QCon is a practitioner-driven conference designed for technical team leads, architects, and project managers who influence software innovation in their teams.

Damian Conway, Perl Boffin, Thoughtstream

Damian Conway

Biography: Damian Conway

Damian Conway is a well-known member of the international Perl community. A widely sought-after speaker and teacher, he is also the author of several technical books as well as numerous Perl software modules.

He runs an international IT training company - Thoughtstream - which provides programmer training from beginner to masterclass level throughout Europe, North America, and Australasia. Until 2010 he was also an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University.

Over the past decade most of his spare time has been spent working with Larry Wall on the design and promotion of the new Perl 6 programming language.

Other technical and academic areas in which he has published internationally include programming language design, programmer education, object orientation, software engineering, natural language generation, synthetic language generation, emergent systems, declarative programming, image morphing, human-computer interaction, geometric modelling, the psychophysics of perception, nanoscale simulation, and parsing.

Software Passion: Building smarter software with more graceful interfaces.
Website: damian.conway.org
Software: CPAN mirror
Books: "Object Oriented Perl", Manning Publications, 2001, "Perl Best Practices", O'Reilly Media, 2005, "Perl Hacks", O'Reilly Media, 2006 (co-author)

Presentation: Life, The Universe, and Everything

Time: Wednesday 09:00 - 09:50 / Location: Fleming

"You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon."
-- The Undiscovered Country, 1991.

Take another mind-altering journey to the outer limits of programming as Damian explores:

  • The unlikely convenience of quantum finite state automata
  • The demonic power of Maxwell's information engine
  • The computational expressiveness of (un)natural languages

...blending them all into a simple self-describing massively parallel auto-visualizing superpositional proof-by-simulation system that spans six centuries of the computational arts.

Presentation: Understanding & Using Regular Expressions

Track: Everything you wanted to know about CS (but were afraid to ask) / Time: Wednesday 15:40 - 16:30 / Location: Fleming

For most programmers, regular expressions are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma shrouded in line-noise.

So most sensible programmers either don't use them at all (and are thereby forced to reinvent worse wheels...badly), or else they fall back on an "evolutionary programming" approach: find an existing regex that looks like it might do, then randomly permute its "genome" over and over again until it appears to work.

In this talk we'll go back to basics and discover that regexes mostly aren't what you think they are, mostly don't work the way you were told they did, and mostly shouldn't be created the way everyone tells you to.

More usefully, we'll also talk about what regexes really are, how they actually work, and see how normal programmers can make use of their existing software development skills to construct correct and efficient regexes...without selling their souls or losing their minds.

Training: Presentation Aikido

Track: Training / Time: To be announced / Location: To be announced

Presenting technical information to an audience is one of the hardest tasks any I.T. professional can face. Presenting effectively is not a natural talent for most people. Indeed, many technical presentations utterly fail in their primary objective -- to convey a complex idea or argument clearly and convincingly.

This class explains -- and demonstrates -- the key techniques that combine to produce an effective and enjoyable technical presentation.