Last night I attended my first Toronto Perl Mongers meeting, and it was quite good. I'd wanted to attend for quite some time, but something always seemed to get in the way (mostly finishing our basement). One of the other road blocks is the meetings are held right downtown. I'm not a big fan of going downtown and luckily I have a couple of friends from work who were willing to go.
Meeting new people isn't one of my strong suits. I tend to become quiet, reserved and not talking to anyone. However going to the meeting gave me a chance to meet lamech, who I've talked to on IRC for the past couple years. We met for dinner before the meeting for Thai food at Spring Rolls. The Tom Yom Goon soup was amazing (and on such a cold day required0 and the Pad Thai was good.
At the meeting James FitzGibbon gave a talk on Testing the Testers. Having contributed to Test::WWW::Mechanize and using Test::Builder::Tester I had an interest in what he had to say. James did a good job of explaining testing and highlighting the benefits. Unfortunately it didn't appear as though there were many in the audience who had experience writing test code.
One of things that I got out of his presentation was use of Test::Builder::Tester::Color. On more than one occasion I've had a problem determining what the difference was between my expected output and what the actual output was.
Another interesting piece of his presentation, that was brought up as a tangent, was the use of Safe. I'd never heard of this module before, and James did a good job of explaining the benefits. I know of a couple of projects that I'm working on where it could be useful. At this point the conversation drifted to thoughts on a meeting devoted to defensive programming. Hopefully it'll happen soon.
I'm happy I finally got to attend a meeting and am looking forward to the next meeting.