Damian Conway

A Busy Week

by Joey deVilla on July 27, 2009

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

It’s gonna be a busy week for me — there’s a lot going on!

Damian Conway

Monday: Damian Conway and The Missing Link

On Monday evening, I’ll be catching Damian Conway’s presentation, The Missing Link. There’s nothing quite like a Damian Conway presentation – they’re equal parts computer science, mathematical digression, history lesson, physics lecture, pop-culture observation, Perl module code walkthrough and stand-up comedy routine.

If you’re up for an entertaining and enlightening presentation by one of the bright lights of the open source world and you’re going to be in Toronto tonight, you should catch this one. There’s no charge for admission and no registration process – just show up at University of Toronto’s Bahen Centre for Information Technology (40 St. George Street, west side, just north of College) at 7:00 p.m. and head to room 1160 (the big lecture theatre near the back of the first floor).

Map picture

Tuesday: DemoCamp 21 with Special Guest John Udell

DemoCamp Toronto 21: Tuesday, July 28th Tuesday evening brings the 21st edition of DemoCamp, which I like to describe as “show and tell for the bright lights of the Toronto-area tech community”. It’s a chance for people, from hobbyists working on a pet project to enterprise software developers building something globe-spanning to show their peers their projects in action or share an idea. It’s put together by my fellow Microsoftie David Crow (who’s also in Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism group); I cost-host the event with Jay Goldman.

This one’s going to be a special one for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this will be the first DemoCamp held at the Rogers Theatre. Second, Jon Udell, Microsoft Tech Evangelist extraordinaire, will be there.

The presentations on the schedule are:

  • You can’t pick your neighbours, but you can pick your neighbourhood!
    Saul Colt, Zoocasa
  • ArtAnywhere : Where Lost artwork meets Empty walls
    Christine Renaud, ArtAnywhere
  • Bringing Social Media to Contractors
    Brian Sharwood, HomeStars
  • Create a BlackBerry/iPhone Mobile App in 5 Minutes
    Alan Lysne, Cascada Mobile
  • Stories Told Together – Introducing Social Cards
    Shaun, MacDonald, MashupArts
  • WeGoWeGo.com: semantic search for city events
    Dan Wood, WeGoWeGo.com
  • Guestlist – online event management
    Ben Vinegar, Guestlist
  • guiGoog: Advanced Visual Power Search
    Jason Roks, GuiGoog

Alas, this event is sold out. I’ll take notes and post them on this blog.

Wednesday: Science 2.0

what_we_need_more_of_is_science

The Science 2.0 conference takes place on Wednesday afternoon. Its topic: how the web and computers can radically change and improve science. It takes place at the MaRS Centre and the presentations are:

  • Choosing Infrastructure and Testing Tools for Scientific Software Projects
    Titus Brown
  • A Web Native Research Record: Applying the Best of the Web to the Lab Notebook
    Cameron Neylon
  • Doing Science in the Open: How Online Tools are Changing Scientific Discovery
    Michael Nielsen
  • Using “Desktop” Languages for Big Problems
    David Rich
  • How Computational Science is Changing the Scientific Method
    Victoria Stodden
  • Collaborative Curation of Public Events
    Jon Udell

As with DemoCamp, this event is a popular one and is sold out. I’ll take notes and blog the conference.

Thursday: Windows 7 Blogger Event

I’ll be helping out at a gathering of Toronto bloggers on Thursday, where we’ll be showing them Windows 7.

Friday: Coffee and Code

coffee-and-code-2 If it’s Friday, it must be time for Toronto Coffee and Code! It’s the day when I set up shop at a cafe – usually the Dark Horse – and work from there, making myself available to answer questions, hear your opinions and comments and chat. I’ll talk about Microsoft, our tools and tech, the industry in general, whatever!

This Friday’s Toronto Coffee and Code will take place at the Dark Horse Cafe (215 Spadina) from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.. Feel free to drop by!

Map picture

Other Stuff Going On This Week

techdays_canada_2009_logo

  • Along with the other people on the team, I’m helping out with the preparatory work on the TechDays conference, which will be taking place in seven cities across Canada this fall.
  • I’m also working on ongoing series of articles covering stuff like coding fundamentals, ASP.NET MVC, mobile and some other stuff that I have to keep on the down-low for the time being.
  • And it’s not too late for me to start working on the ASP.NET MVC presentation that I’m doing with ObjectSharp’s Barry Gervin at the Toronto edition of Stack Overflow’s DevDays conference in October.

