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PHP Town Hall:
Episode 25 Girls Aren't Any Different
May 29, 2014 @ 11:29:04

The PHP Town Hall podcast, with hosts Ben Edmunds and Phil Sturgeon, has posted their latest episode - Episode #25: "Girls Aren't Any Different".

Talking about feminism in tech is always difficult. This episode was quite a heated discussion with Kayla Daniels and Jessica D'Amico discussing their opinions about women-orientated groups such as PHPWomen and Girls Who Code. Kayla wrote an excellent article titled Not a shiny unicorn, in which she made several points. [...] Essentially saying that specialist groups that try to help nurture female involvement can be seen - by some - to be a little patronising, like girls need special help, etc. Also whenever people freakout in the office because there is "a girl" there, things get weird.

While they admit that the session could have been more of a "representative conversation or interesting listening", plenty of points about the topic of feminism in technology-related work are still discussed with some good perspectives on either side. You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3 (no video for this one, unfortunately).

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Link: http://phptownhall.com/blog/2014/05/28/episode-25-girls-arent-any-different/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Politics Often Hold the Community Back
April 28, 2014 @ 10:20:35

On the SitePoint PHP blog Matthew Setter has posted the latest in the "Can Great Apps Be Written in PHP?" interview series. This time he talks with two other developers - Gary Hockin and Bruno Skvorc, the blog's own editor.

Matthew asks Gary questions about his history with PHP and some of his own "highlights" when it comes to features of the language. They also talk about other languages, frameworks and is how preferred toolset.

In talking with Bruno, he asks similar questions but Bruno's answers deal more with the community around PHP than specific features. They also talk some about deployment testing and his own preferences on how his team works.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/interview-gary-hocken-matthew-setter/

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

Justin Carmony:
Why You Should Attend a Tech Conference
October 15, 2013 @ 10:43:53

Justin Carmony has a new post today with some reasons you should attend tech conferences including both the social and technical aspects.

Ever since 2006 I had always wanted to go to a technology conference. I'd see titles of talks for ZendCon and think "Wow, that would be cool to learn about!" In 2009, I finally went to the Utah Open Source Conference (now called OpenWest), and I was blown away with all the stuff to learn. Then, in 2011, I shelled out my own money and flew to Chicago for PHP Tek, and it cost me around $3,000 after conference ticket, flights, hotel, & other expenses while at Chicago. It was absolutely awesome, and I walked away extremely grateful that I went.

He gives four main reasons to attend:

  • Learning From the Talks
  • Discovery of New Technologies
  • Rubbing Shoulders with Giants
  • Making Connections with Others

He points out that, with so many more regional conferences popping up, attending these events is even more accessible.

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Link: http://www.justincarmony.com/blog/2013/10/15/why-you-should-attend-a-tech-conference/

Engine Yard:
Improving Your Local Tech Group
October 04, 2013 @ 11:28:47

On the Engine Yard blog today PJ Hagerty has a new post sharing some of his suggestions to help improve your local tech-related group and promote growth.

There are hundreds of User Groups across North America and around the world. These groups are primarily socially based or hacker groups who gather regularly to work on group or individual "toy" projects. Most groups will remain small and insular. It's easy to stick with what is familiar and keep recycling the same format every month. Unfortunately, this leads to stagnation and apathy by group members. People will eventually stop showing up and the group will either suffer along or just cease to exist.

He suggests things that are easier when there's more than one person involved in making it a success - things like "diversify responsibilities" and having a "coordinator for outside the group activities", but they're helpful tips. He also points out a few other things to remember - that communication with the group is key, "thinking globally" to get your group involved outside the local scope and getting sponsors involved.

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Link: https://blog.engineyard.com/2013/improving-your-local-tech-group

NetTuts.com:
10 Tips for Learning a New Technology
May 10, 2013 @ 10:54:10

On NetTuts.com today they've posted a list of tips they think will help you learn a new technology faster. They've broken it up into ten different steps, some which could be done at any time but some have a bit more of an order.

We live in a very exciting time. Never before has education been so cheaply available to the masses (if not free). The medium, itself, has made tectonic shifts from a classroom setting, to blogs, screencasts and complete university classes, as a set of videos and interactive forums. Given these resources, there's absolutely no excuse not to dive in and learn. However, with such a wealth of resources, filtering through the options can often become overwhelming. In this article, I will outline a simple process to kick-start your education.

Among the items in their list there's things like:

  • "Let the Information Flow Begin"
  • "Listen and Watch"
  • "Blogging"
  • "Feel the Pulse"
  • "Meetups and Conferences"

Each tip comes with a bit of description and some links to other resources and tools that can help you along your way.

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Link: http://net.tutsplus.com/articles/general/10-tips-for-learning-a-new-technology

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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Neal Anders:
Insight into getting conference proposals accepted..
November 16, 2012 @ 10:15:29

If you've considered submitting to a technology conference as a speaker but didn't really know where to start, you might check out this advice from Neal Anders based on his experiences in the PHP community.

Recently in a conversation on Twitter the topic of what a successful conference proposal - one that gets accepted - looks like, came up. I thought I would expand upon the conversation and the "3 key takeaways" advice I gave, by providing the raw submissions I entered, in this case, to PHP Tek 12, as well as some lessons learned and additional commentary.

He shares his thoughts on what kinds of things it takes to get accepted (note: one is "luck"), what some of his example proposals look like, how to deal with some of the pre-conference jitters and a few final tips on getting that "accepted" email.

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PHP Women:
A letter to all members of the PHP community (The Ada Initiative)
October 29, 2012 @ 09:51:07

As Lineke Kerckhoffs-Willems has posted to the PHP Women site today, the Ada Initiative, an organization that supports women in technology, is looking for donations to help improve the work they can do for women all around the world.

Over a year ago I first heard about the Ada Initiative, an organisation to support women in open technology and culture. This is exactly why PHPWomen was founded, only we narrow it down to women within the PHP community, because that is our level of expertise. However, we are an organisation based on volunteers and therefore, we often struggle with finding the time to do more. Luckily, The Ada Initiative isn't based on volunteers, but on people working full time to reach their goal, our goal. We share their vision: "a world in which women are equal and welcome participants in open source software, open data, and open culture" and therefore we support the organisation.

As they are a non-profit, they can use all of the financial support they get to help further their cause. There's one catch to donating - the campaign ends tomorrow, October 31st. If you want to contribute to the cause (they've already collected over $73,000) you can do it here.

We know you care about women in the PHP community, and technology as a whole, as much as we do. Donating to the Ada Initiative is an easy way to help and our community is based around helping others. Will you donate too?
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Web & PHP Magazine:
Issue #6 Published - "Breaking New Ground"
September 03, 2012 @ 11:58:06

The latest issue of Web & PHP Magazine has been published - Issue 6, "Breaking New Ground". In this latest edition, articles include:

  • "Social Authentication with Zend Framework 2" by Nicholas Calugar
  • "A modern approach to object creation in JavaScript" by Marco Emrich
  • Sebastian Bergmann discussing reliability in software engineering
  • Scriptable sockets with ZeroMQ by Louren Naude

You can download this latest issue for free from the Web & PHP site and pick up the other previous issues while you're there!

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