p. I’ve just returned from my second trip to the Netherlands and, as with the first one, I had a wonderful time. This time, I was honored to speak at the “PHP Business Seminar”:http://www.phpseminar.nl put on as a joint project by “IBuildings”:http://www.ibuildings.nl/ and “Sogeti”:http://www.sogeti.com.
p. Tuesday morning, the day of the conference, came way too early after a “late night with friends”:http://www.wolerized.com/blog/remi-woler/good-guys-go-amsterdam. Lucky for me, the conference was in the afternoon and evening. Ivo Jansch, CTO of IBuildings, drove me out into the beautiful Holland countryside to a great hotel where the conference was being held. There I met 70+ people, both management and developers, all gathered to talk about PHP.
p. To be honest, I did not pay attention to any of the sessions; in my defense, they were all in Dutch. I did, however, manage to catch a few of the phrases like “Zend Platform” and “Zend Studio” and eventually figured out that “Peh-Ah-Pey” meant PHP. My cue to start paying attention was when the host for the day started speaking in English. At that point, I was pretty sure it was for my benefit only.
p. Presenting my session was fun, ok it was fun for me. I hope it was fun for the audience. The slides can be found on “SlideShare”:http://www.slideshare.net/calevans/gardeners-not-gate-keepers/ but honestly, there are only 14 of them including the vanity slide and if you weren’t there for the conference, they won’t make much sense. I talked about the fact that thanks to things like “RIAs”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Internet_application, “Mashups”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mashup_%28web_application_hybrid%29, “APIs”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/API and cool tools like “IBM’s Mashup Hub”:http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/mashuphub/ (built on “Zend Framework”:http://framework.zend.com) and “WS02′s Mashup Server”:http://mooshup.com/, our roles in IT were changing. We no longer need to be the Gate keepers to the infrastructure but we need to be gardeners of the application. We need to provide the tools for our users and let them participate in the building of the application. (In retrospect, Groundskeepers might have been a better analogy) Anyhow, I tortured the analogy for 45 minutes before it was all over. As I told the audience, my presentation wasn’t a “Do this or else” type of presentation but more of an “Here’s an idea I have, see if you can use some of it where you are” presentation.
p. The audience was great for the session and afterwards I was asked several good questions and had some great discussions about the session and PHP in general while eating dinner.
p. Following dinner, we changed audiences and went at it again. At this point I need to say a big thank you to my friends at IBuildings for bringing me a RedBull. I’m pretty sure I would not have made it through the second session with out it. (As it was, I managed to shave 10 minutes off my best time with it.) The evening’s audience was almost all developers, the majority of them from Sorgeti and IBuildings but there were a few from other companies that snuck in for the fun. Peter C. Verhage and Robert van der Linde from IBuildings and Sogeti respectively both reprised their sessions as did I. I’ll have to say, I had a lot more fun in the evening talking only to developers.
p. All in all, it was a great, but all-too-short conference. With only 1/2 a day and a hand full of breaks, there was no way I could meet everyone. The people I did meet were all great and I hope to run into them online to continue the friendships that were formed. I would like to say a special thanks again to both IBuildings and Sogeti for putting forth the effort to put on a conference like this. As PHP’s popularity grows, it’s good for managers to know that companies like IBuildings, Sogeti, and of course “Zend”:http://www.zend.com, are there to help them.
p. So, as my tradition, as the sun was slowly making it’s way across the sky, I mounted my mighty steed of steel donned the battered fedora and headed off to the next conference. (Actually headed back home to recuperate before my road trip to “php|tek”:http://tek.phparch.com/…but that’s another story!)