YAPC::NA 2013 - 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

327No Response
27Response Percentage

Age Band:

Age Band: pie chart

0under 20
1820 - 29
5830 - 39
3040 - 49
1150 - 59
460 and over


Although this question is optional, with your help we would like to monitor changes in attendance over time.

Gender: pie chart

2It's Complicated

Job Type:

Job Type: pie chart

8CEO/Company Director/Senior Manager
2Non-Technical Manager
8Technical Manager
8Technical Architect/Analyst
0Human Resources

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)

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

  • Consultant
  • Database Developer, Backend Developer
  • devops
  • Digital Resources Archivist
  • Homemaker
  • Independent software consultant
  • Software Architecture


Industry: pie chart

5IT Services

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

If 'Other' please enter your industry sector:

  • Aerospace IT Support
  • consumer electronics
  • Insurance
  • non-profit
  • Software
  • under-employed in non-tech field
  • Varies by client


Region: pie chart

108North America
1South America

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

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?

58This was my first YAPC
Attended YAPCs1234567891011121314total
YAPC::Australia / OSDC::Australia1-------------1
YAPC::SA / YAPC::Brazil-1------------2

How many Perl Workshops have you attended?

80Never attended one
Attended Workshops 1234567 ... 181920total
Pittsburgh Perl Workshop 105-11-- ... ---29
Frozen Perl Workshop 712---- ... ---15
Perl Oasis Workshop 1121--- ... ---13
DC / Baltimore Perl Workshop 34----- ... ---11
any European Perl Workshops 11-2--1 ... 1-156
Other Perl Workshops 5------ ... ---5

Do you plan to attend a future YAPC/Workshop?

3Don'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.

  • Acoustics were terrible at after conference events. I had to leave mixer after 15 minutes of 95dB SPL noise (I measured it on my iPhone) because I could not hear and did not want to put my hearing at risk. I had to leave the banquet before game night started because the noise level inside was also too high. Also, there was too much focus on Perl 6 at this conference and not enough focus on intermediate level topics like best practice ways to implement a <system> and best modules to use for <functionality>. We cannot use Perl 6 at my workplace for another 5-10 years until the hundreds of module users we have move off Perl 5.8.8. I am not going to focus on Perl 6 at all until there is a CPAN for it.
  • I am glad I attended this year, I got a lot out of it. Perl is not widely used in my organization, and is about 15% of what my team uses. Learned a lot about what is available out there and where to find it. If available, I'd be interested in attending again, not sure if it would be supported again. Great conference though.
  • I enjoy the Perl community, and I always feel welcome. However, I rarely feel like I fit in. This makes attending Perl community events relatively costly compared to many other non-programming interests of mine.
  • I was unfortunately distracted by fires at home, so I feel I got a diminshed experience, through no fault of YAPC's. But what I saw was quite valuable and energetic, and I wish to try again for the full experience. I quite enjoyed the job fair.
  • I'm sure it seems like a small thing to the organizers, but the lack of women's t-shirts was like a slap in the face. The very first encounter an attendee to a conference has, after being handed a badge, is at the T-shirt table. In a conference with such a disproportionate gender balance (even compared to the programming sector as a whole), where it is so easy to solve this problem, the absence of women's T-shirts felt not like oversight but like an explicit statement: "we don't want you here." Given that I've been lucky enough to find open source communities that do welcome diversity, why would I want to spend time around people who don't? This problem is solved. Please see: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/T-shirts (on a related note, thank you for adding "it's complicated" to the gender drop-down at the top. While I didn't choose that option, I know others who greatly appreciate it.)
  • It is not likely my company will pay for this again, not because this was not valuable, but because it is not their policy to send people to Perl conferences. So to attend again, it is likely I will need to pay my own way, which I probably will do.
  • need to get work to pay for the trip :)
  • Travel costs and time off of work are a significant cost. I directly balance that vs. the quality of *new* information available at any upcoming conferences. I'm specifically looking for: * Major Perl projects announcing/discussing the release of a major milestone; teaching sessions are a plus. * New impressive packages are announced/discussed; teaching sessions are a plus. * Excellent classes (i.e. Dave Rolsky's Moose class) are made available.

