Pittsburgh Perl Workshop 2011 - Survey Results


The following survey results are a simple presentation of the raw data. No attempt has been made to analyse the data and compare with previous years. See forthcoming PDFs for more in depth analysis.

Click on pie charts to view larger image version.


These questions will help us understand who our attendees are.


Attendees: pie chart

48No Response
41Response Percentage

Age Band:

Age Band: pie chart

1under 20
420 - 29
1530 - 39
1340 - 49
150 - 59
060 and over

Job Type:

If your position covers many roles, please base this on your most senior responsibility. Also base this on the role you perform, rather than your job title. For example, a 'QA Developer' would be a 'Developer' role, and 'Information Manager' would a Manager role (Technical or Non-Technical depending upon your responsibilites)

Job Type: pie chart

5CEO/Company Director/Senior Manager
0Non-Technical Manager
4Technical Manager
2Technical Architect/Analyst
0Human Resources


If you or your company undertake work within mulitple industry sectors, please select the primary one you are currently working within.

Industry: pie chart

7IT Services


Please note this is the region you were a resident in, prior to attending the conference.

Region: pie chart

30United States
0South America

The Perl Community, YAPCs & Workshops

These questions are designed to help us understand our attendees level of involvement in the Perl community.

How do you rate your Perl knowledge?


How many previous YAPCs have you attended?

9Never attended one
Attended YAPCs12345678910111213total
YAPC::Australia / OSDC::Australia1------------1
YAPC::Israel / OSDC::Israel1------------1

How many previous Perl Workshops have you attended?

12This was my first workshop
Attended Workshops12345678910...17total
Pittsburgh Perl Workshop 51253-----...-48
Frozen Perl Workshop 121-------...-8
Perl Oasis Workshop -21-------...-7
any European Perl Workshops 1-----1--1...135

Do you plan to attend a future YAPC/Workshop?

0Don't Know

If no, could you tell us why?

Particularly if this is your first Workshop, we would like to understand why you would not be able or interested in attending another event like it.

  • All the talks assumed a level of knowledge that was beyond me. I would need to attend a perl bootcamp before I could relate to these people.
  • Informative small conference + meeting new smart people => score!

Are you a member of a local Perl Mongers user group?


If not, do you plan to find one or start one?

1Don't Know

What other areas of the Perl Community do you contribute to?

16I'm a CPAN Author
2I'm a CPAN Tester
5I'm a Perl project developer (eg Rakudo, Catalyst, TAP, Padre, etc)
12I have a technical blog (e.g. on blogs.perl, use.perl or a personal blog)
12I use or contribute to PerlMonks or other Perl forums
14I use IRC (e.g. #perl, #yapc, or #london.pm)
9I contribute to Perl mailing lists (e.g. P5P, Perl QA, etc)
4other ...

If 'Other' please enter your area of contribution

  • I help to code/organize where I can
  • jointly provide blogs.perl.org hosting
  • various

Pittsburgh Perl Workshop 2011

Regarding Pittsburgh Perl Workshop 2011 specifically, please answer the following as best you can.

When did you decide to come to this conference?

11I'm now a regular Pittsburgh Perl Workshop attendee
5After YAPC::NA 2010 in Columbus, Ohio
0After joining the Facebook event group
0I was nominated to attend by manager/colleague
4I was recommended to attend by friend/colleague
0After reading an ad in a magazine
2After seeing a link or advert on a Perl specific site
0After seeing a link or advert on a non-Perl site
2After reading an email sent to a mailing list I was in
2After seeing other promotions online/in the press
7other ...

If 'Other', what else helped you decide?

  • $WORK sponsored, so they wanted to have someone present.
  • ACT conferences lis
  • apeiron told me to
  • as soon as I realized I could get the time off of work
  • Blackwell invited me
  • google search for perl info
  • Noticed a holiday put me in the vicinity at the right time

Were you a speaker?

Note that "similar conferences" includes other Workshops and/or YAPCs, as well as Linux, Open Source or large technical events.

