Fresh Blood: The New LPW Team

17/08/16 10:33 by Mark Keating (‎mdk‎)

After 10 years at the helm of the London Perl Workshop I am standing down as solo lead organiser. My decision was made with a great deal of hard thought and a realisation. I had done what I personally could with the event, it was time for fresh faces, fresh thinking and a new team to take it forward.

During the closing notes of 2015 I told the audience of my decision. I showed them an image of a flooded street near my house. Not two weeks before the LPW2015 I had to abandon my home and decamp to family as the power failed and the waters drowned my home city. It was a week of no power and lots of uncertainty. It made me realise that you cannot plan for everything, unforeseen events can happen, but you can make the best efforts to put in place the best response to uncertainty.

My best response was not to replace myself with one person, another me. I knew I needed to put forward a team, a group of people who would take the task on. So I asked for volunteers, and I received them. I would like to introduce you to the team. I asked them to do so in their own words, where that wasn’t possible, and where it was funny, I added some of my own.

Neil Bowers (NEILB on CPAN)

Neil has been using Perl since 1992, both for fun and profit. He’s stuck with Perl not only because it seems to fit his brain, but also because the community around Perl is so good.

A little known fact about Neil was his appearance in Lester’s 1984 seminal action flick Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Neil was the stunt armpit for Rae Dawn Chong during the Mall scene and a replacement wig manipulator for Alyssa Milano in the film’s action finale.

PerlRick (Rick Deller)

Rick Deller is an Open Source Recruitment Specialist and the Head of Eligo Technology leading a team of highly talented recruitment consultants specialising in Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, Java Microsoft technologies all things Linux.

Using his extensive recruitment experience, Rick specialises in and has particular success in working with clients to place those hard to fill roles. Recruiting for all levels within Open Source, he has placed 1st line support positions right up to CTO, as well as developers across the board from Junior to Senior Developer.

Rick has worked extensively with the Open Source and Perl communities giving talks and presentations at sector meet-ups, as well as leading industry events such as London Perl Workshop, YAPC:EU, Dynamic Language Conference at FLOSSUK.

Having placed Eligo Technology at the forefront of the Open Source recruitment market Rick uses his extensive knowledge and expertise to understand both the client and candidate expectations in the recruitment process.

"My dream is to see the Perl community grow and develop young talent,
I also would love to work with the community to encourage start-ups
to use Perl and see Perl 6 be a force to be reckoned with."

Rick is a black belt 8th Dan in Karate and Ju-Jitsu. When not involved with the London recruitment scene he can be found bare chested on a beach fighting girl guides in grudge matches. A world class cage fighter, cub-scout mauler and bear wrestler he has also been nominated for 16 awards for his work as on-screen double to Meryl Streep.

Peter Sergeant

Pete has been a long standing member of the Perl community for more years than his boyish looks suggest. Like many programmers Pete started in the community while still a teenager and attended early Perl conferences while young. These days he splits his time between programming and helping find other programmers and companies rewarding employment partnerships. Pete is also a returning sponsor of the London Perl Workshop and we are hugely grateful for the support he has given to the event over the last few years.

Pete is also the recipient of the Perl Camel-Smile Award for a glorious twentieth year, lives in a palatial beach hut in the South China Sea with a cadre of well-trained attack marmosets. A natural polymath, ape-tamer, kangaroo-whisperer, Pete also speaks 600 languages, has 19,000 hobbies, visited Mars and invented the word aubergine as a description for his favourite aunt. His autobiography ‘God I’m Gorgeous’ will be available just as soon as I ghost write it.


Despite living in Leeds and not seeing the irony of having a dog with no collar Smylers was the first person to actively commit hari kari offer his services as a member of an organising team lose his flipping mind for LPW. It is of no small amusement that it was a fellow northerner and remote-organiser who got in there first.

A busy, but active, community member with a strong family life Smylers also enjoys small notoriety for the unusual places he can wedge Perl into, we have been used as a question on a TV show only by his devious efforts. Being a northerner from Yorkshire he also wears a flat cap for 90% of the day taking it off only to shower his whippets and cast it loftily into the air when a racing pigeon returns home. As is often noted by the phalanx of followers he calls his harem ‘eee there’s nowt sexier than a bare chested lad with t’ cap on. Makes thee blakey and you get kittles all ov’r’.



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