London Perl Workshop, an interview

2016-12-21 10:52:48 admin Perl Events 0 Comments

Mihai Pop, a Perl Developer and an active community member attended the 10th edition of the London Perl Workshop. We had a chat with him about it, but before going into it let’s say a few things about the LPW.

First of all, it’s a free one day conference and the UK’s main Perl event, this year it was held on the 3rd of December. For the past 10 years it was organized by Mark Keating who stepped down this year, letting in a new organizing team. The event is very open,  anyone can submit a talk or a workshop and every year there is a different theme,  this year it was “Changes”. You can find out more about the workshop on its official website.

BIP: What kind of talks did you attend?

Mihai Pop: I saw a bit of everything, even though it was a one day event, you had plenty of talks to choose from. Some of them overlapped, so I didn’t get the chance to attend everything. I mixed and matched and tried to get the best of everything. I saw a talk on the evolution and changes of Perl 5, one about CPAN, Docker, a couple on Perl 6 and some really cool talks on private data and user privacy.

BIP: Can you elaborate on the things that really stood out?

M.P.: Sure, they all had something appealing in essence but some resonate more with me as a programmer, on my day to day coding life.

The Docker workshop I attended was held by Martin Berends, a Docker user. This was very important as the workshop took the shape of an overall discussion of people using Docker and their experience. It wasn’t just a Docker talk, it was also about seeing how Docker is used by different people in production. I use it for Calendis, the startup I work for and a had a few things that bugged me. Through everything that was discussed in the workshop I managed to clear those things up. So this was a very practical part for me.

Besides this, Dave Cross’s talk on Perl 5 versions was a very important talk as I managed to get a good feel on what new functionalities are or will be introduced, like method signatures, but more than that, we had a first hand presentation on the things that will be removed from future Perl 5 versions and how upgrading from one version to another can affect your work. It was a good warning to version upgrades.

Here, I would also want to mention another talk, about how CPAN works, by Neil Bowers. This talk was very good as in it showed something very important for Perl 5 as a whole. The CPAN is right now in a state of maintenance and fixing for major modules, that’s the majority, there are very few new uploads, which is kind of an alarm signal for us a community.

BIP: What can you tell us about Perl 6 at LPW?

M.P.: The Perl 6 talks always attract people, because there are a lot of expectations I think, for the language and quite a lot of interest too. There were 3 talks on Perl 6, two from Jeff Goff and one from Stefan Seifert. Stefan is the author of Inline::Perl5 and Inline::Perl6 modules and has an app in production built in Perl 6. It was great to hear about Perl 6 in production. As a new language with few modules on modules.perl6.org compared to the CPAN it’s pretty difficult to get to more complex functionalities, but I think it’s a fair step forward and the next step will be building a community and soemthing similar with CPAN for Perl6.

BIP:  From an organizational standpoint, how did things go?

M.P: Well, this was a pretty big event, both the 10 year anniversary of LPW and also the last event for Mark Keating, who was the heart and soul of the place ever since it began. I think from an organizational standpoint it went very well, at the end we had a nice cake, a nice closing from Mark and plenty of speeches for him. It was a nice farewell party as well.

BIP: Who will continue to organize the next LPW event?

M.P: The new LPW team will be made out of Neil Bowers from London.pm, Rick Deller from Eligo, Pete Sergeant from Perl Careers and other members of London.pm.

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