Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Newbie is Sent in YAPC::ASIA

I had a chance to attend YAPC::ASIA as a Send-a-Newbie awardee from the Enlightened Perl Organisation (EPO). It was the first time that the awardee is sent the the Perl event in Asia. The event was held on August 28-30, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.

It also was the first time for me to attend the event outside the country and in the country that I can't speak their local language(I used to take 2 Japanese course but I almost forget it all since I didn't use it). 

The first person who I expected to meet is Ribasushi (Peter Rabbitson) since he was only EPO member in the event. I guessed he might be well known among Perl/CPAN developers but I confess that I didn't know him before (because I'm a really newbie) :D

Finally we met, in the line to check in thank you that he was very noticeable (a long hair guy).



Big thanks to the organizer for free ticket for student as I'm studying in a master degree. I've got student for 3 days of the event but I didn't get event goodies anyway.

YAPC::ASIA Day 0


The event started in the evening, all of the talks are in Japanese I knew from the schedule I also met Daisuke Maki here, it seemed he has known me already since he was one of organizers that I was a newbie awardee to this event.


I had a small talk I feel that I got warning from him that all the talks are in Japanese but I doesn't problem at all! I can understand some from the slide and I like to be in the event to see how the event goes. I did talk only with Non-Japanese guys – Sawyer X and Abigail. Funny that I think I was only a female hacker in the hall I hope could see more Japanese Perl hackers.

Seem the interesting part is the night in the pub. Thanks beer that helps shy Japanese be more talkative . I had some conversation with some Japanese people I think they understand what I said but they couldn't reply much anyway I got a lot of apologize from them that they aren't good at English even I think I didn't deserve it but I understand that that was a Japanese thing.



YAPC::ASIA Day 1

I got a bad starting in this day, I caught the wrong train – the express train didn't stop at Hiyoshi station which is opposite to the venue. So I missed the opening :(. I attended classes which English is used from speaker and slide subtitle like class from Abigail, Dan Kogai, Ribasushi and Googod (Kang-min Liu) etc.

A lovely thing is I got Bento (Japanese lunch box), I think this is very asian thing that I didn't know it also happen in Japan. In Thailand, we always provide lunch box in any event.



I also met Karen Pauley at noon while I'm having lunch in the garden nearby. It was a nice meeting! She is really nice and friendly.

Unfortunately, that I didn't know about signing for the dinner that night so I missed the dinner as well as the free beer in the bar cause it fill-filled by people. Seem that day wasn't my day but I got of fun with people though.

YAPC::ASIA Day 2

This day most of the talks in the morning are in Japanese. I attended some classes and enjoy talking with people around the event. I met some people who bought only 1 day ticket, had a talk with Fiona – a recruiter from booking.com I feel like I was persuaded to work for booking.com (lol) event if I didn't talk to her booking.com is one of the company that I like to work with and I would apply for sure if I didn't have to study. There was a lot of interesting class today as always I attended a class from Sawyer X, Andy Delcambre and FUJU Goro etc.

In the afternoon, I've got a bag T-shirt and souvenirs with the magic of Ribasushi. I don't know how he got it. I hope that he didn't anything illegal to bring me these stuffs ;)


However, big thanks to Ribasushi for that. It was a really nice of him!

This is my personal perspective about this event and what I have learn so far. Please leave me any comment if there's any point I misunderstand.

What I like:
  • I like all of the talks I have attend they are really useful to me to learn to improve my technical skill
  • I met so many cool people and got to learn a lot from them
  • The event was really nice with well organized, I learnt about how to event is set up and hopefully I can make it happens in Thailand at least in Bangkok.pm
  • A lot of food, drink and snack :D

  • The venue is good to access (if you aren't lost from Japanese train like me)

What I don't like:
  • Most of the talks are in Japanese without English sub-title
  • No English audio translation from Japanese. Anyway I know from Daisuke Maki that it costs a lot of money for that and there weren't so much attendees who knows or use English. It isn't worth it.
  • The venue is a bit too small for number of attendees and I think the organizer is aware of that

What could be better:
  • News on the official are also in Japanese, that would be great if there's also English version at least some information that we should know
  • I think slide in sub-title would be really helpful. I think we should try to help speakers to translate slide this way maybe cheaper than English audio

However, I knew that most of the talks are in Japanese but there are still some of talks in English. I'm aware of that point I sent an email to Yusuke Wada about the languages which are used in the event before I wrote the proposal to go to YAPC::ASIA. I realize that the organizer also try to convince people who uses English to come to event by invite English speakers. I think we shouldn't let the language to be the wall to obstruct us by not going to this event because we have to same language which is Perl language. As I wrote on my application to Send-A-Newbie program, I wanted to participate in YAPC is not only because I want to meet cool Perl hackers and attend their talks but also I want to see how the event goes, how to set up and organize in such a big event. I have a dream that YAPC::ASIA will be like YAPC::EU or YAPC::NA that the host or organizers is rotated every years in each country in Asia. I wish Bangkok.pm and Perl developers and host YAPC one day eventually.

What I have learn so far is I realize myself that I'm really newbie for the Perl community. I met a lot of people, listened and acknowledged about what they said but I couldn't have anything to response or give them back because I never have experience about. I should be more 'giver' because I was given a lot. For example, I didn't have much technical skill about CPAN since I'm not a CPAN author and never have module released.  I'm a Perl user I used Perl module to solve my business problem but I never try to make a new module to share others. I got inspired to learn more and give more to this community.


Finally, big thanks to The Enlightened Perl Organisation for bringing me in YAPC::ASIA, Mark Keating and Ribasushi as a local representative from EPO. Thanks for free (student) ticket and well-organised from the organiser. Also, thank you all people I have met for a warm welcome and friendly environment.





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

OPW Ending for Beginning

The Outreach Program for Women #8 has been ended for days in August 18th. This is probably my last work report. Although, the program is finished but my work hasn't finished yet not only because I got trouble of my internet connection for few days last week that result in I couldn't work much but also I want to keep working on MetaCPAN as a contributor and maintainer.

Last time I posted the proposal about changing search result page. I want to say thank you for those who donated their time and gave me a really helpful comments to improve this feature. I had an idea came up back and float there are some ideas to put the tab into horizontal on the left side which is almost the blank space now put this could cause confusing and not so good appearance in mobile version. So, I'm work on the design to make UI improvement display nicely in any devices. That feature is also my last task from OPW timeline.

For me the finishing program doesn't mean I should stop doing Perl or working MetaCPAN but I think it was just a milestone to set me more freedom to contribute more in other FOSS Projects. It's ending to start new thing for me. What I plan to do after OPW are
  • I'm going to join YAPC::ASIA in the end of this month and surely I will share you the event report after I'm back to Thailand on this blog please still follow my blog and my post if you like to see. I will also travel a little while in Japan after the event finished.
  • I'm looking for a freelance work I'm trying to take a part in more project what I'm interested in now is DuckDuckGo from to my passion in search engine technology. Also any other FOSS prjects, please let me know if you know any of it I'm happy to help even it's a free work as long as it's cool project ;)
  • I'm going to study in a master degree in Germany in October in the Clausthal University of Technology. It locates in northwestern Germany close to Hannover. See you Hannover.pm !
Finally, I want to say thank you to …
      The Perl Foundation to give me such a great chance to work on MetaCPAN.
      GNOME Foundation to establish this cool program.
      MetaCPAN and my mentors Randy Stauner, Olaf Alders and Thomas Sibley for your time to give me learning so many things.
      Contributors and users of MetaCPAN for your comments and suggestions to me in any issue I worked on and they're really useful for me learn in many perspectives.

Thank you so much !

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Work report and sketch of new MetaCPAN result page.

Last week I worked on API Document reorganizing, it sounds simple but not for me because in order to arrange it we should understand the content especially technical content. I spent a while to understand the document and how the API works. Finally it has been done.

There're only 2 weeks left in my OPW program, I'm going to utilize my skill on a new feature of MetaCPAN. The new feature is introduce the new type-based search result page. The original idea is from issue #287 on metacpan-web. The idea is providing user search result in specific result data type. For example, display only distributions or authors which is relevant to the query on result page.


 I'm presenting the prospective search result page to be in tabs which contain each type of data e.g. distribution, modules and authors. This is the sketch to prove to idea:













I will appreciate with any suggestion or comment whether you like it or not. Please left the comment and discuss about this feature on Github. Thank you in advance ! 

This is quite a big change of MetaCPAN for me. I'm really excited with this task and I'm looking forward to implementing it. :D

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Work report and a lovely story.

Most of my work in past 2 weeks is fix the existing issue and improve code quality.

I have 2 major tasks that needed to be done first which are Bootstrap upgrading and Open ID login.

The Bootstrap almost completely done waiting for code review but for the Open ID the I've got test failure that I can't solve it until now. It is a bit weird that first time when I implemented it I made the test function and proved it and it worked properly but it failed after I pushed to Github. That sounds crazy but it's real. I still keep fixing it with my mentor help.

I don't have any thing much too talk about my work since it's quite similar with last topic update and I still fix my code again and again.

I have a lovely story that I want to share. There was a girl came to ask me about how to contribute Open Source ( I think maybe she is reading this post). I was figuring out a while – this is an open question that has so many answers for me. For me I think the best way to get start is finding what we like to do. I think if we have a passion or inspiration on it that would be easy to get through it. I told her to find the Open Source project and trying to find the contributor or maintainer of the project. I'm sure that those people in the Open Source always be nice with a newbie as I have experienced and they could help her to get start. Of course I can help her to get start with Perl or MetaCPAN but since she is absolutely new I think she could choose which technology she likes to learn.

She wants to contribute to Open Source because she wants to make some small contribution before she can apply for the OPW program next round. Although, I think it's a bit too early to contract a mentor before the time of the application submission and we don't know yet which organizations are going to participate in next round and who volunteer to be mentors. However, be ready and well prepare is always more impressive. So just told her to prepare for the technology that organization is using and self study.


Overall, I want to share this story because I'm so impressed with her motivation and education in her environment. She is younger than me and she is still a student. I believe she will get 'multi-view' of study from the OPW which I didn't experience in my school life I would say. I think every program in the Open Source community – Google Summer of Code or The Outreach Program for Women are really cool program that I wish I have known that since I was in the university. It didn't happen anyway but I wish I could share this such a great program to Thai students to learn more and get involved in the Open Source community as I have been. I'm so happy that I have a chance to give that girl some advice and I hope in could do more. So if someone reading my blog please feel free to contract me to help even I'm also a newbie too! :)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Obstacle in half way of OPW.

Now, I have been working on week 8 of The Outreach Program for Women program with proposal to work on the index issue of MetaCPAN search. But my timeline a bit messed up now since the time block has been split into Bootstrap upgrading and fixing the broken as an effect from new Bootstrap.

I’m supposed to work on the new things but I cannot since I have to complete the current pull requests with fixing and cleaning a mess I made. 

For me, I think this is some kind of classic problems in software development life cycle — it’s hard to make the code perfect in the first solution especially when you lack of experience. Even that’s the best solution in that moment but may not last long. It still need be maintained, fixed and improved like an endless development. 
  
For me the difficult thing to be a programmer is when you have to ‘estimate' when the job will be done but the more difficult thing seems to be make it 'completely done' in the time you have estimated. We will never know whether the job is difficult or not until we work on that which I think it’s a challenge of programmer job that people like. 


However, we did estimate and we are overdue sounds better than no estimation and no goal. Then we could learn about our performance and speed in each job.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bootstrap 3 migration and some funny ideas.

I have spending a week to upgrade Bootstrap from version 2 to 3, although it wasn’t in my original proposal but it is my new purpose to work on that because I think we could move to future and it is time consumed task resulted in no one has time to do it but now I’m working on it for full time. I could donate my time to do that. I really appreciate my mentors for a respect for my opinion and let me keep on doing that.
I got to learn a lot about Bootstrap’s stuffs even though I got  frustrated about it but I also enjoy doing to. I think the more frustration I got the more knowledge I have learn.

This issue urge me get PAUSE id since I need to have the ID to get MetaCPAN activated and finally I have it! I’m not sure whether it’s funny or not that I have coding Perl for about 2 years but I don’t have PAUSE account. My intention was if I have had inspiration to make some new module I would register for the PAUSE account. For me I think it’s funny to have it while I’m not really CPAN author.

In my programmer life I think I have an objective when I write the code that it should be ‘effective’ and ‘efficient’ which are enough for productive work. However, one more thing I have learn recently from Open Source work and I should apply to my code is it should be ‘easy to read and understand’ as well. I realized that I never experienced this issue seriously before since I worked with the same colleagues in the same team for long while so we could understand each other coding style. But this is Open Source, programmer are from around the world even we’re coding the same language but it can result in many ways to do it. I think maybe that’s why TIMTOWTDI is extended to …  there’s more than one way to do it, but sometimes consistency is not a bad thing either (TIMTOWTDIBSCINABTE) which I think I quite agree with that ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A month on MetaCPAN - A challenge on User Experience.

I confess that I forgot to update the blog about my work, I didn't realize that I started this program for  a month today. Some says that the enjoyable time always go by so fast, I believe that's true.


My 2nd and 3rd week was about improve User Experience by fixing front-end bug such as unpleasant result in autocomplete, suggestion when user search with missing colon or guideline for Task::Kensho for CPAN beginners. Fortunately, most of my issue can incorporate in to the same pull request.


The very challenge things for me was that I worked a lot the front end stuff, I wrote a lot of CSS and JavaScript that I'm not familiar with but now I'm confident to say that I'm getting better at it. After finished issue about new look of no result page and introducing a new autocomplete plugin. Working on front-end stuffs is fun for me now :)


Everything didn't goes smoothly overall. I also had a trouble with upgrading to Bootstrap 2 to 3 that I have volunteered. I just realize it was a big change of Bootstrap many properties have been removed and rewritten.  It was a time consumed task for me to finish it and I wouldn't be able to finish my schedule if I worked on the Bootstrap upgrading only. So I had to skip it for a while and I can go back to finish it if I have time left which I really want to. Using Bootstrap new version will help my work easier and more colorful I think.


One of the thing I like in working on MetaCPAN is that there are people not only my mentors but other contributors or users to give me feed back of my work whether they like it or not and sometime with suggestion that I could bring to improve and result in better work. I like to get feedback from people and I like people review my code event it is a negative feedback. I always appreciate negative feedback with reason or suggestion.  


This week I have been working on User account -- this is also my new challenge. As I am a newbie for Open Source world. I confess that the time that I applied for OPW application was the first time that I got to know Open ID since they required the email account from Open ID service providers. And now, I trying to make MetaCPAN accept login via Open ID which is the URL. I’m a bit struggling with this task and trying to research about how it works in order to introduce it MetaCPAN application.


Now, I’m also managing to participate in some of YAPC I want to try to submit a talk about my work in OPW program. But I’m not sure if I can afford for that. I also apply for Send-a-newbie program and if I’m lucky I will be at YAPC::EU in Sofia, Bulgaria.  I’ll pray for that :)