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Brandon Savage:
Making Conferences Better
February 28, 2013 @ 11:19:50

Brandon Savage has posted some ideas about making conferences better and how they can appeal to a wider (and maybe more inexperienced) level of developer.

I love PHP conferences. I attended a lot of PHP conferences when I was a brand new developer. Zendcon, OSCON, php[tek], Wordcamp Baltimore, DC PHP and others were my stomping grounds. I learned a lot, and the conferences I attended were on the whole useful, beneficial and wonderful experiences. But I also felt challenged by the fact that conferences don't offer much for bringing up new developers with concrete information and training. This isn't necessarily the fault of conferences: it's impossible to truly impart a useful skill into a developer with only a 45 minute talk.

He includes four ideas in the post and talks some about the role of training at the events:

  • Are conferences even the right place for training?
  • Creating Different Tracks of Different Lengths
  • Including Hands-On Training During Tutorial Days
  • Offer Learning-Focused Hackathons

He also notes that some of it is up to the developers to find a good fit for what they need and the skills they're looking to learn. There's other options out there besides just the usual conferences, too and, as Brandon states, "investing in your career is the most valuable thing you can do for yourself."

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conference suggestion improvement training tracks handson hackathon


Philip Norton's Blog:
Simple PHP Code To Get last.fm Last Played Tracks
December 01, 2011 @ 13:41:00

If you're a last.fm user and have been curious about how to get the latest list of your "last played" selections, Philip Norton has just the code you'll need.

The other day I was approached by a friend (Julie Cheung) and asked if I could create some code that would display a list of last played tracks from last.fm. Julie isn't a PHP developer and so the code I gave her had to be easily understandable so that she could edit it herself if needed. The following code is what I came up with.

The code pulls from the defined user's "recenttracks" feed and parses it (via a simplexml_load_string call) into an object that's looped through and outputted. Data that comes back from the feed includes artist anme, name of the track, a URL to more information about it and an image of the album cover. He also includes an updated version that caches the data for three minutes so it's not always relying on the last.fm servers to be there.

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lastfm recent played tracks tutorial xml feed


Ligaya Turmelle's Blog:
OSCON CfP
February 02, 2007 @ 08:19:00

In a new blog post, Ligaya Turmelle reminds us about the Call for Papers that's still open for this year's OSCON - but not for much longer.

Anyway, here is the link for submitting a proposal and the currently listed tracks include Linux, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, Java, Databases, Desktop Applications, Web Applications (client-side and server-side), Windows, Administration, Security, and Emerging Topics.

The deadline for entry is this coming Monday, February 5th (2007) and all entrants much submit the form for their entries to be considered.

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