So it’s two days in to this year’s ZendCon and things are already better than ever. It just feels like there was that little bit of extra effort put into things this year and it shows. There’s tons of great talks and lots of cool people around to meet – but official (like those from Zend) and the more unofficial – like the members of the PHP Women group.
It’s day three now (I’ve been slacking on writing my posts this time) and I’ve already had more knowledge crammed into my head than I’ll ever remember, but I’m enjoying it. It’s nice to balance talks like “Extending PHP” talk from Sara/Wez/Marcus with things like Terry’s talk “The Internet is an Ogre: Finding Art in the Software Architecture”. Everything’s been good so far, and I’m looking forward to today’s talks. I’m planning on hitting up a few more than yesterday (sleep does wonders for the attention span), so we’ll see how things are at the end of today.
I know I mentioned in it a previous post, but one of the coolest things about coming to a conference like this – really any PHP conference that’s out there – is the chance to meet people. The trading cards this year are an effort to jump-start this kind of networking. Honestly, I can’t day I’ve seen a group of people at a table at lunch (or breakfast for that matter) just sitting around and not talking all that much. That is, of course, unless they’re laptops open and on IRC (*cough*). It’s wonderful to see this kind of participation – people talking about anything and everything: where they’re from, what they do, something fun their working on, etc. There’s even some out there arguing the finer parts of certain PHP-related projects.
It’s wonderful to see such a thriving, vibrant community surrounding this great “little” language of ours. It’s a great mix of both those experienced, beginner and everyone in between and it comes out the other side a nice, rounded whole.
So, if you’re here at the conference and you’ve been a little timid up until now, be bold – step out and meet people. Talk to anyone, pass out business cards or come grab a free t-shirt from the PHP Women. I’ll have my PHPDeveloper.org t-shirt on today and some extras floating around with me, so if you spot me and want a shirt, just let me know!