My first YAPC (Yet Another Perl Conference)

Last week, I went to Sofia, Bulgaria for attending YAPC::Europe, my first technical conference ever and it was next to awesome! I’m writing this blog post late, because I’ve been extremely busy with office work, house search etc. :(. Further in this post, I’ll describe each day of the conference! Oh and even before conference! 🙂

Meeting people at the airport/flight!

I flown to Sofia from Amsterdam, along with 4 other awesome colleagues, namely Sawyer X, Abigail, Valerie & Eugenia on 21st August. After reaching Sofia airport, we saw some other people (but didn’t meet! They all were new to me). Then in the taxi, I met Matt & one German guy (I don’t remember his name :(). Then in the hotel elevator, I met two guys, they both were wearing onion’s t-shirts, I asked them are they here for YAPC::Europe and the answer came out to be YES. One of those two guys was Diego (don’t remember the name of the other guy :(). In the evening, I met Theo. Then we both went to the other hotel to meet some other people. On our way to the other hotel, we met Leon (the guy behind File::Map, Module::Build::Tiny, libperl++ and threads::lite). In the other hotel, I met Su-Shee, Alex (a Greek guy), Getty & Salve. We all went to the beer party by a noisy train of Sofia :).

Pre-conference event

On the evening of 21st August, there was a beer meeting. All the beer was sponsored by this awesome company :D.

I met so many Perl people for the first time even before reaching the venue. When we got out of the train station & were finding our way to the venue. We met Yana, a Bulgarian girl, who got to know that we were there for YAPC::Europe by t-shirts of some of us. She took us to the venue & also ordered vegan french fries & baked potatoes for me :).

In the bar, I met lots of people, so here is the list:

  • Abigail (I introduced myself to him again, because of my poor memory :()
  • Curtis Poe
  • Olivier Mengué
  • H. Merijn Brand (aka Tux) & his wife
  • Jeff Goff
  • Marian Marinov
  • Peter Rabbitson
  • Maya
  • Hristian
  • Markov
  • Rick Deller
  • Alex (a Bulgarian girl, working for Eligo Recruitment in London)
  • Julian
  • R. Geoffrey Avery
  • Julian F.

I met some more people, but I don’t remember their names :(. Their description is as follows:

  • A Bulgarian guy, working at some Bulgarian company. He told me that his company uses so much of old Perl things. He also told me that he hates Moose, because of so many dependencies.
  • Another Bulgarian guy, me, Hristian & him were discussing similarities between India & Bulgaria, legalisation of drugs in Netherlands etc.
  • A French girl, whom I bugged a lot (asking about how she got her food :)).

First day of the conference


  • Perl secrets by Mihai Pop
  • Some Dist::Zilla::Plugin:: best practices by Olivier
  • How to Fake a Database Design by Curtis
  • Video and audio with Perl and DLNA (and Chromecast) by Max Maischein
  • Open source deep sky images using perl by StrayTaoist
  • Get Me to the Pub Please by Sue Spence

People I met

  • Amalia Aida Pomian
  • Gianni Ceccarelli aka dakkar
  • Tadeusz Sośnierz aka Tadzik
  • bulk88
  • Mihaela Gordon
  • Some girls from Romania
  • Tatsuro Hisamori
  • Ilmari
  • Kang Min Liu
  • Ksenia Bobrova
  • Two Bulgarian guys in the car (again, don’t remember their names :()
  • A Romanian girl who came to the’s booth, but again my terrible memory! 😦


Unfortunately, I didn’t like the food served at the dinner. There were only salads for vegans :(. But the dessert was awesome! :). Also, there were fantastic Bulgarian dance performances, which everyone enjoyed a lot.

