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Blue Parabola Blog:
Video Interviews at php|tek 2009
May 21, 2009 @ 09:12:06

Keith Casey (of Blue Parabola) has been wandering around php|tek this week doing some video interviews with speakers about the conference and other various PHP topics. He's posting them over on the Blue Parabola blog - here's the list so far:

Keep an eye here for more videos as they're added to the Blue Parabola site or you can follow along here for the news directly from the source.

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Community News:
php|tek Community Posts
May 20, 2009 @ 12:12:21

php|tek 2009 is still going on but several people have already actively blogged about some of their experiences. Here's a few so far:

Keep an eye here for more blog posts from these and other bloggers through out the week!

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Zend Developer Zone:
PHP|tek 2009 Conference Day 1
May 20, 2009 @ 10:48:14

Eli White has posted a first day summary of this year's php|tek conference's Tutorial Day (Day 0) to the Zend Developer Zone:

The first day at PHP|tek this year is traditionally the Tutorial Day, and this year was no exception. Of course, one almost needs to discuss Day 0 as well. The monday before the conference where everyone is arriving and preparing. Day 0, is basically a family reunion at PHP|tek, which is known for being the 'Community' conference. Hanging out in the lobby, you will see numerous hugs and enthusiastic greetings happening. (As well as a few drinks being bought and shared)

He mentions tutorials given by Ed Finkler and an SVN tutorial from Lorna Mitchell and Matthew Weier O'Phinney. These were just two of many - other included a code review session, an in-depth look at caching in PHP apps and application security. Stay tuned to the Zend Developer Zone for more updates to come.

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Community News:
Preparing for php|tek
May 14, 2009 @ 22:08:40

This year's php|tek conference is less than a week away and all of the hard work and planning has paid off. The conference, the most recent in a series Marco Tabini & Associates have held in Chicago, Illinois, is bringing together speakers from all over the world to talk on subjects ranging from version control, to rapid application development to development frameworks. Marco Tabini, CEO of MTA has this to say about this year's event, "Preparations are down to the wire and, like every year, we have some great surprises in store for our attendees. php|tek is a unique mix of community happenings and great learning opportunities and, for me as for many other people, a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and new acquaintances."

The week will also include a few other events outside of the normal daily sessions, one of which is the Unconference happening just after the last session each day. Keith Casey of Blue Parabola organized this year's event. With the help of the Joind.in site and some community involvement, he's set up some great sessions to compliment each of the day's normal sessions. I asked Keith what he felt was the real goal behind the Unconference and how to make it really work.

"The vital - and therefore most difficult - part of an unconference is getting the word out. First, people need to know it's happening. Then they need to know how to participate both in the pitching and voting of sessions [and] they need to know which session is happening where." In his opinion, though, the real key to a successful unconfernece is to make the connection between the people with something to say and the ones that want to hear it.

None of this would come together without the hard work of others "behind the scenes" handling things like reservations at the hotel, setting up special need for the speakers and coordinating with the staff to make sure things run smoothly during the week. One member of this team is Elizabeth Naramore. She's spent the last few months coordinating things to to make the week flow as smooth as possible. Elizabeth noted that, despite still working out the last minute details, they're "really excited about hosting this year's conference. We have brilliant speakers and some great social events planned, along with a few surprises, just to keep everyone on their toes."

If you're haven't registered yet, there's still time! The conference begins next Tuesday with the Tutorials day and goes through Friday at lunch with regular and Unconference sessions. You can still register on the php|tek website if you'd like to attend but you have to be fast - since the conference is next week, you have to sign up before the end of this week!

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Community News:
Hackathon at php|tek 2009 - Interview with Matthew Turland
April 24, 2009 @ 13:08:15

This year's php|tek conference is rapidly approaching and this year has a few more things in store for attendees than previous years. One of them is a Hackathon, organized by Matthew Turland (of Blue Parabola). I managed to grab a few minutes of Matt's time to has him a few questions about the Hackathon.


Q: Why a Hackathon?
The PHP community at large has seen a few recent events like Bughuntday and TestFest, but at the point where the idea came up to have a Hackathon, events like this had never part of a conference. This seems odd when you think about it, because conferences are a situation where a number of people interested in development are all in one physical location. While online collaboration is certainly possible it's not always as easy or fun as in-person real-time collaboration. And yet, events like these have occurred independently of conferences rather than in conjunction with them.

This will be the first year that an unconference event is included in the conference program for php|tek. I suppose my colleague who originated the Hackathon idea, Keith Casey, figured that firsts come better in pairs. Seriously, though, it gives this large number of aggregated developers a chance to make significant contributions to PHP projects that we all know and use.

Q: How has the interest level been?
The idea has had very positive reception. We've already gotten commitments from core developers of a number of major projects including PHP itself and a few well-known frameworks. It's commonplace at a conference for people to get into ad-hoc discussions with project developers and for patches to be written for issues or potential new features during those discussions. The Hackathon is an attempt to organize these occurrences so that many people are doing it at the same time and have an opportunity to coordinate and pool their efforts.

Q: Have any coding sprints been considered?
As a matter of fact, we've gotten a commitment from people involved in last year's TestFest event to organize another like it as part of the Hackathon. If you're unfamiliar with TestFest, it's a coordinated effort to improve the code coverage of PHP itself by writing tests in PHP. It's easy to get involved and people will be available at the Hackathon to bring you up to speed on what you need to know if you'd like to contribute. This is an excellent opportunity for developers to contribute to the stability and reliability of PHP, which has a widespread effect on all of us.

