ZendCon Wrapup

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p. !

h1. Monday

p. Monday started off great with the tutorials. As usual, I didn’t get to spend much time in any of them but I did get to sit for a while in “Matthew Weier O’Phinney”:http://weierophinney.net/matthew/ and “Mike Naberenzy’s”:http://mikenaberezny.com session on “Best Practices”:http://weierophinney.net/matthew/uploads/php_development_best_practices.pdf It was a great session and if you weren’t able to attend, I recommend that you visit their blogs and grab the slides.

p. !>http://static.flickr.com/112/284207844_9ef549748d_m.jpg! That’s not to slight the other tutorial teachers. I heard great things about each and every one of them. I wish I had had more time to spend with them but alas, I had other duties to attend to.

p. Monday night ended in a party for the speakers and any Zend Certified Engineers in attendance. While the pizza was available most of the time, there was always beer and wine to be had. At the party, I got to meet an author of one of the books I’m currently reviewing, Elliot White. Elliot works at digg.com and along with Jonathan D. Eisenhamer wrote “PHP 5 in Practice”:http://www.amazon.com/PHP-5-Practice-Developers-Library/dp/0672328887/sr=8-1/qid=1162755263/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3004796-3584761?ie=UTF8&s=books.

h1. Tuesday

p. !http://static.flickr.com/113/284207799_e8ef1aba58_m.jpg! The news that did not get the coverage I think it deserved was the new product “announcement”: of “ZendBox”:http://www.zend.com/products/zendbox. ZendBox (which has the cool tagline of “Think inside the box”) is “a fully support & managed, hosted dedicated server with the complete Zend PHP 5 Stack pre-installed”. Ok, but beneath that bit of market-speak is a cool concept. ZendBox is a combination of a hosting provider setting up the server hardware and Zend setting up the software. The result is a fully managed and supported development platform. Here’s a quick quote from the website.

bq. ZendBox is a fully hosted and managed dedicated server running the latest Zend PHP 5 Technology stack, including Zend Core, Zend Framework and Zend Platform. ZendBox provides a complete and easy to deploy solution for the operation and management of business-critical PHP applications.

p. You can find more information at the “ZendBox”:http://www.zendbox.com site and even pre-register for your own ZendBox.

p. Tuesday continued with a great panel on “How Do the Stacks Stack Up?”. Moderator Steve O’Grady did a great job or posing questions to the panelist about the different aspects of the most popular deployment stacks for PHP.

p. !http://static.flickr.com/103/285839765_23608209ef_m.jpg! Wednesday broke bright and early for those of us who didn’t stay too late at the “Facebook.com”:http://www.facebook.com party. As with Tuesday, Wednesday started off with a keynote given by Anant Jhingran, VP & CTO, Information Management, IBM Software Group and
Mike Smith, Distinguished Engineer, i5/OS Architect at IBM. As with the other keynotes, it was a great talk and a great way to kick off the morning. The keynote was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Andi Gutmans. The topic of discussion was Case Studies. All panelists represented companies that have successfully deployed applications using PHP.

p. Since the Exhibit Hall was open again on Wednesday, there was a break so that everybody could make it down to visit the exhibits without missing the sessions. The afternoon sessions on Wednesday were up to the previous days high standards.

p. Wednesday’s second keynote was presented by “David Berlind”:http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/ David works at ZDNet but is probably best known for his “Mashup Camp”:http://www.mashupcamp.com/. David discussed the “Mashup Economy” and showed us some cool ideas. One of the links he showed that I was surprised everybody didn’t know about was “ProgrammableWeb.com”:http://www.programmableweb.com. If you are interested in mashups, this is an invaluable resource.

p. As evening fell in god’s country, ZendCon attendees found another reception in the Exhibit Hall. This time “OmniTI”:http://www.omniti.com was buying the drinks and a great time was had by all. It was also the last chance to grab an eye-patch from IBM. (Read on, you’ll see it’s important)

p. !http://static.flickr.com/115/286952589_5f98c3c93f_m.jpg! Rumor has it that the #phpc “get together” blossomed into a full-blown party complete with Karaoke and ran way into the wee hours of Thursday. I was unable to attend (being the old man I am) so I don’t know the details first hand but there is enough picture evidence to suggest that a great time was had by all. (Including the two pirates who seemed to have followed the party off-site.)

h1. Thursday

p. Thursday morning was beautiful for those of us who were awake to see it. Unlike previous conference days, Thursday started off with sessions . Since it was a short day there was only one keynote. “Robert ‘r0ml’ Lefkowitz”:http://r0ml.net/blog/. R0ml talked about “The Semasiology of Open Source” which was part college lecture and part stand-up comedy routine. No matter which part you watched it was an informative and interesting keynote. without slighting the other keynotes (especially the two who are in my chain of command) it was probably my favorite.

p. Unfortunately, that was the end of ZendCon. People shook hands, exchanged email addresses and said goodbye till next year.

p. !http://static.flickr.com/102/286952162_aa4a82290a_m.jpg! That’s it, no more. That’s a complete wrap-up of one of the most fun conferences I’ve been to this year. It was fun to see some of my old friends and great to make new ones.

p. Oh, I almost forgot, almost everyone by now has seen the “PHP Community Playing Cards”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/calevans/sets/72157594355906012/. I’d like to make sure that credit is given where credit is due. (because I got a lot of credit for that project and I had a LOT of help making it happen.) First, the idea came out of a conversation John Coggeshall and I had on IM one day. Second, I could not have gotten the project off the ground without the help of a wonderful lady, Jennifer Walsh. Third, the beautiful artwork was completed in a record time by the wonderful Revital. Finally, over one half of the pictures used came from “Sebastian Bergmann’s flickr stream”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastian_bergmann/. I’d like to say a special thank you to Sebastian and to anyone else who contributed photos to make this project happen.

p. =C=

p.s. Here’s the “conference Flickr stream”:http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=zendconference2006&m=tags for those who haven’t gotten your Flickr fix lately.