YAPC::NA 2016 report

After 3 years break I sort-of attended YAPC::NA 2016.

I was there in the hotel, I gave a talk, ran a tutorial, and even managed to meet some of the nice people, but my family came along and thus I had to make the hard decision whether to attend the talks or to go to Universal Studios, to Sea World, and to the Kennedy Space Center.

The latter 3 won.

I cannot tell you much about the conference, though luckily the talks were recorded which is appreciated a lot, so I could watch a few of them already. It also seemed to be well organized, and we had nice refreshment during the tutorial sessions. Unfortunately I met only a few people and missed most of the conversations.

Maybe next year.

The AngularJS tutorial

I like giving talks and I like teaching people. In many cases I find the teaching very satisfying and I personally learn a lot from it. Both during the preparation of the talk or the training material, and during the course itself. People ask questions that I have not considered or they poke around things that I sort of know, but have not really understood. This forces me to try to explain these subjects which usually gives me a much better understanding of the subject.

Hopefully that better understanding is also passed on to the students and listeners.

This 2-days long tutorial was about Front-end Web Development using Bootstrap and Angular JS. There were only 9 students that was a lot less than my tutorials in previous years at YAPC::NA, but YAPC itself was much smaller than in previous year.

I hope next year everything will be done much sooner (venue selection, tutorial selection, talk selection) and that it will be promoted inside and outside the Perl community much more than it was this year. I have offered my help for the promotion part for next year.

In any case I think the tutorial went well. People seemed to be satisfied both with the material and the amount of hands-on exercises.

Getting started with modern web development in Perl: Introduction to Mojolicious talk

A few weeks before the conference I found out that giving the tutorial does not give me a free entrance to the conference. Although I knew I'll hardly have time to be at the conference I thought I'll have more time and I definitely did not want to pay money. I'd rather give a talk instead. I was lucky that there was still an empty spot on the beginner track and that there was no web-related talk in that track. (Besides, I think I've already mentioned, I like giving talks :)

So I jumped on the opportunity and offered a talk: Getting started with modern web development in Perl. At that point I was not yet sure what I wanted to talk about.

I have a lot of experience with Perl Dancer and gave a lot of talks using it, but Sawyer X and Mickey Nasriachi, two core developers of Dancer already had a one-day Dancer tutorial scheduled. So I was not sure it is a good idea to give a talk about Dancer.

The other obvious choices seemed to be Mojolicious, but I hardly knew anything about it. Well, besides a few blog posts about Mojolicious.

So I did not want to make a commitment in the talk description before I knew if I could get ready with a Mojolicious talk.

Then once I knew I can give a talk about Mojolicious I have forgotten to update the title and the description of the talk.

Feedback for the modern web talk

I just got this from Barbie:


  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Question                           | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |
  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  | Your prior knowledge of subject?   | 2 | - | 1 | - | - | - | 1 | - | - |  - |
  | Speaker's knowledge of subject?    | - | - | - | - | - | 1 | - | - | - |  2 |
  | Speaker's presentation of subject? | - | - | - | - | - | - | 1 | - | 1 |  1 |
  | Quality of presentation materials? | - | - | - | - | - | - | 1 | - | 1 |  1 |
  | Overall presentation rating?       | - | - | - | - | - | - | 1 | 1 | 1 |  1 |
  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What aspects of the tutorial or presentation worked really well?

  • Great teacher, great slides and examples. Gabor made everything so simple and it looks easy to use. So after his talk I'm excited to try it out and never look back.
  • Inspired me to take up the study of Mojolicious.
  • Gabor's pace is perfect -- not too fast, not too slow.
  • Thanks for the overview of mojo. This could be a useful tool for me, I'll want to learn more.

How could the tutorial or presentation be improved?

  1. I would have enjoyed a part 2 of this where we could try Mojo::Lite hands-on.
  2. The title of the presentation suggested this would be more general than just an intro to Mojolicious.
  3. Maybe include information about Dancer and Catalyst and show some brief examples of how those frameworks would address some fundamental aspects differently than Mojolicious (e.g. routing, syntax of controllers/subs).

My comments:

  1. I agree, I hoped I could give some time for hand-on exercises, but I ran out of time.
  2. Yes, I should have updated the title once I knew I'll talk about Mojolicious.
  3. This would indeed make sense in the talk the title suggested, but probably less so in an Introduction to Mojolicious talk I ended up giving.

There is a video recording of the Mojolicious talk and the slides are also available.

Conclusion

I hope next year YAPC::NA will be organized sooner and will have more attendees and that I'll be able to participate (more than this year) and give at least one tutorial.

Published on 2016-07-18 by Gabor Szabo
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