YAPC::NA 2009 - 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.


The demographic questions help us to understand who our attendees are. This is very useful for attracting sponsors, as we are able to re-enforce the idea that many of those attending are the kinds of people they would want to reach with their products or services. In some cases helps to encourage companies to participate in the job fairs.


Based on the number of people registered for the conference.

Attendees: pie chart

154No Response
45Response Percentage

Age Band:

Age Band: pie chart

1under 20
3820 - 29
6030 - 39
2340 - 49
750 - 59
160 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

12CEO/Company Director/Senior Manager
0Non-Technical Manager
4Technical Manager
14Technical Architect/Analyst
0Human Resources

If 'Other' please enter your professional job role or title:

  • Consultant
  • lead engineer.
  • Owner
  • Release Engineer
  • Software Consultant
  • Sysadmin


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

Industry: pie chart

14IT Services

If 'Other' please enter your industry sector:

  • Banking
  • Biotechnology
  • Earth Science
  • Insurance
  • IT Security
  • non profit
  • nonprofit
  • Professional Service Automation


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

graph for Region:

0South America

The Perl Community, YAPCs & Workshops

These questions are designed to help us understand our attendees level of involvement in the Perl community. Are we encouraging new people into the Perl Community, how are people getting involved with the community, can we do things better to make it easier and more exciting to be involved with the community?

How do you rate your Perl knowledge?


How many previous YAPCs have you attended?

44This was my first YAPC
1YAPC::Australia / OSDC::Australia
1YAPC::Israel / OSDC::Israel
0YAPC::SA / YAPC::Brazil

How many Perl Workshops have you attended?

78Never attended one
54Pittsburgh Perl Workshop
11Frozen Perl Workshop
34any European Perl Workshops
0any Russian Perl Workshops
13Other Perl Workshops

Do you plan to attend a future YAPC/Workshop?

2Don't Know

If no, could you tell us why?

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

  • I learn better on my own
  • I think the allocation of time to certain classes was not nearly enough, and others were given too much. I think advanced classes should be given the 50 minute slots. Also, just a suggestion to the teachers, if it's at all within YAPC's control, too much time was taken up in several classes with instructors talking about why Perl is not dead and why we should use it; this to me seemed like it was implicit to the people at YAPC, and so we should have spent more time on the actual material rather than taking 10 minutes of the 20 minute sessions talking about why we should use Perl. Otherwise, it was a well done conference.
  • Location and timing are the only reasons I might not go.
  • The level of talks appeared unattractive to me. While my primary interest was Parrot, I do have a Perl background. But many of the talks seemed either irrelevant or trivial. (USB rocket launcher? Git is easy?)

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


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

4Don't Know

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

70I'm a CPAN Author
13I'm a CPAN Tester
35I'm a Perl project developer (eg Rakudo, Catalyst, TAP, Padre, etc)
52I have a technical blog (e.g. a use.perl journal or personal blog)
41I use or contribute to PerlMonks or other Perl forums
71I use IRC (e.g. #perl, #yapc, or #london.pm)
38I contribute to Perl mailing lists (e.g. P5P, Perl QA, etc)
12other ...

If 'Other' please enter your area of contribution

  • blog at work (not public)
  • contribute patches
  • former (and hopeful to be again) Perl instructor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • I hack on Parrot
  • I organize our local Perl Mongers group
  • i will do better in this reqard
  • In house rabble rousing
  • MojoMojo, Catalyst contributor
  • organizing workshops
  • Perl Foundation
  • Secretary/Director of the Enlightened Perl Organisation
  • TPF volunteer and provide patches to perl modules

YAPC::NA 2009

Regarding YAPC::NA 2009 in Pittsburgh specifically, please answer the following as best you can.

These questions are used to try and identify areas of the conference that did and didn't work, with the aim of giving future organisers an opportunity to improve on all aspects of the conferences experience.

When did you decide to come to this conference?

62I'm now a regular YAPC::NA attendee
13After YAPC::NA 2008 in Chicago
0After joining the Facebook event group
14After seeing promotions online/in the press
23I was nominated to attend by manager/colleague
23I was recommended to attend by friend/colleague
18other ...