Second day of the conference


I came late to the conference, because I had to practice for my talk (which was on the third day of the conference) & I was too tired last night! :(. I didn’t attend any talks today, except lightning talks & Mst’s keynote.
I myself gave a lightning talk, so I had to prepare for that also. It was not pre-planned at all, Hakim & Karen Pauley (on IRC) asked me to present a 1 min session about GNOME’s Outreach Program for Women, but when I started working on it, I realized that it’s a good topic for a lightning talk because the information was too much to present in 1 min. I made slides one hour before the talk & gave the talk with a little bit of preparation. If you didn’t like it, then blame Hakim & Karen for encouraging me to present it :P.

Also, I got my copy of Ovid’s Beginning Perl signed by him, though the message he wrote was not good :P. I got a copy of Programming Perl from Sawyer & Ovid, thank you both :).

People I met

  • Xan Tronix
  • Wendy
  • Liz
  • Robert (a guy from Sweden)
  • Jonathan (not Jonathan Worthington)
  • Two Bulgarian guys who helped me with setting up everything before my lightning talk, again my terrible memory 😦

I met many other people also, but again my terrible memory! 😦


Food was good. We (Sawyer, Theo, Maya, Peter, Robert, Jonathan, Julian, Tux & his wife) all walked for around 45 or so in search of a good vegan place & we found one, thanks to Peter & Maya :D. I had Indian daal-bhat here & embarassed myself by giving a wierd look when waitress brought my dish :D. But food was not bad. We all enjoyed a lot there.

Third (& last :() day of the conference


I saw Sawyer’s talk about Plack for fun & profit, but mostly profit, it was a good talk. After that, I gave my main talk which was about Moose structured exceptions work I did last summer as part of the GNOME’s Outreach Program for Women. I’m not going to share the video & embarass myself, because I’m too loud in that video, sort of shouting :(.

People I met

  • A guy from Czech Republic, who asked a question about my lightning talk. Again, my terrible memory!
  • Robert Rothenberg, who asked how we can use structured exceptions for dealing with HTTP form handlers. I’ll email you the concerned material soon (after taking permission of the concerned person :)).
  • Some Spanish people, who will organize YAPC::EU next year at Granada, Spain. Again, my terrible memory! 😦
  • Kamen Naydenov


I had tasty rice and vegetables in a restaurant booked by conference organizers. Beside the restaurant, there was a beautiful place & everyone got busy in capturing it in their cameras.


After attending my first technical conference, I learnt some things, which will be helpful for me (and probably you as well) in my future conferences:

  • Wear your conference t-shirts, it helps a lot in recognising you!
  • I should take some fruits with me everytime I go to a conference. Because, some countries are not really vegan friendly & the vegan dishes they serve are not as per my Indian taste
  • I should low down my voice while talking.
  • I should spend more time with my colleagues, if not in the office, then may be at these conferences! I have got awesome colleagues like Eugenia, Sawyer, Gugod, Abigail & Valerie, they all helped me a lot. I’ve not yet met one of my colleagues who was present at the conference, looking forward to meet him in office sometime! 🙂
  • I should keep attending such conferences, because it’ll be a good exercise for my terrible memory. I’ll be able to remember people if I’ll meet them again and again!

Slides of my talks:

  • Moose structured exceptions : Source -> in this gist, slides -> here
  • Lightning talk about GNOME’s Outreach Program for Women : Source -> in this gist, slides -> here


I want to say thanks to these organizations because sponsored my trip:

  • The GNOME Foundation
  • The Perl Foundations
  • Enlightened Perl Organization

A big thanks to the conference organizer Marian Marinov for organizing such a fantastic conference! 🙂


At last, I want to say to all my folks who I met at the conference that please stay in touch & keep making such conferences awesome. See you all at Granada next year! 🙂

4 thoughts on “My first YAPC (Yet Another Perl Conference)

  1. Congratulations Upasana. Well narrated.
    Hope this will inspire more Indian guys to attend YAPC in future. Let’s hope that active Perl community in India grows that can help us to bid for a Perl event in India too. Good luck for your assignment/work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s