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


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

11Don't Know

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

54I'm a CPAN Author
7I'm a CPAN Tester
9I'm a board or committee member of a recognised Perl body (e.g. TPF, EPO, YEF, JPF, etc)
20I'm a Perl project developer (e.g. Rakudo, Catalyst, Dancer, Padre, etc)
31I have a technical blog (e.g. on blogs.perl.org or a personal blog)
32I use or contribute to PerlMonks or other Perl forums
52I use IRC (e.g. #perl, #yapc, or #london.pm)
22I contribute to Perl mailing lists (e.g. P5P, Perl QA, etc)
13other ...

If 'Other' please enter your area of contribution

  • Austin.PM President
  • Err, what about contributing to perl core?
  • I employ perl developers
  • I have an open source tool on Github written in Perl
  • I make monetary contributions to TPF
  • I occasionally speak at our local PM group
  • I organise meetings, workshops, exhibition booths/devrooms
  • I run a Perl mongers group
  • I teach Perl at the College level.
  • Past-tense Mongers organizer and perl trainer
  • Random CPAN docpatch contributor (via GitHub)
  • Run southern oregon perl mongers
  • twitter

YAPC::NA 2013

Regarding YAPC::NA 2013 in Austin, TX specifically, please answer the following as best you can.

When did you decide to come to this conference?

33I'm now a regular YAPC::NA attendee
15After YAPC::NA 2012 in Madison, WI
1After reading a YAPC::NA blog post
0After joining the Facebook event group
13I was nominated to attend by manager/colleague
19I was recommended to attend by friend/colleague
13After seeing a link or advert on a Perl specific website
0After seeing a link or advert on a non-Perl website
5After reading an email sent to a mailing list I was in
0After seeing other promotions online/in the press
21other ...

If 'Other', what else helped you decide?

  • after getting employer to agree to send us
  • After hearing about it via Gabor Szabo on G+
  • after noticing it was within driving distance
  • After pushing WhiteHat to sponsor
  • After seeing it was in the city I live in
  • Austin.PM President
  • because i was going to the US for other business
  • I was offered the opportunity to attend by DreamWidth
  • I've always been a YAPC::NA attendee
  • I've been wanting to, since my last in 2002. This year I finally was able to. (ie. no pressing work conflicts)
  • In December.
  • JPA sponsored me.
  • Just wanted to go
  • local Perl Mongers
  • mention by colleagues
  • Perl Monger meeting
  • Perl Weekly
  • saw people talking about it on IRC
  • websearch for 'Austin June 2013'
  • When I got invited
  • Work helped sponsor the event.
  • YAPC::NA 2011

Were you a speaker?

14No, but I have spoken before at similar conferences
20Yes, and I have spoken before at similar conferences
9Yes, 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 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?

22Ask me later

What was your motivation for coming?

45the list of speakers
62the quality of the talks scheduled
21to be a speaker
82to meet with Perl/project co-contributors
86to socialise with Perl geeks
28to meet Larry Wall
41to visit Austin, TX
20other ...

If 'Other', what else motivated you to attend?

  • came along with my husband who is a programmer
  • cheap
  • for the zerotoperl workshop and to learn from other colleagues who were attending
  • gain knowledge
  • I've made a fair living partly due to perl programming...it was time to meet the people responsible.
  • improve perl skills
  • job fair
  • Job Networking
  • Life experience
  • pre/post training
  • Promote Perl 11
  • Recruitment
  • speakers/talks, but non-specifically. I didn't look at the list of talks before I signed up (nor even before arriving...)
  • to find more great Perl folks for us
  • to grok the community
  • To have a bit of a holiday too
  • to learn
  • to learn more about perl
  • Work
  • Work paid for a learning experience

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

112the talks / speakers
6the conference bag
30the tshirt
20the job fair
52the conference dinner
44the conference venue
48the city of Austin
54the hallway track
82the attendees
9other ...

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

  • Engaging the community, to accurately size up oneself
  • Got plenty of new ideas and know how from the speakers I can apply to my work
  • Master classes
  • perl tutorial
  • post conference perl class w/ Gabor
  • pre/post classes
  • the community autocorrection, the love
  • the workshops
  • Training classes

Will you wear the YAPC shirt after YAPC, given it has advertising on it?


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.

