Marketing for Perl is easy because Perl is awesome

Liz and I were awarded the White Camel Award last year and are very proud of that. Thank you all. Too much honor, and I feel a bit silly now. No modules on CPAN, not a member of any Perl-organisation, not a single line of code written in the past 9 years, and mainly being silly and loud.

Liz and I went on doing what we like best. Go to Perl-events.

FOSDEM in Brussels
We started with the one that we co-organize with the excellent Claudio Ramirez: FOSDEM ( ). A lot of work, but it worked out nicely. Ten speakers were able to fill 8 hours with interesting presentations. Well, one of the speakers fell ill and his place was filled by ribasushi and Theo van Hoesel (thanks, guys). it was also amazing how fast we were able to fill our track with talks. Thanks for all speakers for being fast, helpful, and for giving a nice talk. This way, we probably will have no problem next year to get a devroom again.

It was the best Fosdem we ever organised. Larger devroom, devroom most of the time filled with people, two big tables at the expo for our books / stickers / buttons / tuits / etc, great amount of books sold, all our toy camels and Mugs of Perl sold, etc.

It was a tremendous sight to see one of the big conference rooms empty, hundreds of attendees crowding the hallway, spotting the Perl-booth, grabbing stickers and buttons and tuits. And then oh so many of them putting the buttons on their t-shirt, jacket, sweater, etc. You should have seen the faces of our competitors sister languages...

Fosdem was more than just Perl, of course. I heard from many other people that their devrooms and booths were well-visited, that the people were nice and interesting.

The beer event before Fosdem was extremely well visited, as always. The Perl-dinner on Saturday was tremendously crowded, and unlike last year, I seem to have communicated all well with the restaurant (yes, same restaurant as last year) and most people were happy (sorry folks for whom ordering and serving took too much time).

Also a big thank you to all the people that helped clear away our booth and other expo-stuff into the van, so that we could join in with the Sunday dinner that I organised.

The only sad thing for me was... it was too busy at the booth, I could not see a single one of the talks.

The organisers of Fosdem hired a team of professionals to record all talks in all tracks, but quite a lot of things went wrong, so of many Perl-talks the audio and/or video was not recorded. See for yourself, still some interesting things:

QA Hackathon in Lyon
Laurent Boivin and Philippe Bruhat organised an excellent QA Hackathon in Lyon in March ( ). Many people joined in, all very productive. I did help a bit with food and drink and cleaning. I also distracted some people with camels and mugs and books and buttons and stickers, but I seem to get away with it.

The Sunday was interesting. You are not supposed to work on Sunday (according to some people), so of course we had no way to enter the building. It took our organisers several hours to get us in again, and in the meantime they organised a conference room in the hotel most of us stayed in. Adventure and fun at the hackathon.

The fun and adventure included a field trip by train to the distillery of Chartreuse, where I bought at least one bottle of every type of Chartreuse they had, plus some of their other spirited liquids.

Thanks for a wonderful hackathon!

Damian Conway in Amsterdam
The presentation-aikido master of Perl, Damian Conway ( ) visited Amsterdam for a lecture on regular expressions ( ). They are really different than we know.

The event was organised by Sawyer X, Theo van Hoesel, Mark van Overmeer and NLUUG's Marcel Nijenhof. Smooth! Beautiful location in De Kleine Komedie ("the little comedy", a theater that is world-famous in The Netherlands). More than 100 attendees, and not just from the Perl-community.

I had a desk to sell some books written by Damian Conway (Perl Best Practices and Perl Hacks), our camels and Mugs of Perl and to give away our other Perl-stuff. And of course we brought our roll-up banners.

At the after-party I learned that a big Dutch chain of supermarkets use Perl on their Linux-based cash-registers. And I am a regular client. Wow.

Two days later Liz and I and Martin had a nice day in Amsterdam with Damian. We showed him the nice parts, which are plenty.

German Perl Workshop
Sören and many others organised a mean high-quality German Perl Workshop in Hannover at the end of March ( ). So many volunteers, even several exhibitors, many sponsors, and I can just be a bit jealous of the number of attendees.