2No, but I have spoken before at similar conferences
11Yes, and I have spoken before at similar conferences
3Yes, and it was my first time as a speaker

If you were a speaker, would you have been able to attend if you hadn't been speaking?


If you weren't a speaker, would you consider speaking at a future conference?

7Ask me later

What was your motivation for coming?

15the list of speakers
13the quality of the talks scheduled
12to be a speaker
23to meet with Perl/project co-contributors
25to socialise with Perl geeks
11to visit Pittsburgh
5other ...

If 'Other' please let us know your motivation for coming

  • Because of Tom's kick ass coffee!!!!!!!!!!!
  • last year was great, so I wanted to do it again
  • learn more about the perl community and perl issues.
  • Seemed silly not to come, since I was so close anyway
  • Wanted to visit the PPW for quite some time.

What aspects of the conference do you feel gave value for money?

27the talks / speakers
23the conference venue
16the city of Pittsburgh
21the hallway track
23the attendees
5other ...

If 'Other', what else did you think was value for money?

  • everything...this workshop is a bargain!
  • food!
  • great swag too
  • phat lewts
  • Tom's coffee

Did you have holiday planned around your workshop attendance?

20I came just for the workshop
1several days before only
71 day before only
0several days before and after
31 day after only
2several days after only

Were there any talks you wanted to see, but missed due to clashes in the schedule?


If 'Yes', which talks did you miss?

There are always conflicts in the schedule, as it's difficult to know what everyone would like to see. However, if you could list a few talks that you missed, it would give speakers an idea whether it would be worth updating their talks for furture events.

2A Dominus Chrestomathy by Mark Jason Dominus
2Baking in transparency by Matt Simmons
2Bringing Perl to a Python/Matlab fight by Joe Kline
2InfoSec: The Advanced Persistent Adversary and You by Brad Lhotsky
2Intro to Dancer by Mark Allen
2Postmodern Module Packaging by Ingy döt Net
2Usability testing by Jure Kodzoman
1A Brave New Perl World by Stevan Little
1Demystifying pack and unpack by Walt Mankowski
1Devops with Perl at Linode by Mike Greb
1Managing Large Deployments or How Dev and Ops Can Live Happily Together by Cory Watson
1Off the Beaten Track by Ted Rodgers
1Programming WebGUI: WebGUI 8 as a Web App Framework by Scott Walters
1Scripting Things - How to use Perl to interface with devices by Hans Scharler
1The Art and Science of Debugging, Some Techniques by Brock Wilcox

Additional comments:

  • All of Sunday.
  • I wish I could have gone to the entire hardware hacking session, it was awesome. I ended up leaving for some other talks and wishing I had just stayed in the hacking session. Other than that, I would have loved to have gone to all the talks. Hard to make a specific list.

Were there any speakers not present, who you would like to have seen at the conference?


If 'Yes', which speakers?

7Damian Conway
3Larry Wall
2Chip Salzenberg
2Matt S Trout
1Michael Schwern
1Piers Cawley
1Paul Fenwick
1Ricardo Signes
1Shawn Moore
1Tom Christiansen

Additional comments:

  • Lots, but that would be true anywhere
  • Most of the ones you mentioned canceling as a result of YAPC::Asia. :-)

What kinds of talks would you prefer at future Pittsburgh Perl Workshops?

1More beginner level talks
3More intermediate level talks
5More advanced level talks
20It's about right
4No preference

Are there any topics you would specifically like to see featured?

  • It would be cool to have a 50 minute beginner style talk on how to begin programming object oriented Perl for people who are just beginning to use OO or who want to start using it. Also I'd like to see a 20 minute talk on using perl -d.
  • Just in a general sense, I would really like to see more talks that take a specific problem and show how perl was used to address the challenge.
  • ModPerl
  • More around the space where hardware and Perl meet. Hans Scharler did a really good job.
  • Perl 6
  • Talks at Perl conferences seem to fall into one of two categories: either pure engineering, with a lot of good code without a lot of discussion of real-world applications; or specific coverage of real-world applications (like the Linode or debugging talks) that are mostly on the "soft" side. Both of these are great, but it'd be nice to see more code in the presentations that are light on them.
  • The sys admin track was great, I'd like to see maybe more implementation details (i.e. actual code or configs).
  • XS

How do you rate the workshop?