{ 1 comment }

Damian Conway

Although I’m not a terribly big fan of the Perl programming language, I am a big fan of one of its best-known contributors and advocates, Damian Conway. There’s nothing quite like a Damian Conway presentation, which is equal parts pop culture, deep science, software engineering and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. I make it a point to see him whenever he comes to Toronto, and that’s happening next Monday, July 27th to the Bahen Centre for Information Technology at University of Toronto to give another amusing, enlightening and most importantly, free talk. This one’s called The Missing Link, and here’s the abstract:

What do:

  • watching trees grow,
  • debugging debuggers,
  • Greek mythology,
  • code that writes code that writes code that writes code,
  • the hazards of LaTeX, successful failures,
  • the treacherous Vorta,
  • objective syntax,
  • anti-stacks,
  • Danish mind-control,
  • active null statements,
  • synthetic standup,
  • and the prospect of certain death

…all have in common?           

Watch as Damian Conway weaves them together into a new and improbably useful module that demonstrates the awesome power and beauty of Perl 5.10.

Even if you’ll never write a line of Perl in your life (which, IMHO, isn’t necessarily a bad thing), you’d do well to catch a Damian Conway presentation. His guided tours of his way-out-in-left-field thinking about life, the universe, programming and everything will turn your brain upside down, give you some good laughs, make you think about coding differently and might even make you a better developer.

Once again, the details:

  • When: Monday, July 27th at 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: Bahen Centre, University of Toronto (40 St. George Street), room 1160 (the major lecture theatre on the ground floor)
  • How much? Free!

Show up early to make sure you get a good seat. I’ll see you there!

{ 4 comments }

Notes from Damian Conway’s Presentation

by Joey deVilla on July 26, 2008

Damian Conway - July 16, 2008

Here are my notes on Damian Conway’s presentation, Temporally Quaquaversal Virtual Nanomachine Programming in Multiple Topologically Connected Quantum-Relativistic Parallel Timespaces…Made Easy, which he gave on Wednesday, July 16th at the University of Toronto’s Bahen Centre. This presentation was a dry run for the presentation he made on Tuesday at the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON) 2008. The talk ran for about two hours, and the time allotted for it at OSCON 2008 was one hour. He incorporated parts of earlier talks into this one, so I suspect that he condensed those parts.

Damian was in fine form and it was good to catch another one of his funny, off-the-wall presentations; it was a good warm-up for RubyFringe.

Slide from Damian Conway\'s presentation: \"An iPhone data plan wants to be vastly more expensive in Canada\"

\"Larry Wall does not age\" slide from Damian Conway\'s presentation

\"Rod Logic book covers\" slide from Damian Conway\'s presentation

{ 2 comments }

Damian Conway Tonight!

by Joey deVilla on July 16, 2008

Damian Conway - July 16, 2008

Damian Conway, Perl expert extraordinaire, Open Source luminary and long-time friend of the Toronto Perl Mongers, will deliver — free and to the public — one of his signature tour-de-force completely insane talks that is…

  • 1/3 high-end IT,
  • 1/3 showmanship,
  • and 1/3 peyote-fuelled hallucination.

Tonight will be the world premiere of a new talk, which goes under the title of Temporally Quaquaversal Virtual Nanomachine Programming in Multiple Topologically Connected Quantum-Relativistic Parallel Timespaces…Made Easy.

As with the fanciful titles of his other talks, it’s hard to tell what it’ll actually be about, but having seen a couple of his presentations, I can guarantee that it will be a slightly-askew look at technology done in an engaging and hilarious fashion. Better still, you’ll be the first to see this presentation, which is a dress rehearsal for the O’Reilly Open Source Conference taking place later this month in Portland, Oregon.

Best of all, unlike the people at the Open Source Conference who’ll have to shell out something in the neighbourhood of $2000, admission to this event is absolutely free. (They will be taking up a collection for Damian in order to provide him some sort of honorarium for his doing the presentation, and some of the DemoCamp money is also going to Damian).

If you’d like to catch this event (I’ll be there), it’s tonight at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology, which is on 40 St. George Street (just north of College), right in the middle of the University of Toronto campus.