Thanks for letting us have a table for our Perl-marketing-stuff. Many people helped us to have a lighter load in the car on our way home.

By the way, the food and drinks were more than excellent. Too bad Liz and I had to go during the second day of the workshop (sad event: funeral of the last aunt of Liz), we really wanted to stay to see the rest.

If you want to see a well-organised and very busy, energetic workshop, join me and visit Dredden next year (if the rumours are correct that that's the city for next year's workshop). It's the best way to see for yourself that the Perl-community is not just filled with older people... there were so many youngsters (man, do I feel old now). 2 year anniversary event
The young, enthusiastic and fun people in Cluj regularly organise nice events that can best be described as "mini-Perl-workshops". The number of talks is not mini, though... see

More than 100 attendees, talks on a rather tight schedule, well-organised, nice coffee/tea-breaks, and again a table for me for my marketing-stuff and books. Thanks!!!

This was the first time in many years that I gave a presentation. Yep, "Marketing for Perl is easy because Perl is awesome". It seemed to be much better than my last ever presentation, which was a complete and utter mess and embarrassment. This time I even prepared real slides, and I practiced and timed them, so I could fill 20 minutes. Scary to go into the deep after so many years, for a big audience.

By the way, it is refreshing to see so many young women (yeah, ok, of course, also a lot of young men) at a Perl-event. Like one of the ladies told me "men cannot keep their head focused, you need your brain with your code". Hehe.

Cluj appears to be a beautiful city. Liz and I had a beautiful room in a nice hotel and we walked around quite a bit and enjoyed the many views and good food. Thanks to the organisers for taking excellent care of us.

Damian Conway in Zürich
The Perl-community in Switzerland is lucky to have Damian Conway visiting them every year. He gives a range of courses at the University of Zürich. This year in April he had a course on Perl 6 and Liz really wanted to see that. So we had some days in Zürich. Liz attended the course and I enjoyed the many lovely places of Zürich. I want to go back again.

Netherlands Perl Workshop NLPW
The 11th Netherlands Perl Workshop ( ) this year at the end of April was a success. For the very first time organised in Utrecht, in the lovely University of Humanistic Studies ( ). One of the best NLPW's ever, with two packed tracks, almost 60 attendees, of which quite a lot from abroad. Excellent organisation by Theo van Hoesel!

I did help Theo a bit before and during the workshop. Of course, many other people helped with everything. We brought our Perl-library, our camel, books for sale (as well as toy camels and Mugs of Perl) and many many other things. Maybe I did too many things, because my talk (Marketing blah blah) was the only talk I attended...

Lunch was excellent. And of course I filled everybody with pie from our province of Limburg. Pie! The dinners before and after the workshop were nice, but quite noisy: the day after the workshop was King's Day, with lots of festivities starting way before midnight. I am quite sure that many attendees from abroad had a wonderful "day after", seeing all those silly Dutch wearing orange, dancing in the streets, selling their "garage sale" stuff in the streets.

We can only hope that Theo wants to organise next year's NLPW too. I of course will help again. And let it be in Utrecht again.

Polish Perl Workshop PLPW
Last year in Warsaw, this year in Poland's 5th city, Poznan, the second Polish Perl Workshop was a success ( ). At the offices of AllegroGroup (thank you, dear sponsor!), very well organised by Filip Sergot and Wojciech Kuchta.

We had a hackathon with 8 people the day before. The workshop was a day-and-a-half, with 45 attendees (and please, can we stop that meme that the Perl-community is getting old?).

Afterwards again a hackathon, now with 20 people, and at the end the last 10 people almost had to be forced to leave. It would be nice to have a list of accomplishments, but I know that the Perl6-developers did some very nice things with regards to CPAN and modules.

I got a big table for my Perl-stuff. The toy camels, Mugs of Perl and books got quite some attention. It was nice to see so many people walk around with buttons and stickers, yay.

