How I Spent my 2015 Hackathon

On May 2, 2015 I had the pleasure of attending the hackathon, which was hosted at the Bloomberg tower in Manhattan. I was privileged to be one of 5 developers to have their travel and hotel sponsored by Bloomberg L.P. This made attending the event very easy for me. Basically all I had to do was show up at the airport and the rest was taken care of for me!

The event was very well organized, had a great vibe and was very encouraging to newcomers (to Perl and to open source contributions). For my part, I was there to work on MetaCPAN and (hopefully) be there as a resource to anyone else who wanted to contribute to MetaCPAN.

I’m happy to say that I got a number of things done. I was able to fix all of the failing tests on ElasticSearchX::Model. This is a module which MetaCPAN relies on heavily. Going into it, I wasn’t sure if the failures were in the code or in the tests. Luckily it was just a problem with the tests, so that was easy enough to fix. I trapped some warnings while I was at it and eventually got a green light from Travis. I got a good chunk of this done on the flight in, so I was able to finish it and release a new version as my first order of business at the hackathon.

Moving forward I continued to work on the MetaCPAN Elasticsearch upgrade, which I was working on at the QA Hackathon. I was able to fix bugs in the module which imports CPAN mirror data into the little known mirror endpoint of the API. I also (mostly) fixed bugs in the module which imports CPANTesters data into the release objects of the API. That still needs some work, but it took a fair amount of digging around.

In addition to this, I worked with MATTP, who added more handy keyboard shortcuts to MetaCPAN. (For example, go to and type “pr” — that will take you straight to the Github pull requests for this repository). I was able to merge and deploy this change at the hackathon.

I also had some good conversations with RJBS about finding recursive dependencies for modules and graphing them. It turns out he already has a workable solution for this and I don’t think converting his code to use MetaCPAN would actually speed things up for him.

I finally met Yanick Champoux, who was a very early contributor to MetaCPAN. I was able to recognize him from the 1/2 of his face which is exposed by his avatar! I should also mention that he helped me find my phone not once, but twice in 24 hours. (I really have to keep better track of it).

I also had a fun dinner with Florian Ragwitz and Augustina Ragwitz. (Florian has been involved with MetaCPAN since it was about six months old).

And, to round out the namedropping, I also met the following folks for the first time: I had an interesting chat with David Farrell about and using Perl6 to parse Pod. Charlie Gonzalez showed me all of the interesting stuff a Fitbit can track and I had a very brief chats with Nick Patch and Peter Martini, whom I basically crossed paths with as I was headed for my ride to the airport.

The facilities were outstanding as was the plentiful food (breakfast and lunch). This was all made possible by the sponsors: Bloomberg, RubensteinTech and

The organizers did a fantastic job with all of this, so I should particularly thank Jim Keenan, Charlie Gonzalez and David Golden and Kevin P. Fleming.

This was the 2nd hackathon. I have a hunch that this means there will also be a 3rd. If you have a chance to attend this hackathon in future, my advice would be do it!