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Beth Tucker Long:
How to Submit a Talk to a Conference
January 03, 2014 @ 09:03:25

If you've ever thought about submitting a topic to speak at a technology conference, but never quite knew how to take those first steps, check out this advice from Beth Tucker Long. It's a list of steps and reminders to follow when thinking about your topics and submitting.

I've been on both sides of the proverbial conference table. I have been the one submitting proposals, hoping against hope that they will pick mine, and I have been on the selection committee, struggling to choose between hundreds of awesome proposals when you only have a few talk slots available. Through these varied experiences, I've learned a few things about what works and what doesn't when submitting a conference proposal.

Her list includes things like:

  • First and foremost, remember to hit spell-check
  • Have someone else read your submission
  • Identify a clear problem that the topic of your talk will help solve
  • Be honest about your topic
  • Share past feedback in the comments or notes section
  • Submit a lot of proposals
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Link: http://www.alittleofboth.com/2014/01/how-to-submit-a-talk-to-a-conference

DZone.com:
From Java to PHP
March 15, 2013 @ 11:55:29

On DZone.com today there's a new post that welcomes those coming from Java over to PHP with a few recommendations and suggestions about what's different and some things they might find familiar in the transition.

We are welcoming some new colleagues that come from a Java background in the Onebip team, both from the development and operations field. Here's a primer on learning PHP in this situation, that you may find useful when introducing similar people in your PHP-based projects.

He breaks it up into a few sections:

  • the "absolute basics" (like the differences in variable handling)
  • things to not care about (like procedural PHP or the installation of Apache+PHP)
  • how to "write to a graph" (things like PDO, DateTime)
  • things to watch out for (like == vs === and some php.ini settings)

He also recommends doing some coding katas with TDD to give you a "crash course" in the language and help you learn from more than just reading.

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Rafael Dohms:
Of Creating User Groups and Physics
February 14, 2013 @ 12:53:00

Rafael Dohms has (re)osted an article of his that previous appeared in php|architect magazine about creating user groups for technology communities and how it relates to physics (well, vacuums at least).

Some developers may notice this absence of "particles" and interaction between them in their local area, this may even cause them enough of an itch that it needs to be scratched, and thus a User Group starts forming. But how hard is it to start a group? Can anyone do it? what really am I going to have to do to get all these particles into my vacuum and end this "empty space" in my region?

He offers some suggestions of things he's done in the past to help start up user groups including things like:

  • Finding local developers interested in meeting up
  • Spreading the word via coworkers/other companies using PHP
  • Having more than just a "one man operation" running the group
  • Looking for partners/sponsors for the group and its activities
Come join the fun, being in a user group and participating is a very good, professionally and personally, you are not just helping others, you are learning, teaching and expanding you set of tools.
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Lorna Mitchell:
Become a ZCE in 2013
January 01, 2013 @ 10:36:34

If you've ever looked at getting your ZCE (Zend Certified Engineer) certification but didn't know where to start, Lorna Mitchell suggests that 2013 is the year to do it and offers some tips (and her own guide to help you along the way).

A few people have told me it's their New Year's resolution to become a ZCE this year, and I'm sure they're not the only ones. I regularly help developers and teams prepare for ZCE, so I thought I'd make up a mini package of tips, tricks and a full set sample questions with solutions and explanations, for anyone who won't be taking a whole preparation course.

She recommends a few things in general too like studying up with the free Zend PHP 5.3 ZCE guide, research into areas that might be a bit foreign to you and, of you have the time and means, try taking a course to walk you through what you'll need to know

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Adam Culp:
How to grow a tech community
December 26, 2012 @ 12:36:01

Adam Culp has written up a great post with some good suggestions about how you can more effectively foster a better technology community in your area or company.

As most know, I am the organizer of the South Florida PHP Users Group and I am passionate about helping the PHP community grow in south Florida. Over my years as a developer I have noticed the decline of technology in this market, and specifically the PHP community. It was this that led me to organize a group dedicated to turning this trend around, and and grow the PHP community rather than continue to watch it decline.