How would you rate your overall satisfaction of the following areas of the workshop?

Choices 1 2 3 4 5
Newsletters/Updates 12 11 3 - -
Web site 18 10 4 - -
Registration process 20 9 - 1 -
Directions/Maps 16 9 5 1 -
Content of the talks 16 13 3 - -
Schedule efficiency 19 12 1 - -
BOFs 8 5 - - -
Social events 16 7 1 - -
Parking 16 5 1 - -
Facilities 27 3 - - -
Food service 21 10 - - -
Accommodation 15 8 1 1 -
Staff 29 3 - - -
Overall experience 23 8 1 - -
Value for price 26 5 1 - -

1 = Very Satisfied
2 = Somewhat satisfied
3 = Somewhat un-satisfied
4 = Very un-satisfied
5 = N/A

Would you like to expand on any strong views?

  • another enjoyable year, i wish i could have made the afternoon talks on sunday but travel got in the way. Personally i'd like a bit long break during the day if it is nice to enjoy the weather and campus but i will take that on my own.
  • As with other Perl workshops (YAPC::NA), the wiki isn't kept up to date or complete often times, but I'm willing to help out with this next year (as I've mentioned to Robert).
  • Great food - the breakfast idea rocks!
  • I didn't know if it was safe to park across the street from CMU. It wasn't very explicit whether I could or not the first day so I used a parking garage a mile away.
  • I greatly appreciate the low-cost for unemployed. This workshop gave me a chance to mingle a little with perl hackers, learn a little about perl, talk to some recruiters, gain insight into what people are doing with perl and helped be decide to continue my efforts in developing perl skill and how I want to direct these efforts, and I gained some motivation and look forward to possibly attending next year with a plan and prepared to get more out of it.
  • I really just come for the coffee.
  • It was difficult to determine where to park my rental car in relation to the venue. An annotated campus map would have been great: "Workshop is here", "Closest Parking is here and here". I did like how parking was free on the weekends and saw that on the venue details.
  • It would have been nice if there had been a bit more Perl-specific content in the Devops track.
  • The site at CMU was fantastic.
  • The talk density was weak. Fewer breaks and more talks!
  • This is my second time attending PPW and I couldn't be happier with it. Location, venue, social events...everything is just great!
  • You all did a great job! Thank you so much, especially to the lady who helped us get registered. She was awesome and very friendly. Also, I was happy to see an unsweetened tea option this year. This is such a small thing and really not a big deal but I would like to see more diet drink / water / artificial sweetener options if possible. As a diabetic I usually bring my own so it's no big deal [for me] but I figured it was worth mentioning.

The Attendance Fee

In order to help future organisers gauge an appropriate attendance fee, how much would you (or your company) have paid for a workshop ticket? Feel free to provide an answer for all rates, where corporate rate would be paid for by your company (possibly including a place on a training course), standard rate would be the regular price paid by attendees in paid employment, and lastly the concession rate for anyone who holds proof that they are in fulltime education or are unemployed.

Corporate Rate:

1$ 100
1$ 180
1$ 200
2$ 250
1$ 275
1$ 300
1$ 500

Standard Rate:

1$ 75
1$ 90
5$ 100
1$ 125
1$ 125.00
2$ 150
1$ 200

Concession Rate:

2$ 25
1$ 30
1$ 40
1$ 45
4$ 50
1$ 100

How did you pay for the conference fee?

9N/A - I was a speaker
0N/A - I was a sponsor
8My company paid
12I paid out of my own pocket
0I wasn't able to attend