Rick Talks: YAPC::EU 2015 – Perl is alive and kicking


Technology, Open Source, Perl...

Yet another Rick Talks and Yet another Perl Conference… and what a Perl conference it was!

Now back in the office following YAPC::EU which this year took place in Granada, Spain, I thought I’d share my reflections on what was another successful and thoroughly enjoyable Perl conference demonstrating the strength of the Perl Community and how Perl refuses to die. YAPC:EU demonstrated that in fact Perl is alive and kicking!

Preparing to leave for the airport, the lovely Aleks and I packed our infamous pink stand in tow ready to meet new friends and old. Arriving in Granada late Tuesday evening we sadly missed what turned out to be one of the highlights of the conference: The Eligo Sponsored Beer and Pizza event!

Onto the conference…

Day 1 – Wednesday

Arriving at Granada University early to set up the stand, we were intrigued by the first keynote of the day, the very interesting “War Stories: Programming in the field of Medieval History” by Tara Andrews. This talks clearly started as the rest of the conference meant to go on, with some amazing conversations taking place on a whole host of different topics. At our stand we were lucky enough to meet some great new Perl developers from freelance to those who were looking to develop their Perl team. It was great to be able to explain the current market and how as a specialist Perl Agency, Eligo Technology, are utilising social resourcing in particular to have access to an untapped passive network of Perl Developers.

Taking a break for Lunch, Aleks and I met up with our Dutch friends Theo van Hoesel and Richard van Lochem for some local tapas. Afterwards the afternoon kicked off as the morning had begun, with some great talks and hacking events taking place, catching up with old friends and key members of the Perl Community. Our busy day was topped off with an inspiring keynote by Ovid who, as always, delivered a fantastic talk which left us with lots to discuss over dinner that evening.

Dinner saw us treated to our own private area in a beautiful hotel where, whilst the food and drink was flowing, there was yet more chances to meet more of the great attendees to the event.

Day 2 – Thursday

The previous night’s food and drink might have slightly impaired most attendees start to Day 2, but it wasn’t to last long as Sawyer X opened the day on a high with the morning keynote – “The State of the Velociraptor” – which was delivered with such wit and humility that you couldn’t help but be inspired by it. The standout moment of the talk was the asking of the question ‘What is the Perl Community?’ Already feeling the love in the room and the friendliness encountered across the previous days, his answer couldn’t have been more on-point, delivering the sentiment that the Perl Community is a family, all sharing their love for the wonderful language of Perl. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Perl is not dead, Perl is alive and the family who support it further instilled that notion during Sawyer’s speech.

Eligo patched Perl at Yapc

I patched Perl!

Another round of tapas later and the afternoon session was in full flow, with Wendy, a wonderful lady with wonderful Perl merchandise, explaining the Perl patch (pictured above) to me. Sold for $50, the patches and donation generated from them allowed for one hours work on the Perl 5 core. I couldn’t not contribute to such a worthy cause.

The second key note of the day, “Homage to Perl” took a unique look at Perl and some of the amazing results that it can produce – both commercially and for pleasure. Xavier Noria explained his deep love and high regard for the language despite his move to Ruby on Rails many years ago.

A particular highlight for myself was the invitation to sit on a panel of leaders in Perl to discuss “How to Grow the Perl Community”. Consisting of Andrew Soloman, Xavier Noria, Ovid, Jose Luis Martinez, Upasana Shukla, Gabor Szabo, Eugenia Kondryn and I, and moderated by Sawyer X, the panel discussion saw ideas flow with everyone in agreement that the Perl market is buoyant, Perl is alive, and we are right to be positive about Perl’s outlook and the great companies that continue to use it.

perl is alive panel talk yapc

The prestigeous Perl panel!

Day 3 – Friday 

An early start kicked off the final day of the conference. With some of the developers not quite making it out of bed till later in the morning, those who did enjoyed a wide variety of talks to start the day. A particular interest to me as a Perl recruitment expert was Jason Clifford’s talk on “What I look for when I hire”. Jason is Development Manager @ NAP, and the talk gave a fascinating view into the client side of hiring Perl developers.

rick talks: Perl is alive

It wouldn’t have been a Perl event without my now consistent Rick Talks taking place. I was fortunate enough to deliver a talk to a room of Perl Developers on “The State of the Perl Market 2” which detailed about how the developer recruitment market has changed over the last 12 months, how Perl developers can stand out, and what a company looking to hire developers can do to make themselves more attractive. Thank you to all that came along!

As the final day came to a close it was time for Larry Wall to give the final keynote – aptly titled “Get Ready to Party”. Ready we are, as Larry duly announced that Perl 6 should be released in time for Christmas! Whilst a time to celebrate, it was also a time to take stock and appreciate as Larry discussed his various health problems over the last few years and the support the Perl family has given him throughout the tough times. A standing ovation entailed, humbling all in attendance.

What an event, what a family

YAPC:EU 2015 did it again. It was an amazing conference bringing together some of the great Perl minds from across the world, giving us all the opportunity to discuss, deliberate, and celebrate. As it closes, attention now turns to Cluj 2016. It’s safe to say we can’t wait to be there and see you all again.

Thank you to all of the organising committee, those who came, and those who continue to spread the message that Perl is Alive!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to discuss Perl opportunities for yourself, to recruit Perl developers for your organisation, or to discuss how Perl is alive and the market continues to rise.

@Perl Rick | rick@eligo.co.uk | 0208 944 4187