8How to be a Web UI Developer by Casey West
8Unicode Best Practices by Nick Patch
6Continuously Integrating the Camel by Hugh Esco
6Exception to Rule by Bruce Gray
5Asynchronous programming FTW! by Sawyer X
5Be Kind to Your Wrists (You'll Miss Them When They're Gone) by Denise Paolucci
5Perl, dtrace and you by Mark Allen
5Profiling memory usage by Tim Bunce
4A Date with Perl by Dave Rolsky
4Architecture Automation, One Alligator at Once by Matt S Trout
4JavaScript has already won by Carl Mäsak
4Roles versus Inheritance by Curtis Poe
4Software Patents: Who's Behind the Curtain? by Deb Nicholson
4Start Contributing to Perl, It's Easy! by Augustina Ragwitz
4plenv - yet another Perl5 installation management tool by Tokuhiro Matsuno
3Building a Web-Scale Search Engine with Perl by Greg Lindahl
3Dancer: Getting to Hello World by R Geoffrey Avery
3Design Decisions on p2 by Reini Urban
3How to Make Your Users Not Want to Murder You, or Software Engineering for the Lazy by Joe McMahon
3Method::Signatures: A How-To by Buddy Burden
3Moe Status Update by Stevan Little
3Notes from a Newbie by Joe Axford
3Perl 5: Postcards from the Edge by Ricardo Signes
3Perl 6 on the JVM by Patrick Michaud
3Perl's Diaspora by liz
3Regexes in Perl 6 - Zero to Perl 6 Training by Carl Mäsak
3Testing CPAN in the 21st Century: CPANci.org by Mike Friedman
3Testing with Test::Class::Moose by Curtis Poe
3The Perl Foundation Review 2012 - 2013 by Karen Pauley
3Unit-test CGIs with mod_perl2 via Plack by Nathan Gray
2Ab(Using) the MetaCPAN API for Fun and Profit by Olaf Alders
2Acmeism - Hacking in all Languages at Once by Ingy döt Net
2Automate Yo'self by John Anderson
2Bitcoins and Perl by Josh Rabinowitz
2Continuously integrating Perl projects with Vagrant and Puppet/Chef/Salt by Mike Schilli
2Defense Against The Dark Arts: A Project Management Survival Guide For Open Source Programmers by john napiorkowski
2Flame Graphs for Online Performance Profiling by Yichun Zhang
2Getting to sub signatures by Peter Martini
2Hack Your Mac With Perl by Walt Mankowski
2It's all about the CloudPAN by Nicholas Perez
2Migrating Your Code from Perl 5 to Perl 6 - Zero to Perl 6 Training by Carl Mäsak
2Packaging Perl RPMs by Daniel Sterling
2Parallelism in Perl 6 by Patrick Michaud
2Perl Meets Modern Web UI by Bill Humphries
2Quick Cure for the Shame of Untested Software by Daniel Nichter
2Techniques to speed up large test suites by Mark Stosberg
2Telecommuting Panel Discussion by Sterling Hanenkamp
2What if Perl 6 grammars could generate? by Jonathan Worthington
2Wing: Web Services In An Hour by JT Smith
2student Perl code, head-desk injuries, and you by Kevin Metcalf
1An Ecological View of a FOSS Community: Koha by D Ruth Bavousett
1Auditing Open Source Perl Code for Security by John Lightsey
1Box::Calc by JT Smith
1How to run a Perl Workshop or Conference by Heath Bair
1Inside Bokete: Tips of making web applications with Mojolicious and other components by Yusuke Wada
1Introduction to AngularJS by Brock Wilcox
1Introduction to Dart by Jonathan Rockway
1MoarVM: Overview & Analysis with a Side of Gore by Matthew Wilson
1Opportunity Cost: *The* Key Economic Concept for Programmers by Sinan Unur
1Sowing the Seeds of Diversity by Mark Smith
1StatsD and You - Easy Application Metrics by Andrew Rodland
1Testing web applications through Selenium 2 / Webdriver using Perl by Samit Badle
1The Need for Speed: Benchmarking Perl 6 by Geoffrey Broadwell
1The Perl 5 Slang of Perl 6 by Tobias Leich
1Velociraptor of Christmas Future by Matt S Trout
1Wrangling rt.cpan.org for your bidding by Thomas Sibley
1Writing Contracts in Perl by Al Newkirk

Additional comments:

