It has been wonderful journey so far in the year 2019. When I started the journey in March, I didn’t know it would take this shape. All credit goes to the support of Perl/Raku community in general. It would be unfair if I pick few names. You know who I am talking about anyway. Let me share the story with you all.
I was working on 2 ideas at the start of the year 2019, “Perl Weekly Challenge” and “London Hack Day”. As this was my first community project, I was completely unaware of how to do time management. I started with registering the domains for both project (perlweeklychallenge.org and londonhackday.org). Followed by creating dedicated email (email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org) and Twitter account (@PerlWChallenge/@LondonHackDay).
Then it was time to create the content for the website. I am not front-end guy technically but knows enough to get the work done. I was introduced to “Hugo” while I was writing an article for perl.com. I liked it for 2 reasons, one easy to setup and second easy to create article using Markdown. Then the mission was to find a theme supporting Bootstrap. I found one “timer-hugo” that looked elegant yet simple to work on.
Now time to host the static site, GitHub Pages, fits the bill perfectly. The best part of it, you get https for FREE as well. With lots of late nights and weekend, I finally had the website up and running. The launch of first weekly challenge was the most memorable one. There was so much support on Twitter and in general. I was overwhelmed. As we grew, I made some changes in the format to make it interesting.
On 3rd June 2019, I received an email from Pete Sergeant, well respected Perl Hacker and Recruiter, offering to sponsor the “Perl Weekly Challenge”. It was the same day, we were celebrating the festival of Idd. So to me it was pleasnt Idd Gift. After setting up the formalities, we made it public and announced the first winner “Laurent Rosenfeld” in the Week #13. Ever since he has been sponsoring the weekly winner. A big THANK YOU to Pete for the support and encouragement.
While working on “Perl Weekly Challenge”, my other pet project “London Hack Day” got neglected completely. What a shame it didn’t take off as expected. I had email conversation with Sue Spence, as she had done something similar in the past. I got some valuable advices from her. So thank you, Sue. In this project, I had the support of Rick (from Eligo) and Fergus. We even found space for the “London Hack Day”, thanks to Fergus for all the hard work. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take it any further. Having said that, it is still active in my mind. Who knows, I might give it a fresh push in the year 2020.
Going back to “Perl Weekly Challenge”, as the year 2019 coming to an end. I am planning to re-organise everything and make it even bigger event. So what is the plan? I try to keep it simple as much as possible so that I can do it myself without the need of financial help. I have done it so far and intended to carry on further as far as my health allows. Recently I have been diagnised with Type 2 Diabetic, I would blame my father for this. It is in our family. With young family to look after, it is not easy. But thanks to my lovely wife and 3 little angels, I have been able to come this far.
Just few days ago, I bought another domain “rakuweeklychallenge.org” and redirected the traffic back to “perlweeklychallenge.org”. Then while working on the renaming “Perl6” to “Raku”, it occurred to me, “perlweeklychallenge.org” is not just “Perl” weekly challenge but also “Raku” weekly challenge. Wouldn’t it be nicer to have a neutral domain name? At this point, I bought another domain “theweeklychallenge.org”. To me this is best domain for the kind of challenges we are doing at the moment. As you know, our main focus are on “Perl” and “Raku”. But we also encourage members to try other languages also. We have had great response by the members with solutions in C++, Python, Rust, Postscript and HTML.
So the plan for the Year 2020 are as below, I must make it clear that these are not mandatory. If none of it materialise for whatever reasons, I would carry on with the current format.
a) Move the website to proper web hosting provider
b) Make the website realtime and not static (keep the same look and feel). I am a big fan of Dancer2.
c) Allow the visitor to be able to give us feedback and comment.
d) Stop using @yahoo.com as email contact and have proper email @perlweeklychallenge.org
e) Last but not the least, find another Pete to sponsor the weekly winner quickly.
I haven’t done anything this big before, so I don’t know how to go about. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every members for the support and ecouragement.