YAPC::EU 2016 is over and we have a lot of fond memories and good experiences from the conference. Azaleea, DrForr (Jeff) & Mihai attended the conference so we’ve chatted them up to tell us more.
BIP: You’ve been living in Cluj Napoca for a while now, so you know the city pretty well. How did your fellow Perl Mongers take Cluj as a location?
DrForr: One new friend moved here temporarily at the start of the month, and when I found out he was going to be here, immediately dragged him 'round to Enigma after a brief walking tour of the city center. Most of what we did stayed around the city center, on Friday and Saturday a few of us ventured out to the old city wall near the Botanical gardens. The art museum gave people a way to orient, though we really didn't stray much outside the city center during the week. I heard mostly compliments; we mostly found local bars to hang out at.
BIP: How did your presentations go (compared to OSCON let’s say)?
DrForr: Well, I haven't seen the official reviews, but I've at least gotten a few compliments on speaking technique this time 'round, privately. Speaking for pretty much 9 hours straight the preceding day may have helped. Even compared to OSCON this is the longest straight run of speaking I've done in public, 9 hours on Tuesday, an hour on Wednesday and another half-hour to the main hall on Thursday. I'm also doing a 90-minute online engagement in October, and 30 minutes in London after that, so I'd like to think I'm getting plenty of practice in.
BIP: How did it feel to finally attend a YAPC?
Mihai: Even if I didn’t attend the previous conferences, my colleagues who attended in previous years told me about YAPC, so it wasn’t totally uncharted territory. It was a fine experience and I’m glad that I attended alongside my Evozon buddies. It’s good to see where Perl is heading to and also to get to know other Perl developers.
Aza: Attending my first YAPC was really exciting and it felt great to finally be a part of it. As a newbie in the Perl world, I was very impressed by the scale of the event and enjoyed being able to meet so many passionate people in a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.
BIP: From the talks you managed to check out which one stood out more to you?
Mihai: There were lots of good talks but the one that stood out the most for me was the talk held by Andreea Popescu (The neuroscience beyond the usability) about how our brain works and what is the link between usability and our brain.
Aza: I can’t choose only one talk that stood out to me, as there were a bunch that I really liked. I’m just glad that the talks were taped and I can watch the ones I missed (because they took place simultaneously).
DrForr: Well, Tina Müller's talks blending Perl with bash/zsh and tmux stood out in my mind, if only because I find myself doing more devop'ish stuff and as a consequence doing more stuff with zsh and tmux than actual Perl hacking these days. The LTs usually stand out as well, this year was no exception.
BIP: What did you learn at this year's YAPC:: EU from a technical or professional standpoint?
Mihai: There was a talk held by Mirela (Velociraptor in a Modern World) where she presented techniques for easier monolithic app management. I’ve found that pretty useful. Then there was a talk about microservices which caught my attention.
BIP: YAPC is about Perl and about Perl people having fun. How did the parties stand out? As far as we saw they went pretty late into the night
Mihai: I’m not much of a party guy but even so I think the parties were pretty cool.
Aza: The parties were the best opportunities to really get to know the people in the community, to exchange impressions and even to make friends. Loved the venue, the music, the food, the drinks, the photobooth and the entire atmosphere for both the pre-conference rooftop party @Evozon and conference party @the Museum.
DrForr: Late night? Amateurs. Tuesday night I did have to leave early as I was speaking on Wednesday, but I was out talking with friends 'til about 1. The party at the art museum was a bit loud near the end; it was actually hard to hear people over the music, so I ended up grabbing some friends and finding a quieter bar, and closed them out :) I did nearly fall out of my quasi-chair laughing when the DJ played two tracks from /Deadpool/ back-to-back, though. Wash, rinse, repeat – pretty much did the same thing throughout the week, I don't think I got to bed before 2 after the first day. I know pretty much everyone at these things, so YAPCs are generally an opportunity for me to just hang out with friends. Speaking about languages that I happen to like is just a bonus.
BIP: Last but not least, what’s your feedback for the conference as a whole - venue, organizing, talks, everything?
DrForr: For me the conference is really a useful excuse to hang out with friends, and on that note it worked admirably. The weather cooperated except for one day when it looked as if we might have to deal with a downpour, but you can't control that. WiFi was spotty at times, but most places can't deal with the load we put on the network, so that's no surprise. The organization was practically invisible, as it should be. Looking for the actual venue on a mobile phone was awkward because of some responsiveness issues, but I managed to make it in time for my talk (even though I live within 30 minutes' walk of the venue.) I was a bit upset that there wasn't more Perl 6 talks, but the introduction of other languages made up for it.
Aza: Great job to the organizers! Thank you very much for making this conference be awesome!
Mihai: It’s nice to see that you can attend important tech conferences in Romania. I knew Amalia prior to the event so I was sure that the organizing team is the best team available. The venue and the food were amazing. Some of the talks were way above my league but I managed to understand most of the talks I’ve attended. It’s good to see that the language itself and its community has a future and I’m glad that I participated.Tweet