  • all of the BioPerl/Bioinfomatics talks
  • many Perl6 talks
  • The Perl 6 series in TCC 1.110
  • Most of the Perl6 track.
  • A lot, because there were so many good options! But also, lunch breaks were too short given where food was in relation to the conference center, I missed all of the first slot after lunch. (Met some awesome people over lunches, though!)
  • Can't remember
  • Don't remember all the talks but there were a lot of things I wanted to go to that conflicted with others that I wanted to go to, mostly because I wanted to attend everything and listen to all that I could. I didn't make it to any of the perl 6 talks, but wanted to see some of those.
  • Don't remember now.
  • I can't give you specific talks. I'm sure I missed some good ones. But, I'm likely to bring a member of my team along next year so we can cover more than 1 of 4 talks. We can compare notes afterward.
  • i wanted to see almost all of them, except for BioPerl ones.
  • I was scheduled to speak against Ricardo!! Teh suck!
  • I was torn in almost every time slot.
  • It was only one, I don't remember now.
  • Too many to list.

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.

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


If 'Yes', which speakers?

26Damian Conway
13Michael Schwern
7Randal Schwarz
6Mark-Jason Dominus
6Tatsuhiko Miyagawa
6brian d foy
3Audrey Tang
3Paul Fenwick
2Tom Christiansen
1Adam Kennedy
1Allison Randal
1Dan Sugalski
1David Golden
1Jan DuBois
1Jeff Thalhammer
1Piers Cawley
1Robert Blackwell
1Simon Cozens
1Steffen Müller
1Tomas Doran
1Will Coleda

Additional comments:

  • Conway and the Australian guy who gives talks wearing his starfleet uniform.
  • I missed Audrey Tang, although I don't know if she's doing much Perl anymore.
  • schwern. it was his choice, but i missed him. we need him.
  • Schwern; his absence is its own story. =/
  • Too, Damien Conway, but it's always hard to get hold of him.
  • The usual suspects - Damian & MJD.
  • Well, I missed Schwern, obvs....

What kinds of talks would you prefer at future conferences?

4More beginner level talks
15More intermediate level talks
26More advanced level talks
63It's about right
11No preference

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

  • Refactoring and modernizing legacy codebases.
  • Intro to CPAN distro authoring
  • "Under the hood" talks for Moo*/Dancer/Mojolicious/DBIx/etc (targeted at devs who want to contribute to the project but are overwhelmed by the large code base and unfamiliarity with project's dev process)
  • Maximizing CPAN - How to monitor, interact with, search and filter CPAN in order to identify the perfect solutions (among the hundreds of seemingly similar ones) to all of your dev problems
  • A 'how to contribute' talk like Augustina Ragwitz's should be in every YAPC.
  • Although perhaps it was my selection, for most of the talks that were geared at learning a technology I felt it was either beneath me or above me, I think I may have missed a few right sized ones. It might help to label things on the schedule.
  • Talks that might help others (maybe I'll submit these next year): Dependency Injection, Object Oriented Design with Perl.
  • Any talks about Perl and its application to new technologies (i.e. Hadoop) are most important to me.
  • Anything new or interesting, that is why I liked it so much.
  • API design/naming, Perl OS portability concerns, optimizing legacy P5 code, how to have a blood family off Perl and not live in your mom's basement talk, an educational talk about P5 internals, an educatoinal intermediate to advanced XSUB talk/class.
  • Deep core hacking
  • Design patterns, compare / contrast similar solutions (Dancer, Catalyst), challenges of using perl (OSS generally) in large business environments and other similar work / workplace training for programmers.
  • Enterprise Perl - 1 million+ line codebases using Perl 5 (I have worked on two).
  • Services and/or async programming in Perl (not necessarily web) -- more of this!
  • gradually modernizing aging code bases, without having to totally rewrite from the bottom up
  • How to migrate from procedural programming to OOP, with conversion examples.
  • I like knowing about projects to revitalize Perl, either the core, or niches that have a new way of doing things (like when Plack arrived).
  • I like the talks that tell you how to do things. The talk on Method::Signatures is a good example. It is also nice to have talks that introduce you to new topics and ideas like the bitcoins talk and the flamegraphs talk. Getting an idea of the state of perl is also very useful. Maybe some "best practices" would be helpful - this is how I do things for the following reasons kind of talks.
  • I love the state of Perl talks (the past, present, future was great), and of course Ricardo's "What's new in Perl". Last year I think the Perl 6 talks were much less accessible (they seemed to me more oriented toward the Perl 6 insiders). This year, as a non-Perl-6 person, I really enjoyed many of the Perl 6 talks. They struck a great balance for me. I had no idea I'd like all the Perl 6 content as much as I did.
  • I realized another "intro to PSGI/Plack" talk would have been good. It's not brand new, but a lot of people are still learning and deploying it.
  • I spoke to a couple people who felt overwhelmed and would have liked more of a beginner level track. I think that beginners should be encouraged, and that would be a good track to have. Some of the people have been there so long, I was nervous to speak. The master level class was not like that though.
  • I would like to have seen interesting applications of Perl and CPAN. There were a couple this year such as the Blekko talk. I would also like to see more talks covering areas such as scientific and HPC work, databases, and toolchains.
  • I'm urging a zero-to-perl track running through the entire schedule as a place to bring students, folks from other languages and others ready to learn the language.
  • If it's possible, hearing more from Larry Wall would be fantastic.
  • If something is listed as intro it should probably be an intro talk.
  • Just more topics where Perl intersects things not-Perl. Using Perl for interesting things.
  • More bioinformatics
  • More parallel code; more mop type stuff; less virtual machines.
  • More Perl6 stuff. Having 1 Perl6 slot and three Perl5's around the clock would be great.
  • Objective comparison of web frameworks
  • PDL.
  • homebrew and perlbrew and cpan(?:m)? and local:lib.
  • Perl 11
  • Perl 6 (but that was covered about right)
  • Perl internals
  • Perl Tutorials
  • PERL!
  • The conference seemed to be heavily weighted towards "technical perlish things" and "web/gui/ui" things. That is not surprising, but I would like to see more on cool "tool chain" stuff, and more "applied perl", i.e., using perl to build cool non web/gui/ui shit.
  • Topics on project management and Perl. Not discussion about code, but how to manage a project that primarily utilizes Perl.
  • We can't all give talks on the bleeding edge to impress the cool kids. As one third of the attendees each year are new, we need to keep a mix of beginner talks too.
  • We should have some kind of asynch master class about AnyEvent or POE
  • web site operations and stuff :-)

