Alex Balhatchet

I'm CTO at Showroom connecting merchants with publishers, with a sprinkling of machine learning magic.

A lot of my code, including this website, is up on Github.

I use Ubuntu Linux as my primary operating system.

I'm a Perl hacker, so of course I have a few CPAN modules.

I enjoy playing, reading about and thinking about Magic: The Gathering, a fantasy card game.

If you're feeling social you can find me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

I currently live in Islington with my wonderful wife Dotti.

We love to travel all around the world.

I've worked with a bunch of really great people.

While at university at Imperial College I made some amazing friends.

Perl Projects


A module for formatting numbers in the South Asian style.

This was released to CPAN as part of my work on Nestoria India. In India the number one hundred thousand is written as "1,00,000" or "1 lakh."

You can find it on CPAN here:


A grep-like filter for highlighting words, which makes use of Perl's powerful regular expression engine.

This is one of many scripts I've written which makes use of Term::ANSIColor to make a simple but very useful script. It's maybe not as powerful or useful as App::Ack but it's still handy to have.

You can find it on CPAN here:


A dependency solver for scheduling access to a shared resource

This was originally developed by a Lokku intern Colin Horne. I just wrote the test suite.

You can find it on CPAN here:


Process multiple HTTP requests in parallel without blocking.

This was originally developed by Edmund von der Burg, but I have taken over maintainence of it. We use this heavily at Nestoria for fetching images for property listings.

You can find it on CPAN here:


Module to tie together multiple Geo::Coder::* modules

This has been developed by many people at Lokku over the years. It is very useful for dealing with geocoding APIs which have daily usage limits.

You can find it on CPAN here:


Build custom test packages with only the features you want.

Test::Kit allows you to create a single module in your project which gives you access to all of the testing functions you want. Its primary goal is to reduce boilerplate code that is currently littering the top of all your test files.

You can find it on CPAN here:


A mustache templating engine statement-for-statement cloned from hogan.js.

Text:Hogan provides a feature complete template compiler and rendering engine for the logic-less Mustache templating system.

You can find it on CPAN here:


Test::Kit 2.0

Test::Kit allows you to create a single module in your project which gives you access to all of the testing functions you want. Its primary goal is to reduce boilerplate code.

I gave this talk at a Technical Meeting at Conway Hall in July 2014.

Viewable at slideshare here:

Growing a Perl Team (and the whole Perl community too!)

At Nestoria we have always hired and worked with interns. I explain how we go about it, and why it's good for our company and for the whole Perl community.

I gave this talk at YAPC::EU Kiev in August 2013.

Viewable (with slide notes) at Google Drive here:

Or you can watch it on YouTube here:


App::highlight is a bit like grep, except that it doesn't filter out lines. In exchange for seeing all the output you get a lot more fun highlighting options to play with, and full Perl regex support of course.

I gave this talk at the technical meeting in July 2013.

Viewable at slideshare here:

Continuous testing and deployment in Perl

Covers how we do continuous deployment at Lokku, and dives deep on some of the great Perl test modules that are available.

Viewable at slideshare here:


Configuration based file deletion and backup

A module we wrote at Lokku and open-sourced on CPAN for everyone to use

Viewable at slideshare here:

Introduction to Writing Readable and Maintainable Perl

Also known as: Perl Best Practices: The Best Bits. Presented at YAPC::EU 2011 in Rīga, Latvia

Viewable at slideshare here:

Authoring CPAN Modules

A talk I gave internally at Lokku in January 2011.

Covers PAUSE, CPAN, Git, Github, Dist::Zilla and CPAN Testers.

Viewable at slideshare here:


Modern Perl Book

I contributed to the Modern Perl Book which is available freely online. My name is in the credits and everything!

(Although my contributions were pretty small! ;-))

I'm a pretty easy person to find online. Your best options are probably...

Last updated Wed 16 Aug 20:38:37 BST 2017.

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