My talk (Marketing...) went not so well... too fast. I have to learn to pace myself. Calm, my dear, be calm. Aaarrrrrggghhhh.... But afterwards, some people came to me to tell me my talk inspired them to do some nice things (and they did!).

Next year we seem to go to the harbour-city of Gdansk. Count me in! I hope that Gdanks is at least half as pretty as Poznan (saw some beautiful sights).

Czech Perl Workshop
The first ever Czech Perl Workshop ( ), right after the Polish Perl Workshop. In the beautiful city of Prague. Organised by a superteam: Richard Jelinek (of fame: ) and Martina Peštová, both of Petamem. This was a superprofessional workshop. Many talks in Czech, many in English. We had 45 attendees in a nice conference room at the Jury's Inn hotel.

Lunch in the restaurant was nice for most, a bit frustrating for me, poor misunderstood vegetarian. Their restaurant menu has several nice vegetarian options, including a nice pasta, but they decided to give me a plate with cold raw chunks of tomato, cucumber, red & green paprika and some olives, without spices or herbs, and the next day a plate with just lettuce and tomato. With the help of Martina I got some real food. Grr.

May I bore you with the fact that I got a nice table for my toy camels, Mugs of Perl, books, stickers, buttons, tuits etc? Well, I did. And after the Polish Perl Mongers helped me empty our car for a bit, the Czech finished off all camels and mugs, most books, and all the stickers and buttons that I brought.

My talk (Marketing) went as fast as I did in Poznan. I have to delete quite some slides, practice again, and be calmer. Nice thing is that I have changed my talk every time before and after the presentation, so this one was quite different from the one I did in Cluj.

The day after we visited the Prague Castle ( ) and spent many hours there. Wow, this is magnificent. I would not mind next year's Czech Perl Workshop to be organised in Prague again and I hope I may attend again.

The year 2014 is bringing more goodness
This year will be action-packed. Perl-people are active, really.

This weekend was the weekend of the Mojolicious Conference in Oslo ( ), which for us was too close to the Czech Perl Workshop to attend. Plus, we have never used Mojolicious, so we would not have been of much use. I am sure Salve and Sebastian made it into a wonderful conference.

Liz and I will attend the French Perl Workshop ( ) in Paris, and have talks and a table with Perl-stuff.

YAPC Russia ( ) in Saint Petersburg is on the same days as the French Perl Workshop. I did send Timur a nice package with buttons, stickers, tuits and other stuff.

Liz and I will attend YAPC::NA in Orlando, Florida ( ), and we will do the same talks again. I hope we will not bore our audience to death.

Two years ago we visited Portland, Oregon, for OSCON. This year we will visit OSCON again ( ), in July.

First time for us to visit Bulgaria! In Sofia there will be YAPC::Europe in August ( ). No, we did not yet submit talks.

Last year we joined in with the devroom and booth at FrOScon ( ) in Sankt Augustin, Germany. But this year it is on the same days as YAPC::Europe, so it is Sofia for us.

Too bad for us that YAPC::Asia ( ) in Tokyo is so soon after YAPC::EU. We could make it if we don't go home first from Sofia and fly directly to Tokyo. But doing that will be a big attack on our health. So maybe next year. I really would like to visit YAPC::Asia at least once. I've never been to Japan... (sob).

The second Swiss Perl Workshop will be in september: Looking forward to attend. I have heard that Flörli Olten is beautiful.

The Austrian Perl Workshop will be in October and it seems that the definite date has been set, but that the organisers still have some work to do before they announce it. But it will be in beautiful Salzburg and Liz and I will attend.

We don't have (definite) dates yet for the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop, the Portuguese Perl Workshop, the Frankfurt Perl Workshop, the Nordic Perl Workshop (in Helsinki, it seems), the London Perl Workshop and the YAPC::Brasil.


"No modules on CPAN, not a member of any Perl-organisation, not a single line of code written in the past 9 years, and mainly being silly and loud."

Hey, Wendy, that's exactly why the White Camel Award was invented! And I'm proud our community has both people like you and an award to thank them!

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About Wendy

user-pic I blog about Perl.