YAPC::Asia 2010

YAPC::Asia is over.  Actually the conference ended over a week ago but for me it only finished when my house guests left.  Miyagawa said, “actually it gets over once you blog it, so if you haven’t, blog it now”.   I’ve been so busy that I haven’t blogged about anything in weeks, but it’s about time I said something about the conference.

YAPC::Asia is still the biggest YAPC in the world, this year with 518 registered attendees.  I don’t believe that they all turned up on the day, but there were still a lot of people there.  Well, a lot of men, as less than 3% of the attendees were female.

For me YAPC::Asia is very different than YAPC::NA or YAPC::EU.  At the other conferences the social aspect is very important but in Asia I have a language problem.  There is some sort of hallway track, though it seemed mostly a outdoor picnic track, but I wouldn’t easily be able to participate.  I also become much too tired to attend the evening social events as hours of listening to Japanese tires me out.  (Since moving to Japan I have nothing but admiration for the conference attendees and speakers I meet who are always dealing with their non-native language).

The conference is very quiet at the opening and becomes fairly noisy by the time the lightning talks begin at the end of the day.  Larry Wall opened the conference and I had to try not to giggle too loudly at some of his dreadful puns and word-plays as most of the audience was listening in respectful silence.  I have been told by speakers that it can be very difficult speaking in Asia as you don’t get a lot of feedback from the audience during your talk.  Jesse Vincent overcame that problem during his keynote.  He managed to get the twitter stream scrolling across his slides during his talk which made it one of the most interactive talks I’ve seen at a YAPC::Asia.

I’m always impressed by how much effort the volunteers put into organising the conference and there is no doubt that this conference was well organised.  This is one thing, however, that I would change.  There was no scheduled lunch break.  This meant that I left the conference at around 1pm and missed the talks that were scheduled at that time.  I don’t think this was really fair on the speakers as I imagine that many people left to eat lunch.  It also lead to a bit of confusion around what was happening at lunch as people tried to work out if there was a mistake in the schedule or not.

It was the last conference I plan to attend this year, and I’m glad it was a good one.

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