I'm now back in Paris after a week in Germany. I was attending YAPC::Europe 2012 and the only negative thing I can say is that it was hot. Sitting in stuffy rooms on a hot day with no air conditioning is not fun, but obviously this is not something the organizers had any control over.
Corion did a fantastic job of organizing the conference and when the main hotel wasn't available for me, he found a hotel close to a zoo so that my wife and daughter could have something to do. I wish I could have joined them, but skipping conference days wouldn't have been very respectful given the work the conference did to have me there.
One thing that particularly struck me was Matt Trout's comments in the final keynote. In particular, he described all of the great things the Perl community has done in the past couple of years and how we now take things such as a the upcoming Perl 5 MOP for granted. We have, as Matt pointed out, leveled up as a community.
He also pointed out something I really appreciated: we don't need to compete with other communities. A rich ecosystem of different technologies is not a zero-sum game. Despite so many technologies being heralded as the holy grail of computing (does anyone remember the hype around Java when it came out?), there are no silver bullets for creating applications.
My two favorite talks at the conference were on subjects near and dear to my heart. First, Michael Schwern gave an update in Test::Builder 2. He pointed out that while the original
Test::Builder allowed people to write their own test modules, it didn't allow people to write their own test builders. As a result, what you got was whatever Schwern felt was important (or was able to hack in to
Test::Builder2 is designed to allow you to control the output and behavior in the way you think you need, not what someone else thinks you need. I'm looking forward to it.
Lenz Gschwendtner gave an excellent talk on Continuous Deployment with Perl, a hot topic in the Agile community today. A PDF of the slides is available. Continuous Deployment is like continuous integration, except that you release on commit, rather than merely integrating. It's powerful and requires some work to set up, but the productivity gains are amazing.
The next YAPC::Europe will be in Kiev and I'm hoping to be able to make it. It looks like an amazing city and the organizers appear to have their ACT (cough :) together.