Did you attend the banquet?


If the banquet was made a separate cost from the conference, would you attend it?


How do you rate the conference?

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

Choices 1 2 3 4 5
Newsletters/Updates 43 49 13 7 -
Web site 52 57 7 2 -
Registration process 70 38 6 - -
Directions/Maps 51 50 14 - -
Content of the talks 70 40 5 3 -
Schedule efficiency 60 52 5 - -
BOFs 25 30 6 2 -
Social events 45 42 5 2 -
Parking 52 16 6 1 -
Facilities 71 37 5 2 -
Food service 50 48 14 2 -
Accommodation 45 39 5 3 -
Staff 76 29 3 1 -
Overall experience 74 39 4 - -
Value for price 89 20 1 - -

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

Conference Attendance

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$ 80
10$ 100
1$ 120
4$ 150
5$ 200
4$ 250
4$ 300
1$ 320
1$ 350
5$ 400
7$ 500
1$ 750
1$ 1000
1$ 1500

Standard Rate:

1$ 50
1$ 75
4$ 80
24$ 100
4$ 120
1$ 125
1$ 130
6$ 150
1$ 160
8$ 200
1$ 200-300
1$ 250
1$ 300
1$ 350
1$ 500

Concession Rate:

3$ 20
2$ 25
1$ 30
3$ 40
12$ 50
4$ 60
3$ 75
2$ 80
4$ 100
2$ 150

Would you pay more for a YAPC if we could exclude sponsorship advertising?


If so, how much?

1$ 25
2$ 50
2$ 100
1$ 150
5$ 200
2$ 250
1$ 500

How did you pay for the conference fee?

10N/A - I was a speaker
6N/A - I was a sponsor
56My company paid
43I paid out of my own pocket
0I wasn't able to attend

If your employer didn't send you, did they give you time off to attend?


Did you have holiday planned around your conference attendance?

74I came just for the conference
1several days before only
81 day before only
18several days before and after
41 day after only
6several days after only

Does distance prevent you from being able to attend some YAPCs?


What area of the US would make it easier for you to attend?

New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont)
27Mideast (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania)
31Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin)
41Plains (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota)
22Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia)
24Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas)
35Rocky Mountain (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming)
25Far West (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington)