Conferences come in all shapes and sizes. These days there are so many conference options for PHP developers that it is sometimes difficult to choose which ones to attend. Between Camps, Cons, Meetups and the other new types of ways for developers to get together and swap ideas, when you hear that there is yet another one, sometimes you hear groans. However, anytime Microsoft announces they are throwing a *Camp, *Con or just showing up at a bar with an empty credit card, you can usually get the PHP community’s attention. That is how I find myself in Kirkland, WA this week at Microsoft’s SQL Server Jump In! Camp.
For the next week about 20 other PHP developers representing 10+ projects written in PHP, are holed up in the basement of a very nice hotel, hacking away on…PHP. If you follow Microsoft and PHP then you aren’t surprised that Microsoft is yet again getting PHP developers together to talk. However, if you don’t pay attention, you may be surprised at how interested Microsoft is in PHP and the projects built on top of it. It is that latter interest, projects built on PHP, which is the focus of this week’s camp.
Typical Microsoft, Jump In camp is well thought out and well produced. However, unlike other events I’ve attended that they have hosted, the focus of SQL Server Jump In Camp is running code. The schedule includes large blocks of time for coding, stand-ups for identifying roadblocks and a smattering of instructional sessions and new technology demos. Expectations were set from the outset that they wanted projects to roll code by the end of the week that allowed their projects to connect to SQL Server. They have even gone to the point that the first two projects to roll code this week walk away with an Xbox 360 + Kinect. (Unfortunately, there are no prizes for journalists just here to write about the event, but that’s ok, at least I am just happy to be invited.)
Throughout the week, I will be posting updates, interviews and podcasts covering the events here at Jump In camp. This camp, their participation in PHP focused events throughout the world and the work of people like Mark Brown and Josh Holmes, really shows Microsoft’s commitment to embracing the PHP community and working with them to make PHP a First Class citizen on Windows.