The new Shutterstock dev-team t-shirt worn by Brian Fraser from Argentina in his humorous lightning talk with Breno Oliveira from Brazil. Brian spoke in Spanish, with Breno in Portuguese, and the slides in English.

Last week, the Shutterstock tech team took a trip to Austin, Texas for the annual Yet Another Perl Conference (YAPC), in celebration of Perl’s 25th year. Attendees got to listen to talks, beef up their Perl skills, and participate in hackathons, while also enjoying all the perks of Austin culture. Our own talks were among the 80 on offer, giving us a chance to engage in conversation with fellow developers and new talent. Not only did we come across great people, but we also got to connect with some of the folks who use our website most. Plus, the job fair that took place during the event was an excellent recruiting opportunity.

On the whole, the talks were successful and educational. Nick Patch, a developer on our tech team, put together an awesome slideshow about how to make the process of developing applications for different languages easier by using Unicode in Perl. Dwight Brown’s “Whipped Cream Difficulties” blog gave a nice little shout-out to Nick’s talk, too:

“Nick Patch’s ‘Unicode Best Practices’ was one of the two talks that I got the most out of: basically, how to make your Perl code Unicode safe.”

Nick also got a shout-out on Twitter:

Andrew Rodland, another developer at Shutterstock, put together an informative talk about StatsD, while John Binns, a Shutterstock software engineer, asked key questions about adopting new practices and new tools:

“Software engineers are early adopters, almost by definition. But a topic that’s barely been discussed, even in the fields of marketing, information science, and economics, is at what point do the costs of adoption begin to outweigh the benefits? When does constructive early adoption start to become destructive pro-adoption bias? And does this destructive bias exist in the Perl community?”

John also mentioned that it was cool to have a bunch of coworkers come visit him on his own turf (he works remotely from Austin), adding, “I had a surprising amount of fun at the Job Fair trying to recruit new talent.”

In fact, all the members of the tech team who were in attendance had positive feedback about the conference. “There were many great talks,” said software engineer Logan Bell. “It’s always great that Shutterstock has such a strong representation at these events, especially with our speakers. Every developer attending YAPC that I met was very interested in hearing what sort of technologies we’re using. It was a great conversation starter. Shutterstock has a lot of respect and pull in the Perl community.”