25 6 / 2012

YAPC::NA 2012 recap

…aka better late than never, mandatory blog post for the conference.

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This year’s YAPC::NA took place at Madison, WI. Didn’t know where Wisconsin was till I actually flew there, and I thought it’s the same Madison as the Madison county, I would say the city was so beautiful and enjoyed the conference a lot.

JT Smith and MadMongers people did something different for this year’s conference, with an excessive amount of PR, and for the first time ever the conference has been sold out and joined the club of sold-out conferences which YAPC::Asia has always achieved since its beginning in 2006 :)

There was also a steady live stream available all the time, which enabled realtime feedbacks from all over the world, and the video has been uploaded really quickly to YouTube unlike previous years.

The Trip

Everyone who follows my twitter has already known this, but United Airlines successfully screwed my trip over, and my plan to check in at the venue around the midnight on Day 0, Tuesday completely failed over once United delayed my first flight for more than 2 hours which made the connection at Denver impossible.

My flight was rerouted to go over Chicago O’Haire red eye and that haunted me at the United Club at SFO for more than 7 hours and I had to take two meals at the SFO concourse F, which were kind of horrible.

Gate closed. Missed the connection. New flight in an hour

The re-routed flight also got delayed for more than 1 hour, which made my connection at ORD missed again, but the backup flight was 45 minutes later, so it wasn’t that much of a disaster.

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The Conference

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Recently at YAPC conferences I tend to spend more time in the hallway rather than attending many talks. I pick just a few sessions to attend and ask questions, and otherwise had a great time talking to fellow people in the community, drinking beer and watching EURO 2012 league matches at the bar nearby. I’ve done that without worrying too much since I knew the conference videos would be uploaded very soon.

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The other reason I didn’t attend many talks was that the United screwed over my flight, and also I was just coming back from Japan a few days before the conference from the last-minute business trip. I usually don’t have any jetlag when I fly west, but often have a severe jetlag when I come back, and that’s been the case here again.

Hallway track

The Talk

My talk was scheduled on Friday, and as usual i started working on that on Thursday night, with enough materials dumped on the .txt file. The talk was on my observation when I come back and forth between Perl, Python and Ruby for doing both personal and work code, and some lessons that could be learned to enable cross-language culture pollinations.

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The talk was kind of rough, but i think it went reasonably well and I got lots of good feedbacks, albeit there wasn’t enough time for questions since I went a bit over time. Some of the stories are based on what i talked at YAPC::Asia 2010 keynote and I will update the talk accordingly to fit with the difference audience in coming conferences in LL Decade Tokyo, Sapporo RubyKaigi and maybe YAPC::Asia 2012.

The Party

Beer bash/banquet

The beer bash and dinner at the roof top was great. I love this style of socializing without actually sitting down since I can move around to talk to a bunch of people, and thank god there was no auction that shuts off the conversations for so long time.

Recap

I guess the organizers have set the bar much higher and will put some pressure on the next year’s organizers, but I hope most of these good stuff that was changed this year would continue as a good tradition from next year and so on. I enjoyed the conference a lot.