My second YAPC & first YAPC::NA

Last week, I went to the Salt Lake City for attending my second YAPC & first YAPC::NA. It was an awesome experience. This blog post is about the whole journey from Amsterdam to the Salt Lake City.

Pre-trip chaos

It’s not about trip, but I guess I should write this section for people who need visa for going to the USA. I had hard time in getting the US visa in the past. My US visa application was rejected twice in the last year. This is how it went this time:

  1. I had my US visa interview at the US embassy in Amsterdam on 8th May.
  2. Questions/things which they asked me:
    • Why do you want to go to the USA?
      • A technical conference.
    • Who’s sponsoring your trip?
      • My employer.
    • For how long you will stay there?
      • 6 days.
    • Where do you work?
    • For how long you have been working in the Amsterdam?
      • Around 9 months.
    • Do you know anyone in the US?
      • Yes, conference organizers.
    • Why your visa application got rejected twice?
      • I don’t know, they didn’t tell me any reason.
    • Invitation letter from my company.
      • I had it.
    • They asked me for more information about the conference.
      • I didn’t have it.
    • They asked me to email the above information & then they will take a decision.
  3. I emailed them the letter after a week or so.
  4. They called to my office number, just to check if I’m an impostor or not😀.
  5. Then I checked with them multiple times if they are going to give me the visa or not.
  6. Finally, I got the visa on 4th June, just 2 days before I boarded my flight.
  7. I carried my flight tickets, hotel booking confirmation, job contract, passport, residence card (of the Netherlands), documents related to the conference like screenshots of the website, letters from the conference organizers.

The best part is that I have got this visa for ten years, so I won’t need to apply for it in the next ten years atleast😀

Pre-conference days

I arrived in the beautiful Salt Lake City on 6th June, saturday. First day (saturday) was mostly spent in sleeping in the hotel room. On Sunday, I went to Red Iguana for eating awesome Mexican food (I highly recommend this place for foodies) along with Mickey, Stevan, Brad & Jeff. In the evening, I went to the Himalayan Kitchen for the anti-arrival dinner.

First day of the conference

On the first day, I came late to the conference venue because I was mostly busy with preparing for my talk. When I came to the venue, people told me that I got shout-outs for my work on Moose exceptions. But I was not there to see it, thanks to everyone who praised my work.

Then I gave my talk. It was so so, if you will ignore the Q&A part. After the Q&A part, I felt that I didn’t convey the message well, but I was expecting the sort of response I got from the audience. I didn’t intend to convey that Perl is dead. I just pointed out some problems which could be reasons of why Perl is not so popular. I was not so excited about giving this talk & I think I will never give such a talk again.

Here is the list of people who helped me in one or the other way for gathering the data for my talk slides:

  1. Chris Prather
  2. Stevan Little
  3. Sebastian Riedel
  4. John Anderson
  5. Gabor Szabo
  6. Neil Bowers
  7. Stanislaw Pusep
  8. Wim Vanderbauwhede
  9. Ranjib Dey
  10. Joel Berger
  11. Ricardo Signes
  12. Ron Abraham
  13. vijaykumar.tater
  14. Suman
  15. Josh Alvord
  16. Nate Glenn
  17. leobetosouza
  18. Toad Warrior
  19. Dan Wright
  20. mykyoyo
  21. Steven Haryanto
  22. Himanshu Gusain
  23. Paul Fenwick
  24. David Wheeler
  25. mjlush
  26. Brian D Foy
  27. Breno
  28. Dave Cross
  29. Olivier Mengue
  30. gizmobathboy
  31. John Anderson
  32. Brian Wisti
  33. John Napiorkowski
  34. Sawyer X
  35. Matthew Horsfall
  36. Wendy
  37. Curtis Poe

I think I’ve not missed anyone, but if I’ve missed your name, then please let me know & I will add you (If you want me to remove your name then please contact me & I will remove it). I’d like to thank above people (& people who I might have missed in the above list) for helping me directly or indirectly.

After my talk, a guy asked me to email my slides to him, but I lost the paper on which I wrote his email😦. So, whoever you were, please check this. Then, I went to The Sages for eating food & I did get edible food (so called Ethiopian food) there, so I highly recommend it if you just want eat something edible in the Salt Lake City.

Second day of the conference

On the second day, I attended some talks, but I loved this one the most : Q&A with Larry Wall (not really a talk).

I also liked these talks:

Third day of the conference

On the third day of the conference, I didn’t really attend any talks, because I met Ingy. Then he started showing me what he has been doing. Long list of his projects! You should check his github account for more details😀. It’s always a pleasure to talk to Ingy, I get to know about something new whenever I talk to him.

Then, I signed Shawn and Thomas’ GPG keys & also got my keys signed by both of them. It was the first time, I signed someone’s keys. I didn’t know how to do that, but Shawn taught me.

In the evening, I went to the mountains with Ingy, Shawn & Nick in Ingy’s car. It was an awesome experience. We also went to David’s house.

Pictures

Here are some pictures from my trip.

