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pjf (2464)

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I run Perl Training Australia [].

I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.

Journal of pjf (2464)

Wednesday August 20, 2008
06:47 AM

OSCON, Day 4 (Human Interfaces for Geeks)

[ #37235 ]

Memoirs of an OSCON rockstar, Day 4 (Human Interfaces for Geeks)
My sleeping pattern at OSCON remains sub-optimal. I've crossed timezones, and beause there are so many cool tings to do each evening, and talk practicing and preparation, I find myself going to bed late and sleeping in. I could push myself to wake up early, but being sleepy really wrecks my speaking ability, and after my talk on failure, I've got a reputation to maintain.

I wake up late in the morning, and receive what was the most exicting e-mail I'd received in the entire conference. It's from Allison Randal:

Would you be willing to repeat "An Illustrated History of Failure" [as a plenary]? It'd be 12:45pm Friday.


At this point I should mention that presenting a plenary/keynote at OSCON is one of my lifetime goals. I thought that I'd gain a little fame at 2008, a somewhat bigger audience in 2009, and then if I'm very very lucky I could possibly be considered for a plenary/keynote in 2010. I certainly didn't expect it at my first OSCON! The only lifetime goal I thought I would have had a chance of claiming at OSCON was to play Rock Band.

Today I'm presenting "Human Interfaces for Geeks", aka "Hacking Wetware for Fun and Profit", aka "Paul can't make up his mind as to what this talk should be called". My talk is essentially about how people think, how to make them happy, and how making them happy causes them to do your bidding.

When possible, I try to include conference-specific jokes in my talks. In my failure talk I managed to reference Rod::Logic and Dr. Evil Conway. Here, I figured that enough of my audience would have gone to People for Geeks, so last night I had picked Schwern as my victim. Schwern had kindly provided me with some pictures of him as a zombie, and I spent way too long last night creating Schwern in The Sims 2, taking screenshots, turning him into a zombie, and adding general zombie references.

I arrive at OSCON in time for lunch, rather sad that I've missed some of the morning talks I was really looking forward to. I'm also stuck for where I should go after lunch; Anthony Baxter's running the general lightning talks, and I love lightning talks. Anthony runs the lightning talks at OSDC, and, and he does a great job of keeping things moving and amusing. I've got stacks of lightning talks up my sleeve, so attending this should have been a no-brainer.

However, Tim Bunce of DBI fame is giving a talk on Ultimate Perl Code Profiling. I'd spoken briefly to Tim earlier in the week, and he told me new the profiler is awesomely cool. I know that I could learn it in my own time, but that will probably take months before I get a round tuit, or I could just attend Tim's talk and download it into my head in one go.

I attend Tim's talk. It is awesome. I know kung-fu.

I sneak out of Tim's talk during question time, because my talk is next. I find coffee and hurry to the room where I'm presenting.

Amazingly, the talk goes down extermely well. I seem to have been gaining popularity over the conference, and now not only is the room stuffed with people, but there's even a handheld video camera in the audience! It seems the audience wasn't disappointed, giving me a 4.9/5.0 across 16 ratings! Wow.

Next up are the Perl Lightning Talks. I wasn't sure what to expect from these, as I've seen lightning talks done really bad, but these are just superb! The Perl community has some great speakers, and the talks are witty, informative, and well presented. Of course, I give one on autodie, in case the conference hasn't heard enough about it already. ;)

The conference ends with Larry's "State of the Onion", and the Perl Foundation Auction. Unfortunately things run a little late, and we lose a few too many audience members before the auction. I pick up a copy of Perl Medic (autographed, yay!), a few assorted other books, and some cool YAPC drinking glasses.

With the main conference over, I head off to a rather exclusive OSCON after-party. Everyone at the party is famous. Everyone. In fact, as r0ml casually comments to me that his son wrote Twisted (python), I realise that everyone and their families are famous.

The party was amazing, although I continue to make the odd faux pas: "Oh, you use too?", "No, I'm @evan. I wrote" Eventually I get used to the idea that if someone mentions a technology I use, then not only did they write said technology, but they also hold a Nobel Prize, played a role in the original Star Wars, and psychically know what I want to drink next.

Eventually the party gets broken up. It's probably the first time I've ever been to a party so cool that it gets broken up rather than just peters out. I head back to my hotel, discover I'm hungry, and go looking for food at 3am. I find a Mexican place that gives me the most awesome burrito I've ever had in my life, but since I can't for the life of me remember what it was called, when I return there the next day I'm served something which is considerably less than awesome.

Eventually I get back to the hotel, set multiple alarms so I don't miss my talking slot, and sleep.

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