[yapc] damian at yapc

Damian Conway damian at conway.org
Wed Mar 26 02:52:39 PDT 2008

Uri Guttman wrote:

> as most of you know, damian conway couldn't make it to yapc::na in 2007
> because of his limited resources. here is an opportunity for you to
> help damian visit the states more often so he can attend conferences,
> give free talks to local PM groups and do more training in north
> america. 

I've already spoken privately to Uri about that message. I feel it was 
inappropriate and misleading, in that it seemed to imply that if people 
sponsored our Perl College event, then I might be able to come to YAPC this 
year (or next).

As I explained to brian d foy, when he originally invited me to speak at this 
year's YAPC:

 >> I deeply appreciate the offer, but it's once again looking like I
 >> won't make it to YAPC::NA. I'm really disappointed, but the
 >> scheduling of the various other conferences this year, the plummeting
 >> value of the US dollar, and my increasing family commitments are all
 >> conspiring to prevent me coming to Chicago in June. :-(
 >> The biggest problem isn't actually money...it's that I already have
 >> commitments to four overseas trips this year, and that's twice the
 >> number my wife and I have agreed is "acceptable".

Money is, of course, always an issue when coming all the way from the other 
side of the planet, especially in light of the increasingly wan US dollar, but 
brian very kindly offered to arrange some training classes that would allow 
YAPC to at least be revenue-neutral for me. If anyone could have delivered me 
to this year's Chicago audience, it was he.

A bigger problem is the timing of YAPC::NA. I can no longer just travel for 
conferences...not even revenue-neutral ones. Because my travel opportunities 
are nowadays so limited (since I'd like stay married :-) and because I have no 
other significant sources of income, I have to tack conference appearances 
onto a trip in which I also make serious income (typically from corporate 
training events). And that's where the  timing of YAPC::NA shoots me in the 
foot. I can't travel before YAPC::NA because my wedding anniversary is the 
second week of June (and I'd like to stay married :-), and I can't stay on 
after YAPC::NA until OSCON because between the two conferences is the 
Independence Day/Canada Day week, during which it's really difficult to find 
five days of corporate work in North America. Moreover, if I stayed till 
OSCON, I'd have to go straight home afterwards, which means I couldn't attend 
YAPC::EU, three weeks later.

Taken together, all those factors meant that, once again, I simply could not 
my attend YAPC::NA this year. Which is why I was so upset by the implied 
possibility in Uri's message. I do believe that this Perl College is an 
excellent idea, and a genuine way for us to help both Perl job seekers and 
employers with Perl jobs to fill (as well as helping Uri and I earn a living). 
But I wouldn't want anyone sponsoring the Perl College event because they've 
been misled to infer it would help bring me to YAPC, which it clearly won't. 
I'd rather not run the event at all, than run it under such false pretences.

Uri and I have now discussed appropriate ways for him to advertise this event, 
and I am confident there will not be a repeat of this mistake.


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