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.


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.


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.


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 I feel like I was persuaded to work for (lol) event if I didn't talk to her 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
  • 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 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.