This year I attended my first YAPC in Madison, Wisconsin. I first met several Perl community members at OSCON and was amazed at how open, nice, and welcoming everyone has been. I had the same experience at YAPC::NA and I look forward to attending moar YAPC's!
I'd like to thank the organizers and all the of the participants!! I had a great time and I will definitely be participating in the future :D
The talks were great and I learned stuff. The hardware hacking lounge was awesome and I got to play with stuff. More than anything though, I got to learn about several Perl related projects and meet contributors face to face. I have been wanting to move from being a Perl user to being a community contributor for some time. I finally got a CPAN account set up and have volunteered to do documentation for a couple projects so I can learn how they work and eventually start contributing code patches.
There was a social theme to this event, namely the inclusiveness of the community. In the past 5 years I've been working with Perl and interacting with members of the Perl community I have generally felt welcome and encouraged. Granted I work in the tech industry and I have a pretty thick skin, but if anything I've felt an increase of positive attention and a desire to encourage me to be involved in the community.
Perl is not as "sexy" as Ruby or Python and it seems to be the underdog in the tech industry. Besides it's usefulness as a programming language, the thing that truly sets Perl apart is the amazing community. I look forward to increasing my participation!!
While I won't be able to make YAPC::Europe this year, I will be at the Moose Hackathon in Norway! It's my birthday that week so I am planning on drinking and hacking!! Because booze is so expensive in Norway, I'm bringing like only 2 changes of clothes and filling up my suitcase with as much booze as I can legally bring in the country (duty free, holla!). I encourage the rest of you to do the same ;)