I went to Hamburg last weekend to visit the PHP Unconference, which was probably my first conference ever. I've been to a couple barcamps and other smaller events, but anyway, this felt more like a real conference to me. That is, if I exclude ALA and the various ad:tech's I had to go to.
The reasons why I usually avoid tech conferences include foremost the price tag (working for myself, I can technically label it as an expense, but I still have to pay for it), doubts that it'll be worth it in terms of knowledge gained and probably time. I tend to catch up with people outside of conferences (when they are in Berlin :-)) and that has worked well for me.
I'm glad I set all these things aside for Hamburg (and it was all too easy). A lot of people expressed how much they liked their (often 3rd) PHP Unconference, and I can second, or third that — job really well done. Ulf Wendel took it one step further, blogged and asked, "Is perfect too boring?", because everything worked out so well. I guess I would say, "No, it's not boring", and I'm inclined to add, "Thanks, it really felt like having a weekend off, yet I still learned something and met a ton of nice people (or connected online nicknames to real faces)!".
I can definitely see why people visit the PHP Unconference each year, and I'll be one of them next year! ;-)
As I said, I had a great time, both my topics were accepted too. One was merged with another PHP performance talk which was overbooked with PHP VIPs which is why I decided to listen to Kore Nordmann's talk on CouchDB instead, and the other one ("Deployment") — I kind of overslept. And I'm sorry about that! I'll make sure to avoid party, party Hamburg next year.
Here are the slides for my Zend Framework (performance) talk, I hope you find them interesting:
The slides and speaker-notes contain…
- a small intro as of why I think it's worth while to get into the ring with it
- hints and pointers on general PHP optimization
- I detail on a couple components (e.g. things to look out for and how to overcome them)
Make sure to check the speaker notes (using this link) — I didn't put everything in there, but a lot.
(The deployment slides will be up later this weekend.)
This also reminds me to improve my presentation-fu. I need something as kickass as keynote, but for Windows (currently). If anyone has a pointer, let me know. ;-)