Back in Tokyo

JUI Logo I finally combined two interests of mine into one: My love for Japan and my day job. From May 14th to May 20th, I will be in Tokyo participating and speaking on two great conferences.

The first conference is a great international hacker conference featuring both Perl and JavaScript sessions – its name is YAPC Asia , you can find their website here:

Due to the popular demand, registration was already closed a couple of weeks ago, but they opened again to sell a couple of more tickets. So if you’re planning to attend, definitely register fast!

The second conference is a exclusive one-day event named JUI 2008 Tokyo, a day completely dedicated to JavaScript User Interface sessions. It will happen immediately after YAPC (after the weekend), on Monday, May 19th.

That one is most interesting – a couple of weeks ago, I wrote an email to Yusuke Kawasaki to find out about japanese conferences, because I wanted to get active in Japan. He was extremely kind and helpful, and immediately answered with a bunch of options, the most immediate was the YAPC Asia. Unfortunately, the call of papers was closed long ago, so he came up with the idea of a exclusive one day event, with the focus on jQuery UI (!).

Now that’s what we got – a great one-day event, featuring great japanese speakers and jQuery UI content all over, sponsored by Yusuke Kawasaki’s company RECRUIT. The details are still worked out, but we’ll soon post a timetable and more information (A facebook event page can be found here).

If you ever wanted to visit Tokyo, this would be a great time and chance to combine a holiday trip with a great business trip. Be sure to leave a a comment if you think about it!

On a sidenote: The japanese IT economy is the third largest in the world, but it was (and still is) very difficult to enter their market or exchange business ideas and knowledge. Of course, there are a couple of reasons, but from what I’ve seen, it’s a more trivial one: The language!

Most conferences hosted in Japan are japanese only, with only a few english speakers and no english website/marketing, and although you will see great code if you attend, you might easily become frustrated because you don’t understand the details. However, there seems to be a small revolution or evolution going on – YAPC Asia is getting very popular, and it’s completely international – all session slides are translated from japanese to english and vice versa. They even have english-speaking staff!

I always had the feeling that from a knowledge perspective, Japan is a pot full of gold – but only if you learn japanese, you’ll receive the golden key to open it. Now there might soon be an easier way :-)

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