Q: Will the groups for each of the softwares be the ones to pick whats worked on or will people be free to hack away at any part?
While groups may guide those working, whether they do so will be their prerogative. Ultimately, it's your choice what you work on, and it doesn't have to be a project that someone else is representing. I myself plan to hack on Phergie, my PHP-based IRC bot. Bring your laptop, sit, hack, and have a good time with the rest of us. If everyone enjoys the event, I'll consider it a success and any contributions we make to PHP projects will be icing on the cake.

Q: So, what happens to the bugs they fix? Will they get pushed back into the project?
Ideally, yes. If not, they can be submitted as patches to project issue trackers, which makes them all the more likely to be accepted eventually. We're trying to get as many core project developers involved in the Hackathon as possible. At worst, they'll at least be aware of the patches that are submitted. At best, they can inspect them and push into project version control repositories soon after they're submitted at the Hackathon. So, if you know of a project whose core developers will be present at php|tek, you can help by encouraging them to attend the Hackathon!

Q: And the most important question - will food and beverage be provided?
The tentative plan is for the Hackathon to run from 4:30 to 10:30 on Thursday. Hors d'oeuvres will be served from 7:30 to 8:30, followed by drinks for the remaining time. While we'd certainly like for people to stay the entire time, there are a number of restaurants in the area where people can get dinner then come back for the rest of the event. In any case, we'll update the Hackathon page on the php|tek web site (http://tek.mtacon.com/c/s/hackathon) as more information becomes available.

You can find out more about this year's php|tek conference on its main site and more details on the Hackthon here.

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Community News:
php|tek 2009 Schedule Finalized
April 24, 2009 @ 09:35:35

The php|architect crew have announced news talks that have been added to the php|tek 2009 conference schedule in their final version of the schedule.

We just introduced the final schedule for our upcoming php|tek 2009 conference, which will take place in Chicago between May 19 and 22. We have tons of great presentations planned from PHP luminaries like Andrei Zmievski, Sebastian Bergmann, Eli White, Sara Golemon, Terry Chay and many more.

php|tek 2009 will be held in Chicago May 19th through 22nd and there's still spots to signup if you want to attend. Pricing ranges from $400 USD (tutorials only) up to $1,100 USD for a full pass (conference and tutorials) with discounts for alumni of previous php|architect conferences, government employees, members of PHP/MySQL/Linux user groups and many more.

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Blue Parabola Blog:
php|tek 2009 Webcast Series
April 03, 2009 @ 07:12:11

If you've been enjoying the pre-php|tek 2009 webcase series but have been wondering where the video and slides for the presentations were, BlueParabola has what you need!

After long wait, we've finally gotten things together and have slides and some of the video available for the php|tek webcast series.

Presentations posted so far include Keith Casey's look at project management, Matthew Turland's web scraping talk and, most recently, Tony Bibbs' look at using Propel.

You can find out more about the webcasts (and sign up for upcoming ones) on this page from the php|tek website. There's still time to register for today's event - the second part of the "PHP and Flash" series from Lee Brimelow.

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Tony Bibbs' Blog:
Webinar on Propel sponsored by php|architect
March 25, 2009 @ 08:48:48

Tony Bibbs has a reminder about a webinar he will be presenting on Propel as a part of the php|architect free webcast series leading up to this year's php|tek conference.

This is just a friendly reminder that this Friday, March 27th from 12pm-1pm CST I will be giving a webinar on using Propel, an object relational mapper (ORM). This webinar is just one of a series being sponsored by php|architect. The webinar will focus on the basics of installing and using Propel as well as one or two more advanced topics.

You can register for this webinar here and check out some of the other upcoming talks on this page on the MTA conference website. Other sessions include PHP & Flash, application security and working with Zend Framework/Dojo.

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Marco Tabini's Blog:
Some cool things that are happening around php|tek
February 10, 2009 @ 11:17:04

If you're on the fence about coming to this year's php|tek conference, you might want to check out these three things Marci Tabini has mentioned that will be happening this year.

February is usually when the many fun and interesting activities that surround our spring conference php|tek start taking place - and this year is no exception. In fact, this year that are more people working - hellbent might be a better word, given their enthusiasm - on making |tek a memorable occasion for PHP developers from all over the world to meet up, learn and network.

The three events/happenings he mentions are the keynote being given by Andrei Zmievski (Open Source Fellow at Digg), the webcast/unconference being organized by Keith Casey and the Hackathon being put together by Matthew Turland (both of Blue Parabola).

You can get more information on what sort of talks will be happening and how you can reserve your spot on the main conference website.

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php|architect:
php|tek news keynotes, early-bird and hackathon
February 04, 2009 @ 14:37:33

The folks over at php|architect have three great annoucnements about their upcoming php|tek 2009 conference - a keynote, the Hackathon and news for the late early-birds.

Here's a few more specifics:

  • The newly announced keynote will be a talk from Andrei Zmievski (recently appointed Open Source Fellow at digg and will talk about PHP6
  • The Hackathon has been officially announced in conjunction with the Unconference
  • And, for those that thought they had missed out on the early-bird pricing for the event - listen up! They've extended the early-bird pricing out until February 28th!

You can get more information about the php|tek conference for 2009 (including registering to reserve your spot) on official conference website

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