old friends and generally had a blast. If you plan to host it again, you certainly won't get any objections from me ;)

    Take a well earn rest and look forward to watching us