A week at ZendCon 2010

Monday through Thursday what a ride. Yes I did miss some of the keynote speaker and yes I snagged a lunch which didnt belong to me. Sorry Sorry…ugh 🙂

Anyways ZendCon was awesome! I’m not sure why this event does not have more participants but I have to say that I greatly enjoyed it. Thumbs up to the organizers as well as the speakers. Ill be attending Zendcon until i drop dead. 🙂

Here are some key take aways from the conference.
1. Someone took Matthew Weier O’Phinney voice. He lost his voice, yet continued to participate in the talks. Pretty hardcore if you ask me.
2. If you’re not already looking at the cloud. Look up and try to spot one. No really, start reading up on it.
3. The Zend Framework 2.0 is being worked on and looks very promising in terms of performance.
4. The Zend Framework wants your feedback in terms of a Migration plan and bug hunts!
5. Zend Framework now has mobile support.
6. You MUST attend Zendcon 2011.

Reasons to attend Zendcon – Reason #1 – Networking
Does this sound familiar? “Meh, ill just read the Power Points when they are posted”. Yes that was me and it might be you. Though this is a good alternative, if you have no way to reach the con or cant come up with the $ to pay for it (btw ask your company if they can help you with this. Most companies do) I have to say that you’re missing out on a lot. The network of people you build while at the conference is great. You talk about lessons learned while tackling a specific problem and if the conversation attracts enough people youll find yourself huddled around a table chatting it up with 5 others with the same issue.

Reason #2 – Information Information information!!!!
The second reason to attend the conference is the ability to learn what other organizations are doing. I can not stress this enough. Being blind or not caring about the direction of your competitors or an industry leader in your field is tantemount to jumping out of a plane without a parachute (FAIL).

As a developer you want to know what company X is doing, how long they have tried this approach, and where its taken them. For all you know they failed and your team/company is close to implementing the same solution because it looks ‘attractive’…on paper. Zendcon provides this. I loved the open forum style talks. Each speaker shared their experiences from the field and allowed the audience to also share their experience. And yes I was typing away all these notes for my knowledge locker just in case i ever run into a similar situation.

Reason #3 – The Measuring stick doesnt lie
Finally the last and third reason I enjoy going to conferences and now enjoy going to this one. I like to measure where I’m at as an engineer. If you want to be good at what you do its not simply about building apps its about surrounding yourself with the people you want to be like. Learning from them, listen to what they are talking about, and listen to what they failed and succeed at. For me, the individual sitting on stage was a good reminder as to where I want to go. They encompassed the “do’ers” of the community in my book and with Matt it was more the breath of knowledge the guy has in his head. I kinda wanted to ask him what were the next steps to becoming a good developer and what he recommended someone in my area do to grow. But I chickened out. Next year.

All in all Zendcon a good conference to attend as a PHP developer and hope to see you there next year!

P.S. I will be posting my notes here shortly (this time for real. I know i promised slides from the Google I/O)

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