As I like to say for this sort of event: be there and be square!

{ 0 comments }

This Week in Toronto Tech

by Joey deVilla on July 14, 2008

Toronto Tech People
Just a small sample of the people that make Toronto’s tech community great.

This week is going to be a week unlike any other in the Toronto technology scene: a week of events created not by municipal groups, large techno-conglomerates or industry think tanks, but by small groups of passionate individuals who enjoys working with both people and technology.

These events don’t have the benefit of major sponsorship or media coverage, nor will they be lining their organizers’ wallets. They’re events put together by amateurs in the original sense of the word: people who do it not for profit, but for their love of their craft, in the hope that both the attendees and even the field itself will be advanced from insights, understanding and knowledge gained by gathering together and exchanging ideas.

It’ll be a busy week for me. I’ll not only be attending these events, but I’ll also be MCing two of them as well. I’ll be posting reports from these gatherings here — keep watching this blog!

DemoCamp 18: Tuesday July 15th, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at Supermarket

DemoCamp Toronto 18: Tuesday, July 15th @ Supermarket

DemoCamp 18 is the eighteenth gathering of the bright lights in Toronto’s software development community where we show each other our projects in action. DemoCamp has grown from a gathering of a couple dozen in late 2005 to a meetup of hundreds at locations like the MaRS Centre and the Toronto Board of Trade and was voted “Toronto’s Best Unconference” earlier this year by BlogTO. It’s given many local software people the chance to showcase their work, meet other people in their field, make connections, get jobs and even get venture capitalist funding (that’s what happened to b5media, for whom I work).

I’m one of DemoCamp’s stewards and will be co-MCing DemoCamp.

You can see the schedule of events for DemoCamp 18 at the DemoCamp.info site. This event’s tickets — a good number of which were free, the remainder going for five or ten dollars — got snapped up within hours of becoming available.

Damian Conway: Wednesday, July 16th, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the Bahen Centre, U of T

Damian Conway - July 16, 2008

The Perl programming language has been given the nickname “the duct tape of the internet” because of its importance in the development of the early web. Damian Conway is its most eloquent spokesperson and a speaker who can turn the dryest of academic lectures into a brain-tickling comic monologue that delivers both laughs and technical insight.

On Wednesday, Toronto will play host to the world premiere of his new talk, titled Temporally Quaquaversal Virtual Nanomachine Programming in Multiple Topologically Connected Quantum-Relativistic Parallel Timespaces… Made Easy. The event will be held at the Bahen Centre at the University of Toronto and it will be free of charge. For more details, see its Upcoming page.

FAILCamp: Friday July 18th, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at The Rhino

FAILCamp

I’ll let the FAILCamp creators, Amy Hoy and Thomas Fuchs do the talking:

“My reputation grows with every failure,” wrote George Bernard Shaw in a letter to fellow author Frank Harris. A healthy attitude towards the natural state of humanity, if you ask us.

We all know failure: public, private, large, small, free or costly, embarrassing or funny or poignant (or all of the above). We have all experienced what our friend Patrick has called “the beautiful rainbow of Fail.” And we tend to stuff it in the closet, keep it under wraps, don’t-ask-don’t-tell or any other number of hidey clichés that poor, beautiful rainbows should not be subject to. We believe that it’s time to give our personal fail some tough love and talk it out over beer!

Join us for a brief, rousing introduction followed by comraderie, beer, and Show and Tell. We’ll present a little about failure through the ages, mining your personal suck, maybe some science, pithy quotes from people you may or may not respect, and share some failure stories of our own.

Then it’ll be your turn. If all goes to plan, you may even win in our friendly “race to the bottom” for the most public, most expensive, or most ridiculous Story of Fail.

Also, did we mention beer?

For more details, see FAILCamp’s event page on Facebook.

RubyFringe: Friday July 18th – Sunday July 20th at the Metropolitan Toronto Hotel

RubyFringe

Finally, the upcoming weekend belongs to RubyFringe, the “deep nerd tech with punk rock spirit conference”.

“RubyFringe,” says its site, “RubyFringe is an avant-garde conference for developers that are excited about emerging Ruby projects and technologies. We’re mounting a unique and eccentric gathering of the people and projects that are driving things forward in our community.”

I’ll be MCing the opening night’s events at the Amsterdam Brewery. Alas, tickets are sold out!

{ 3 comments }