If 'Other' please let us know when

  • after attending all the PPW events
  • After figuring holiday dates at work
  • After seeing PVMW announcement
  • After YAPC::NA 2006 in Chicago -- first chance to attend YAPC::NA since then
  • alternative to OSCON
  • based on proximity
  • Discovered YAPC website online
  • Interested and company let us go
  • it was local
  • mentioned on the BioPerl mailing list
  • Once they accepted some talks.
  • regular YAPC attendee
  • to join the Parrot workshop
  • via local PM group
  • When I saw it was close and was able to get time off to go
  • When my manager approved the expense
  • when my talks(s) were accepted :)
  • When our funding was cut and I couldn't go to OSCON.

Were you a speaker?

19No, but I have spoken before at similar conferences
27Yes, and I have spoken before at similar conferences
10Yes, and it was my first time as a speaker

Note that "similar conferences" includes other YAPCs, as well as Linux, Open Source or large technical events such as workshops.

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

18Ask me later

What was your motivation for coming?

60the list of speakers
68the quality of the talks scheduled
28to be a speaker
95to meet with Perl/project co-contributors
100to socialise with Perl geeks
24to meet Larry Wall
33to visit Pittsburgh/America
15other ...

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

  • cheap and close
  • I always come.
  • I was local, it was inexpensive and convenient to see the talks whether they were high quality or not
  • networking / job finding
  • Parrot workshop/hackathon
  • PVMW and face time with other Parrot hackers
  • recruiting at job fair
  • see people I had seen at earlier YAPCs
  • SQL class
  • The topics of the talks scheduled
  • To bring new employees
  • To learn ways improve perl usage at my company
  • To learn what I didn't know I didn't know
  • to take courses
  • work shop before, classes after

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

117the talks / speakers
3the conference bag
43the tshirt
8the job fair
49the conference dinner
54the conference venue
37the city of Pittsburgh
56the hallway track
95the attendees
5other ...

If 'Other' please enter your suggestions

  • BoFs
  • Moose course
  • Pittsburgh weather
  • PVMW
  • speaker's party # it's the people I want to talk to, distilled into one place
  • work shop before, classes after

Did you have holiday planned around your conference attendance?

88I came just for the conference
2several days before only
101 day before only
12several days before and after
41 day after only
11several days after only

Were there any talks you want 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.

9chromatic - Take Advantage of Modern Perl
9Shawn Moore - Extending Moose for Applications
8Stevan Little - KiokuDB - A Real World Introduction
8Yuval Kogman - What Haskell did to my brain
7Hans Dieter Pearcey - CPAN - A big enough lever to install the world
6Ingy döt Net - All New YAML Tools for Perl
6Jesse Vincent - Distributed bug tracking with SD
6Michael Schwern - Trapped In A Room With Schwern
5Jonathan Swartz - CHI: Unified caching for Perl
5Josh ben Jore - Effective Debugging
5Nathan Gray - Getting the most out of TAP
5Patrick Michaud - Perl 6 today
5Perrin Harkins - Choosing a Web Architecture for Perl
5Ricardo Signes - Git is Easy
5Ricardo Signes - Validating Data Everywhere with Rx
5Robin Darby - perl, cloud glue?
4Devin Austin - Intro To Moose
4Hans Dieter Pearcey - Dist::Zilla - Automating quality since 2008
4Jonathan Rockway - Using KiokuDB
4Mark Keating - What is Enlightened Perl? What is the Enlightened Perl Organisation?
4Matt S Trout - Catching a ::Std - Standardisation and best practices in the perl community
4Stevan Little - To Moose or Not To Moose
4Steven Lembark - Memory Manglement With Perl
4Walt Mankowski - Getting Started with Multithreaded Perl
3Barbie - The Statistics of CPAN
3Brock Wilcox - Drop-In Web-Based REPL for CGI Applications
3Brock Wilcox - WWW::HtmlUnit - Scrape and Test Javascript-Using Sites
3Cory Watson - Moose for Managers
3Dan Dascalescu - Debugging Catalyst Applications
3David Moreno - Perl in the Time of Social Networks
3Hans Dieter Pearcey - Code Reuse with Moose
3Karen Pauley - Remote Controlled Volunteers
3Jim Brandt - Business Process Management with Workflow.pm
3Mike Schilli - Moving CPAN module projects to github.com
3Patrick Michaud - Perl 6 regexes and grammars
3Scott McWhirter - Test automation for the risk adverse
3Steven Lembark - Utils are your Friends
2Brad Oaks - Warming up to Modular Testing with Test::Class
2Chip Salzenberg - Core Hacking
2Chris Prather - XML::Toolkit: Tools to Ease the Pain
2Christopher Nehren - CLI apps don't have to suck
2Cory Watson - Data Visualization with Chart::Clicker
2Dan Dascalescu - MojoMojo - the Elegant Wiki, Catalyst-powered
2Jonathan Rockway - Web Applications in 2009
2Luke Closs - A8N-ing - Agile Web Testing
2Matt S Trout - The future of DBIx::Class
2Michael Peters - TAP in depth
2Mike Schilli - Driving a USB Rocket Launcher from Perl in User Space
2Nicholas Perez - Protocol abstraction through stackable POE::Filters
2Ricardo SIGNES - I <3 Email
2Scott Walters - Perl in Vegas
2Tatsuhiko Miyagawa - Build a desktop application with Perl, HTTP::Engine, SQLite and jQuery
2Todd Rinaldo - Catalyst, DBIC, and TT for world domination
1Abigail - Test::Regexp
1Bruce Gray - Command-line Perl
1Chris Prather - The EPO Extended Core
1Clinton Wolfe - Class::ReluctantORM - An ORM Your DBA can Live With
1David Fetter - You can do THAT without Perl?!?
1DrForr - Oops! I i18n'd your legacy app!
1Jeff Horwitz - Using and Contributing to mod_perl6
1Joe Celko - The New Stuff in SQL You Don't Know About
1Leonard Miller - Object oriented perl -- everything you were too embarrassed to ask.
1Leonard Miller - Things you can do to stop being a n00b
1Michael Peters - Continuous Integration Testing in Perl
1Michael Schwern - perl5i: Perl 5 Improved
1Morris Siegel - Enhancing Perl 6 Pattern-Matching with Ideas from Snobol4
1Nicholas Perez - POE::Component::IKC + POE::Component::PubSub = Voltron
1Patrick Michaud - Hacking Rakudo Perl 6
1Paul Grassie - Symbol Tables & Typeglobs
1Steven Lembark - Linked Lists in Perl: How, and why bother.
1Timothy Appnel - Movable Type Open Source : The Perl Publishing System The Community Forgot
1Walt Mankowski - SQLite Functions, Aggregators and Collators

