5 Reasons to Sponsor the Perl Toolchain Summit

Photo © Salve J. Nilsen, 2023, CC-BY-NC-4.0

TL;DR Please read and share the prospectus for the Perl Toolchain Summit.

It’s that time of year again. In a few weeks, dozens of Perl hackers will be meeting in Lisbon, Portugal to hack furiously on the Perl Toolchain. I will be there as well, working on MetaCPAN. Most of the other core MetaCPAN developers will be there as well, as is the case most years. We get lots of work done. I usually blog about it. To get an idea of what goes on, you can check out my 2023 Perl Toolchain Summit report and Salve J. Nilsen’s photos.

The summit is a great opportunity for your company to get involved and support the Perl community. Here are 5 reasons why you should sponsor the Perl Toolchain Summit.

1) Synchronous Communication

The developers who maintain CPAN and its associated tools and service are scattered all across the globe and, more importantly, in different time zones. Most of us know that it’s entirely possible to get things done at our day jobs while working remotely. It’s not always this easy when trying to co-ordinate the time, efforts and schedules of volunteers. The Perl Toolchain Summit is the only time of the year when most of these developers are in the same room together. The event gives them the luxury of synchronous, rather than asynchronous communication. Imagine walking across the room to talk to someone rather than waiting for someone who lives across an ocean to find the free time to respond to a GitHub issue or a chat message. Problems can be solved much faster when you get so many stakeholders and decision makers in the same room.

2) Face Time

We also know that communication can be hard and it doesn’t necessarily get easier when much of it happens by text. Giving the Toolchain developers the chance to work face to face means they have a greater understanding and appreciation of whom they are dealing with. The cameraderie which develops at this event allows the Toolchain developers to communicate freely and well when they’re not all together. I’m amazed at how well everyone gets along for the part of the year when we’re not in the same room. It’s a very special group of people.

3) Consensus

Some big decisions require consensus. Consensus requires getting input from many people. Being able to call a meeting to discuss topic X with all of the relevant people is kind of a big deal. Past toolchain summits have given us documents which offer a guide on how to move forward. The Lancaster Consensus is such a document.

4) Distraction-free Time

Most Open Source developers are juggling a bunch of things in their day to day lives and hacking on software is just one of those things. Many of us rarely get more than a few hours in a given week to work distraction-free on something which interests us. Sometimes we don’t even have that luxury. The Toolchain summit gives developers 3-4 days of time to keep barreling ahead on critical software. Imagine what you could do with a hobby project when all you had to worry about was getting up in the morning, having a prepared meal and then plugging in your laptop and consulting the experts sitting around you? That’s exactly what this event is like. It also has the side effect of increasing the cadence of a project in the weeks leading up to the Toolchain where everyone prepares ahead of time, in order to maximize their creativity upon arrival.

5) It Keeps the Toolchain Moving Forward

The Perl Toolchain Summit works to ensure that the parts of the Perl Ecosystem which developers (and businesses) around the world rely on, are cared for. Some problems are thorny. They require time. They require expertise. They require help and possibly a shoulder to cry on. If your business relies on Perl, then it relies on the toolchain. It relies on a healthy and secure ecosystem. These are critical things, but they’re also boring. They’re not flashy new apps. They’re not going to get you on the front page of Hacker News. They are, however, going to allow people and businesses around the world to carry on with their lives, blissfully unaware of the efforts which are going into the software which underpins some part of their existence. Sponsoring this event allows you to support the boring, important parts of Perl.

By now you’re probably thinking “shut up and take my money”. That’s wonderful! Sponsoring the event is easy. Please have a look at the prospectus. It has more information on this event and it has everything you need to get started as a sponsor. Kindly pass the prospectus along to your friends and colleagues and together we can work together to keep the Perl Toolchain moving forward.


Olaf Alders

Dad, Perl hacker, guitar player and swimmer. Olaf is a founder of the MetaCPAN project.

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