PHP Community Conference wrapup

April 25, 2011


It's not an PHP conference until someone plays RockbandThis past weekend programmers from across North America and Europe, decended upon Nashville, TN – US for a day long conference name The PHP Community Conference. Technically, it was two days because there was the obligatory “Tutorial Day” which I understand was awesome but since I didn’t attend, I can’t attest to it’s awesomeness. I showed up for the Thursday night party/hack-a-thon. The Thursday night event reminded me of php|tek in that there was some place for you to go if you didn’t have plans. The beer flowed freely and there was always someone to sit and talk with or pick up a guitar and pick a turn or two. It wasn’t a formal “event” like you see at some conferences, just a place to hang and geek out.

Judge Ed FinklerEd Finkler ran the Hack-a-thon with between 15-30 people up there coding at any given time. I’ve seen hack-a-thons that only had 2-3 people show up and were very disorganized. It was great to see Ed have such a great turnout. He did a great job of helping people get into the flow of things. Even though they couldn’t chat much because of the Rock Band downstairs, they still managed to hang in there and code. Having seen hack-a-thons organized – both good and bad – I know the effort they take. I appreciate the effort Ed put into this one because it was one of the good ones.

Ryan accepts the iPad2 on behalf of Le AnnFriday morning came a little too early for me so I missed part of Rasmus Lerdorf’s opening keynote. However, after a two or three cups of coffee during the break, I was ready and rarin’ to go. Unfortunately, I slipped into old habits of catching up with old friends and missed most of the sessions. Given the quality of the speaker’s they brought in, I think it’s safe to say they all did a great job. The two I did manage to catch were Paul Reinhemmer’s “XHProf and WonderProxy” and Sean Coates’ “Gimme Bar”. Paul talks about the lessons learned building WonderProxy and Sean did the same for Gimmiebar. Since I pretend to be an entrepreneur, these kinds of talks are always interesting to me, so I enjoyed both of them very much.

Shawn and LornaFriday’s evening event involved much less break dancing than we were promised, much to the relief of the attendees. Instead, we watched PechaKucha talks. I’m not sure why but someone thought it would be a good idea for me to be on the judging panel of the PechaKucha talks. After many good presentations, the winner was eventually decided on; Ryan Weaver from Nashville TN walked away with two cans of Maple Syrup imported from Canada while his girlfriend Leanna got a brand new iPad2.

Scott Gordon on his new toyAs conferences go, this was a good one. Kudos to Ben Ramsey and his team for putting this conference together. There were things that were great about it and things that weren’t. Being a conference organizer myself though, it’s not appropriate for me to do the normal Good/Bad thing. I will say however that I look forward to attending again next year.




About Cal Evans

Many moons ago, at the tender age of 14, Cal touched his first computer. (We're using the term "computer" loosely here, it was a TRS-80 Model 1) Since then his life has never been the same. He graduated from TRS-80s to Commodores and eventually to IBM PC's. For the past 10 years Cal has worked with PHP and MySQL on Linux OSX, and when necessary, Windows. He has built on a variety of projects ranging in size from simple web pages to multi-million dollar web applications. When not banging his head on his monitor, attempting a blood sacrifice to get a particular piece of code working, he enjoys building and managing development teams using his widely imitated but never patented management style of "management by wandering around". Cal is happily married to wife 1.31, the lovely and talented Kathy. Together they have 2 kids who were both bright enough not to pursue a career in IT. Cal blogs at and is the founder and host of Nomad PHP

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