Additional comments:

  • A lot, too many to remember or list. But that's just how it goes. I dealt with this by (rudely) dipping in, moving from talk to talk.
  • Any Talk between 8 am and 9 am
  • I'd like to add: it would be really helpful if all speakers were forced to make the following decision before giving their talk: either A) give a link to their slides, which can remain hidden until after the talk is given, B) directly indicate that they genuinely have no intention of posting the slides for whatever unspecified reason, C) to provide a firm date by which time they will have posted the slides, and if the slides are not up by then, those who missed the talk can feel free to inquire further. I am proposing this be up BEFORE the talks. I feel like a jerk to ask speakers for slides when I know a lot of them are finalized the night before, which I don't hold against them, and I can understand the desire to clean such slides up before posting them. Thus I don't want to send irritating emails to speakers whose talks I missed, asking when the slides will be up. However, as YAPC fades into the past, I suspect the urge to do any cleanup completely fades, and it becomes likely that slides will never be posted. If a firm post-YAPC date was set (by the YAPC committee for everyone, or else by each speaker individually) for the slides to be up, it should really improve this situation.
  • all of the Perl6 track
  • I missed too many talks to enumerate because of the Hallway track being too damn interesting.
  • I was sick the whole time and missed practically everything
  • I wish there were three of me. I'd have been in all of them
  • If I hadn't been speaking I would have been able to see the talks I wanted.
  • morning talks were too early,
  • the morning talks Tuesday and Wednesday
  • There were a few timeslots where I had to choose the better of two good talks, but some where I had to choose the lesser of two evil talks. The worst were time slots when there were only 2-3 choices.
  • There were several talks on each day that I wanted to attend, but occurred at the same time.
  • There were two that I wanted to see, but I don't recall... don't have the schedule in front of me...
  • Moose
  • Perl 6 talks, in general
  • Talks about Pugs

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


If 'Yes', which speakers?

32Damian Conway
22Mark Jason Dominus
8Randal Schwartz
7Dave Rolsky
6brian d foy
5Allison Randall, Andy Lester
4Adam Kennedy
3Tim Bunce, Audrey Tang, Tom Christiansen
1Chia-liang Kao, Curtis 'Ovid' Poe, Devin Austin, dnb (??), Gisle Aas, Jason Purdy., Jeff Young, John Siracusa, Jon Orwant, Lincoln Stein, Marcus Ramberg, Marty Pauley, Moritz Lenz, Nat Torkington, Paul Grassie, Philippe Bruhat, Simon Cozens, Tim Maher

Additional comments:

  • Would like to have seen Larry give a second talk.
  • I think there was an NYTProf talk scheduled but cancelled, which I would like to have seen.
  • It seemed like this conference was a little less full than some previous years. I suppose this may be due to the recession.
  • It's impossible to know the vast array of speakers that were not able to present
  • Given Andy Lester's new book, it would've been nice if he was on hand to give a talk about its subject matter.
  • The speaker who was going to give the "GIt: The Lean Mean Distributed Machine" talk, who had to cancel at the last minute.
  • Hope that Andy Lester will attend sometime and give the talk he's given at OSCON: Just Enough C for Open Source Projects.

What kinds of talks would you prefer at future conferences?

4More beginner level talks
20More intermediate level talks
35More advanced level talks
60It's about right
10No preference

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

  • "What's my workflow" This would be a presentation about the tools and processes you use when writing and editing perl. "Lunch for Six" sign up sheets getting 6 or so people together to have lunch. Attempt to get first timers stirred into the community with those that have more experience in a social setting. "The Great Debate" public airing of organizational laundry. There have been a few pointed "jokes" by speakers. Lets get them out in the open.
  • * Modern Perl style - most common Perl books still don't have new editions, and use old style Perl * More talks on debugging * Talk/s examining the architecture of large, distributed Perl applications
  • - Meta-discussion of the Perl community itself - How to Evangelize Perl
  • A tour of the perl guts.
  • CGI-application was not covered
  • Comet, Spread, XMPP PubSub, building JSON APIs, OpenID
  • Cool stuff to do... more demonstrations, such as "Build a desktop application with Perl, HTTP::Engine, SQLite and jQuery" (that one needed 50 minutes, not just 20); ditto re "Drop-In Web-Based REPL for CGI Applications." Awesome.
  • DBIx::Class (usage) on its own didnt feature, we should have it at every conf if theres a significant amount of new attendees. The question above I would like to be re-phrased not as beginner/intermediate/advanced, but standard/core modules (everyone should know for certain subjects) versus specialised modules. I would also prefer a tutorial/actual code usage/teaching track again.
  • Devel::Declare, Moose, Perl 6, Methods of moving from Perl circa 2000 to Modern Perl
  • Hiring and training perl programmers
  • How to begin getting involved with the Perl community and development.
  • How to force-multiply by teaching co-workers.
  • I enjoyed the sessions on optimizing memory usage in Perl code. I'd like to see more in the way of algorithms, performance optimization, and using various "higher-order" techniques to develop high performance software.
  • I like new software to be spotlighted. Stevan Little does a great job with this. Are other people creating new great things? I also enjoy having a status update on software that is being developed, such as Perl 6, Catalyst, DBIC. When we starting having extended core recommendations, it would be nice to have talks on those, to help people know what is out there that they should be using. Likewise, it is confusing when one talk features some module, and another speaker later says that module should not be used. We should not ban talks about modules competing with extended core modules, but perhaps note that the talk is about a controversal or new module.
  • It seemed like a number of first-timers were there this year. I might be a good idea to layout the ideas and philosophies of open source in general to them. A review of The Cathedral and the Bazaar for example. Whatever we do it needs to help move people from being interested in perl (and OS) to actually working on it.
  • KiokuDB, Catalyst, Moose
  • More Code, Less Eye Candy: Meaning any talk should be a bit more technical by specifically showing some examples of code and walking through those bits of code. Many talks seemed to be just this *thing* is cool - use it. But, with little to express, *how* to use it.
  • More in depth on Web technologies like Catalyst-PostgreSQL-jQuery toolsets.
  • more mod_perl content.
  • More on moving from a beginner Perl person to an intermediate one. I'm thinking more of learning habits of successful Perl users (not necessarily "luminaries"), than learning how to push the bleeding edge. Some amount of that dazzle is cool, but improving the lives of beginner-intermediate developers could be worth a lot. The kind of speaker I am thinking of would need more encouragement to submit a talk and see the value in presenting it than a driven "luminary" would need. The best ones (luminaries) do a good job of straddling their deep knowledge and where the common user is. They give talks that are really useful to intermediate attendees -- not all famous Perl folk are more sizzle than steak. More "here is what works well for me and has been proven in practice" talks are preferred (by me) than "here is the cleverest thing I could come up with" talks.
  • more Parrot
  • more perl for systems administration instead of perl for application development
  • More POE (not vaporware).
  • More talks describing actual experiences solving specific real-world problems, instead of just theory/modules. "Use Modern Perl!" or "Use the Flavor of the Day!" is wonderful, but it is not helpful only in theory. What techniques and practices can be used, or have been used, to convert existing legacy/mature code bases to newer technologies?
  • Not too technical, but also bizdev-ish topics.
  • object oriented perl
  • Other Open Source utilities that extend Perl like cURL
  • Panel discussions about community issues Not just the big whigs.
  • Parallelism IPC
  • Perl 5 core hacking, Things outside of CPAN specific modules
  • Perl for small web projects (no web perl / mod_perl ) Introducing Titanium and CGI::Application Why *not* Moose Introduction to darcs for Perl projects
  • POE Catalyst Best Practices DBIx::Class Optimizations (Prefetching, etc)
  • Porting Perl5 apps to Perl6 -- hopefully with specific examples. Managing Parrot -- is there anything tweakable about it that *can* be adjusted? Bioinformatics (state of BioPerl, handling specific tasks)
  • Rose
  • Since we all know each other by IRC/PAUSE, it would be nice to print our nicknames prominently on the badges.
  • Some more talks about "I did this interesting thing with Perl" or "I bet you didn't know you could do _that_ with Perl". E.g. Michael Schilli's talk on using Perl to control a USB rocket launcher. Along the same lines, case studies, i.e. "I converted my company's web site to Catalyst, and here's how I did it."
  • some vertical topics would be interesting (eg financial, bioinformatics, forensics, etc)
  • Somewhat related to the above, I think the beginner/intermediate/advanced designations can be more confusing than they're worth. The target audience for the OOP talk on Wednesday was listed as 'any' but it wasn't very useful for anyone but complete beginners. Being a web developer, I would, of course, like to see more web app (specifically Catalyst)-related talks, but otherwise I think there's a great balance. Also, more mst! :-)
  • Strategies for managing perl versions, module versions, upgrading, etc.
  • Things against the grain: projects other than Moose/Catalyst. Less EPO. More talks about community (like Karen Pauley's talk), less about individuals (personality cults). Higher bar for technical talks.
  • Various topics on increasing participation in the Perl community, such as "Becoming a CPAN Author", "Make That A Module", "Starting (or Reviving) a PerlMonger Group", "Getting Your Company To Share Their DarkPAN Wealth", etc.
  • Writing XS code

How do you rate the conference?

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

Choices 1 2 3 4 5
Newsletters/Updates 42 50 15 4 -
Web site 56 59 13 2 -
Registration process 79 42 7 1 -
Directions/Maps 34 49 31 8 -
Content of the talks 61 58 10 - -
Schedule efficiency 44 68 15 1 -
BOFs 6 27 26 11 -
Social events 41 55 15 1 -
Parking 34 22 3 1 -
Facilities 84 41 1 - -
Food service 27 62 30 1 -
Accommodation 41 50 14 2 -
Staff 94 29 - 1 -
Overall experience 85 42 2 - -
Value for price 108 18 2 - -

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

The Conference Fee

In order to help future organisers gauge an appropriate conference fee, how much would you (or your company) have paid for a conference ticket? Feel free to provide an answer for all rates, where corporate rate would be paid for by your company (including a Master Class place), 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$ 99
2$ 100
1$ 125
2$ 150
5$ 200
7$ 250
1$ 295
3$ 300
2$ 350
3$ 400
1$ 499
11$ 500
1$ 750
3$ 1000
1$ 1200
1$ 1500
2$ 2000

Standard Rate:

1$ 75
1$ 99
24$ 100
1$ 120
8$ 125
10$ 150
1$ 150-200
1$ 199
16$ 200
1$ 219
3$ 250
1$ 400

Concession Rate:

1$ scholarship
1$ 20
4$ 25
1$ 40
14$ 50
2$ 60
12$ 75
1$ 80
2$ 99
4$ 100
1$ 125
1$ 150

How did you pay for the conference fee?

19N/A - I was a speaker
0N/A - I was a sponsor
57My company paid
50I paid out of my own pocket
0I wasn't able to attend