Last week, the city of Sofia, Bulgaria, played host to the 15th YAPC::EU conference all about the Perl programming language.
This year’s YAPC::EU was again a three-day event featuring three parallel tracks of talks during the day, followed by a set of lightning talks and a keynote speech every evening. In his opening keynote, ‘You’re Killing Managers (Keep It Up)’, Curtis Poe (Ovid) provided us with lots of food for thought when it comes to managerless companies. Despite generally being seen as a nightmare by many traditionally minded managers, agile methodologies reduce the need for at least some of the middle management, and some companies already succeed without having any kind of predictable shipping date for their products.
The regular talks again covered a broad range of topics including the web, dev ops, community management, databases, functional programming and, of course, the current state of Perl 6. Some talks were already familiar to me from previous events like the German Perl Workshop, but there was still a variety of interesting presentations to choose from.
John Lightsey introduced us to auditing and toughening as part of the Security Development Lifecycle, while Marian Marinov showed us how to create containers with Perl. Susanne Schmidt (Su-Shee) took us on an entertaining and informative journey into the land of web frameworks, way beyond the well-known protagonists like dancer or ruby on rails. The functional programming concept of Huey’s Zipper was explained by osfameron, and Xan Tronix (xan) presented a fake file system she has implemented in pure perl along with a number of interesting use cases – to mention just a few of the talks I enjoyed. XING was also present with my talk about the architecture behind xing.com and the tools we use to develop, deploy and monitor it – a revised and extended version of the talk I gave at the German Perl Workshop earlier this year.
The second keynote of the conference was ‘The state of the Velociraptor‘ by Matt S. Trout (mst). For the fifth year now, he summarised the achievements of the Perl community since the last conference. While there was obviously no shortage of successful events to speak about, it still came across less motivating than in previous years.
As usual, the lightning talks covered a wide variety of topics, including a perl executing browser, web components, a new federated open ecosystem for realtime communication, a very thin and specialised http client, and many more. The workflow of oauth2 was demonstrated in a live perfomance by shifting around several volunteers on stage. Between two lightning talks, there is normally an annoying gap of one or two minutes so the next speaker has time to connect their notebook to the projector. This was finally turned into a feature by allowing ‘lightning announcements’ to be made, which included upcoming events and hiring pitches as well as some fun, tongue-in-cheek announcements.
This year’s closing keynote was titled ‘The Joy In What We Do‘, and listening to it was a joy as well. Sawyer X sent us on a very entertaining and motivating trip that also reminded us of the many achievements of Perl and the need to spread the word about it more. “Excitement is contagious”, he claimed, and if so, he’s certainly a huge spreader.
All of the talks, including the lightning talks, were streamed live online and recorded. Some of the recordings are already available on youtube.
Next year’s YAPC::EU is going to be held in Granada, Spain, in September.