He shares suggestions on a few different topics, spurred by a conversation at a recent meeting he attended:

  • Having a litte-to-no distraction workplace
  • Being open to telecommute/remote workers
  • Avoiding the "sweat shop" mentality
  • Advocating bringing in a fresh perspective (hiring an entry-level dev)
  • Supporting company-provided training opportunities
  • Respect them as professionals
  • Not worrying as much about salary and more about the quality of the developerA
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Jacob Mather:
How to act like you (maybe actually) care about your work
October 09, 2012 @ 12:49:03

Jacob Mather has written up a (somewhat lengthy) post about things for developers to consider when wanting to improve at their jobs.

At Symfony Live San Francisco 2012, I gave a little talk. No, really. A little talk. Seven minutes. I'm not even sure I used all of it. That's not a lot of time, but I think I managed to at least provoke some thinking. At least I hope I did. Hmm. How do you act like you care about your work, as a developer?

He has the post broken up into several different categories including being involved in the community, continuing your education constantly, working with automation to make your day-to-day easier and what your real job is (hint, it has more to do with problems and less with code). He also includes a section with suggestions about dealing with coworkers of all different types - everything from management to designers.

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NetTuts.com:
Organizing Enterprise-Level Applications
October 01, 2012 @ 10:37:50

On NetTuts.com Jonathan Cutrell has posted some ideas for you to consider when designing your enterprise-level applications, regardless of the language(s) they're written in.

Organization can make or break the maintainability of an application. With smaller applications, organization is more obviously apparent; however, as the application grows and as the number of application developers and front-end engineers producing code increases, the more confusing organization can become. In this post, we will go over some basic concepts for keeping applications organized so that finding relevant code is an efficient and systematic process.

He's broken it up into a list of suggestions to make it a bit easier to take it all in:

  • Learn from Frameworks
  • Building a Standard
  • Uniformity of Connected Parts, Uniqueness of Discrete Parts
  • Another Note About Static Files
  • What Should Be Unique?

There's some good advice in there, especially around things like standards, naming conventions, site complexity and how much usage the site is likely to see.

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Reddit.com:
Suggestions for a University Talk Covering a PHP Introduction
August 30, 2012 @ 12:09:04

In this new post to Reddit, the author asks the community for suggestions for a talk they're giving at a university to cover the PHP language and some of its major features.

I've been asked to give a 1.5-hour talk to university students about PHP. What helpful information should I not miss to impart? Little help please. I plan to name the talk "Why PHP?" to give an introduction of the language and give reasons why it's a good/bad career path. I'm also asked to show a short demo and show some past projects. [...] What would be really helpful facts, tips, etc that I can impart to the students?

Suggestions in the comments include:

  • PHP performance
  • The accessibility of the language
  • Popular sites that currently use it
  • The wide community
  • Corporate usage

Have any other thoughts? Share them here!

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NetTuts.com:
Ten New Year's Resolutions Every Web Developer Should Make
December 27, 2011 @ 13:20:05

NetTuts.com has posted their list of what they think should be New Year's resolutions for every developer:

In less than a week, we'll be in 2012. I know it's a cliché, but where has the year gone? Naturally, we're now at the time of year when folks set goals for the new year. While you might have some goals for your "real" life, how about a few resolutions for your developer life?

Suggestions include:

  • Get Better At What You Know
  • Engage the Community
  • Take Better Care Of Yourself
  • Use Better Programming Practices
  • Take a Break
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NetTuts.com:
The Best Way to Learn PHP
October 17, 2011 @ 09:08:55

On NetTuts.com today there a new article with what they think is the best way to learn PHP in a list of thirteen different "assignments".

Learning something from scratch is almost always an arduous affair - you simply have no idea as to where to start, or not to start, to kick things off. I loathed learning about the idiosyncrasies of C++'s syntax when all I wanted to learn were some darn programming concepts. As I'm sure you can agree, this is a less than ideal situation. [...] Today, we're going to figure out the best way to learn PHP.

Among their list of "assignments" are things like:

  • Disregard the Naysayers
  • Read a Few, Good Books
  • Create Something Simple
  • Try out a Lean, Lightweight Framework
  • Build Something Awesome
  • Get Involved and Be Up to Date

There's also some good comments with suggestions of other frameworks to learn, things to try out and a few comments that put an emphasis on learning the language before diving directly into a framework.

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