People I met

  1. Karen Pauley
  2. Wendy
  3. Elizabeth Mattijsen (Liz)
  4. Jeff Goff
  5. Theo Van Hoessel
  6. Sawyer
  7. Mickey
  8. Abigail
  9. R Geoffrey Avery
  10. Stevan Little
  11. Pete Sergeant
  12. Curtis Poe
  13. Ribasushi
  14. Eugenia
  15. bulk88
  16. Ingy Dot Net

People I met for the first time

  1. Larry Wall (proof)
  2. Tim Bunce
  3. Dan Wright
  4. Michael
  5. Dave Rolsky
  6. Huey-Ling Chen (Dave’s wife)
  7. Yaakov Sloman
  8. Yanick
  9. Brad Lhotsky
  10. Selina
  11. Reini Urban
  12. Jay Hannah
  13. Will Brasswell
  14. Matthew Horsfall
  15. Brian Wisti
  16. Jason May
  17. Ricardo Signes
  18. VM Brasseur
  19. Brian (don’t know his surname, a tall guy)
  20. Andrew
  21. Joel Berger
  22. Daina
  23. Tim H
  24. Liz
  25. James E. Keenan
  26. Walt Mankowski
  27. Mark Gardener
  28. Steve Scaffidi
  29. David Oswald
  30. Thomas Sibley
  31. David Golden
  32. Nick Patch
  33. Shawn Moore

There must be many more people, but my terrible memory!😦 It was a pleasure to meet such great people. Looking forward to meet them again.

Thanks

I would like to thank these people (or organizations):

  • David Oswald for becoming my contact person in the US.
  • Dan Wright for giving me the invitation letter.
  • Organizers of YAPC::NA, for organizing such a great conference. I loved it & looking forward to the next one🙂.
  • My employeer for sponsoring my trip.
  • Shawn for teaching me how to sign GPG keys.
  • To everyone else who talked to me at the conference, just for talking to me.

3 thoughts on “My second YAPC & first YAPC::NA

  1. Wow, your VISA application process looks mostly painless compared to what I had to go through in Poland🙂

    First answering the long, long questionnaire with more and more bizzare questions, such as:
    – have you ever performed an abortion?
    – do you have any experience with chemical weaponry?
    – and my all-time favourite: when you were a political leader of a country did you ever start a war on religious reasons?

    If you think that’s absurd, wait to hear about the way of paying for the visa appointment (yes, appointment, so a chance to get a visa, not the visa itself). Aside from the fact that it was about a quarter of an income of some families I know, I didn’t just have to make a bank transfer, no. They asked me for which bank I’m in, then my client ID and a password, and then for an SMS confirmation code. It could’ve been just a customized frontend to all the banks they know, or maybe they really needed to look through my bank account history for some reason.

    Then I got to go to the actual appointment; was not allowed to bring a book or a phone or anything, so I had to spend about 2 or 3 hours in a line, watching a TV demonstration in which the ambassador talks how we’re such a big, important ally of the US and killing time reading magazines which advertised individual states. I got to know a lot about Maryland that morning.

    Then eventually it was my turn to do my conversation with the consul. “Hey, he said, where are you going?” — “Hey, Texas” — “Hey, how long?” — “Hey, 3 days” — “Okay, here’s your visa for 10 years”. No tricky questions, nothing like that, a short and happy conversation. They also told me that I’d need another visa if I ever want to go to work for facebook or something, and I resisted the temptation of saying that they’d have to make me the fucking president before I ever agree to go through this bullshit again.

    I’m glad your YAPC experience was as good as I remember it though🙂 Thanks for putting up the slides, I’m looking forward to looking through them.

  2. Wow, your VISA application process looks mostly painless compared to what I had to go through in Poland🙂

    First answering the long, long questionnaire with more and more bizzare questions, such as:
    – have you ever performed an abortion?
    – do you have any experience with chemical weaponry?
    – and my all-time favourite: when you were a political leader of a country did you ever start a war on religious reasons?

    If you think that’s absurd, wait to hear about the way of paying for the visa appointment (yes, appointment, so a chance to get a visa, not the visa itself). Aside from the fact that it was about a quarter of an income of some families I know, I didn’t just have to make a bank transfer, no. They asked me for which bank I’m in, then my client ID and a password, and then for an SMS confirmation code. It could’ve been just a customized frontend to all the banks they know, or maybe they really needed to look through my bank account history for some reason.

    Then I got to go to the actual appointment; was not allowed to bring a book or a phone or anything, so I had to spend about 2 or 3 hours in a line, watching a TV demonstration in which the ambassador talks how we’re such a big, important ally of the US and killing time reading magazines which advertised individual states. I got to know a lot about Maryland that morning.

    Then eventually it was my turn to do my conversation with the consul. “Hey, he said, where are you going?” — “Hey, Texas” — “Hey, how long?” — “Hey, 3 days” — “Okay, here’s your visa for 10 years”. No tricky questions, nothing like that, a short and happy conversation. They also told me that I’d need another visa if I ever want to go to work for facebook or something, and I resisted the temptation of saying that they’d have to make me the fucking president before I ever agree to go through this bullshit again.

    I’m glad your YAPC experience was as good as I remember it though🙂 Thanks for putting up the slides, I’m looking forward to looking through them.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s