Those who know me will know that I'm not a stranger to conferences. I've been to all of the OSDCs, a few LCAs, a few SAGE-AU conferences and now an OSCON and YAPC::EU. Until YAPC::EU; the OSDCs and OSCON were my favourites as I identify myself far more with being a developer than a free software geek or system administrator. But I'd never been to a conference specifically aimed just at Perl developers.
I loved YAPC::EU. It was great to be able to attend a huge variety of talks at all levels on a topic I know well. It was awesome to meet people in person I've only known through mailing lists or on IRC. It was grand to find out that Perl people are my kind of people, no matter where in the world they're from. I fully intend to try to get to both YAPC::NA next year and YAPC::EU (in Pisa!).
Perl developers appear to be exceedingly wonderful people all across the globe. We've been invited to meetings, bought drinks, and even had Perl Mongers fight over who got to host Paul and I at their house on our travels! (Well okay, it didn't come down to violence, but it was amazing to see so many eager to open their houses to Paul and I and give us somewhere to stay.) Our hosts have been uniformly wonderful, and we've slept well, eaten well, and got to see all sorts of amazing sites in our trips around the place. Much of this would have been harder and in some cases impossible without the generousity we've experienced.
I want to give especial thanks to: Drew Taylor and his wife Kimberlee who hosted us in Dublin, drove us around the place. Also their daughter Samantha who showed tremendous patience while we were being driven around the place even though that was delaying her trip to the pet shop to get another goldfish.
To Murray and Becky who gave us a bed in Edinburgh, and then made room for Andy as well, so that we could more easily get going the next day. Also Aaron who offered us a bed, 5 minutes after we'd accepted Murray's offer.
To Andy Armstrong who took Wednesday and part of Thursday off to drive us around Northern England, showing us castles, Hadrian's wall, the remains of a Roman fort and after giving us his bed for the night; drove us through to Darlington.
To Smylers who met us at the train in Leeds, helped us find dinner rather late at night and gave us a bed, as well as taking off much of Friday to hang out with us and see us off on the train.
We really do have an awesome community.