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Japan Perl Association Wants To Work With You! B!



In today's article, I (Daisuke Maki a.k.a. lestrrat) will briefly describe about a Japanese Perl organization called Japan Perl Association

If you don't live in Japan, you may never have heard of Japan Perl Association (JPA) [blog]. It is, I believe a slightly different organization compare to, say, The Perl Foundation or Enlightened Perl Organization.

Purpose

Our main purpose is to promote Perl, to educate people about how to write Perl, and to let people know about important developments in the Perl world.

Rationale

Perl is known for its strong community, especially the hackers, the "in" crowd of the Perl ecosystem. While this is all great, we felt that there was a certain void in between these great hackers and the real world, namely businesses and the newbies, the not-quite-yet-hackers.

Perl and its community provides Perl users with many great tools and support, as eptiomized in the great CPAN ecosystem, but we felt that it lacked the proper channels to make Perl appealing to businesses and people who are trying to decide what language to learn from.

JPA's mission is to fill this void, and to tell the good side of Perl, to demistify FUDs, and to spread the joy and benefits of using Perl.

Activities

YAPC

JPA has been in charge of running YAPC in Japan since 2009. Until 2008, a group of individuals volunteered their time and wrestled with book-keeping to run this largest YAPC in the world (with attendees in the 500~ range)

We saw that this mode of operation was not going to be sustainable for long, and on a dinner after YAPC::Asia 2008, I took to it to set up what would become JPA (This is actually how JPA got started).

We intend to hold YAPC::Asia Tokyo 2011 again come autumn, but nothing has been finalized at this moment (and there /are/ rumours that people from other areas are planning to hold a YAPC elsewhere...). Stay tuned

Promoting Cross-Polination (Individuals)

There are at least 4 Perl Mongers group that are active in Japan: Shibuya.pm, Kansai.pm, Hokkaido.pm, Fukuoka.pm, and Okayama.pm. There are handful of less active groups, and groups that are currently being planned for, such as Kamakura.pm, Nagoya.pm, Sendai.pm, and Tama.pm.

The physical distance prevents many great minds to interact with each other. JPA wants to promote this cross polination between hackers from different regions in Japan.

As an example, starting from Fukuoka.pm meetup this past November we're funding selected hackers to visit regional meetups to talk about the latest software, development strategies, and tips, thus increasing the shared knowledge between all communities. We still need to figure out a proper balance on how to fund and operate this system in the long run. Hopefully this will be a sustainable project.

Promoting Cross-Polination (Companies)

We also hold meetups inviting our members/sponsors. This networking event is aimed at promoting joint efforts between these companies. Already a few of our sponsors such as DeNA and Mixi are holding joint tech meeeings, but We would like to see more diverse cooperation at such events.

For members located at places other than greater Tokyo area, these events should be an ideal place to promote themselves and/or their products.

And Other Assorted Activities...

Other than these events, we hold paid training courses on demand (in fact, we're planning to come up with training courses for perl newbies that we should be able to use for fiscal year 2012), sometimes we handle Perl-related administrative issues, sell T-shirts...

There's much to do with so little hands to spare. But we're trying.

What We Would Like From YOU!

If you are in Japan, we certainly would appreciate any help in any form: If you have ideas for an event, let us know. If you would like to be our sponsor, let us know. If you would like to join our group and work with us, let us know.

However, if you're reading this, the chances are that you are from outside of Japan, so those might be a bit harder. The best way for JPA and you to work together is for you to share your knowledge with the Japanese Perl. We have a very active community, so as long as you let us know in advance, we should be able to setup a meetup for you to speak at.

So if you're visiting Japan, don't forget to tell us that you're coming!

Of course, if you have other ideas or suggestions, we're all ears, too.

To Round Up

Japan has a very thriving Perl community, and JPA is trying to do its best to fill void where regular Perl hackers can't really do anything about. We'd like to grow as an organization, and do our best to promote Perl -- more Perl employment, better marketing, more materials for newbies ... you name it.

We'll be the first to admit that JPA is still a young, weak organization, but we feel that what we're doing is slowly but surely making changes. Come see what's up in the Perl world in Japan. For starters, read-on this incredibly rich Perl Advent Calendar, and see what some of the brightest Perl hackers in this tiny island country are doing. I'm sure you will be thoroughly surprised by their skills.

Have fun, and enjoy the remaining days until the Holiday season.

Contact Us

If you're visiting Japan, interested in joining us, or have anything else to say, please contact us at info perlassociation.org (insert an @ mark. you know the drill), or tweet us @jpa_perl