php | tek 2008 wrapup

I want to make a bit different wrap up than most do, the community aspect with maybe a dash of what I saw as a attendee but mistah Ben Ramsey stole the idea and was quicker to post it ;-)
Ramsey … FAIL
His post is pretty good and sums things up rather nicely so go read it! but I want to take a stab (Stab it! Conf pun intended) at it and hopefully bring my own charm to it.

My trip had the same problem as always when going abroad … My name, but this time around they managed to write Oiormar instead of Thormar like they should have and thus I had the usual fun of being frisked by TSA because they have no idea what Thorn is but hey so it goes, it’s not like my passport has a ASCII verison of my name at the bottom or anything *wave hands for emphizing*

Before leaving for php | tek we inquired on #phpc IRC channel on Freenode how many of the people hanging around would be attending and a whooping 30 people were to show up which translates to roughly 10% of the overall attending people for the whole of php | tek if I got my numbers right, if not then I’m sure Marco will bet me with a stick and correct me :-)
10% of a conference attendees from a single community, to me that feels very impressive and just shows that the community is willing to come together in one place to make the community even more tighter and just make the confs a greate experience and it is always so much fun meeting people in real life that you’ve been talking to for a long time, even many years and you essentially call your comrades.

As Ben pointed out we did a great job coming together as a community at this conference and going behind anything I’ve ever seen before, taking new people under our arms, organizing events during the evenings and the days after / before the conference, the gimmick on the bar we frequent, Shoeless Joe or like I call it, Bootless Bill and just the over all flow between people.

I’d like to congratulate the conference organizers for the excellent idea of having a Rockband evening, it was AWESOME and I met so many new interesting people and I’m sure everyone did, which makes it an even more success, as well as I’d like to give thumbs up for those company sponsored open bars, who ever thought of 2 open bars in one night should get a gold star :-)

Another reason why the community aspect is so important is that we could all sit down together and work on code together, in person or just generally brainstorm about ideas, quick examples are the fact Joshua Eichorn, Greg Beaver (btw he’s not a script! Amazing isn’t it ?) and I could get together for a face to face meeting on the status of PEAR / PEAR2 and work on the new installer as well as the new infrastructure, we probably crammed months worth of code into 3 days on and off coding.

Another excellent example is the fact that we probably managed to bring down Twitter more than once by going bunkers on posting twitters, it was really hard to keep up with Twitter and #phptek on Freenode, which were yet another example of how the community could drag in other conference attendees and interact with them, some people are just generally shy and like to start with such a route.
Anyway so we saw Twitter die more than once and more than twice and more than 40 times and so people just sat down and came up with Stablr.net, admittedly an idea that many people have had before but being able to discuss it in person, with 20+ other smart people interested in the same thing is just amazing.

Then we had the flying elephpant project, parachuting elephpants from really high altitudes.

Just like Ben, I take my hat of to the conference organizers and the people that made this the most fun conference I’ve ever been to, just wow … people justttttt wow, hopefully next years will be even more fun :-)
I’d also like to thank Scott for tolerating me this whole time, if it were not for him then I would probably have slept under some bridge nearby.

Btw. for those that didn’t go with us to Howling at the moon in down town Chicago, next time you are in the area go there, it was a wild night I can tell you, riddled with competitions among the remaining people involving some peoples accents and dancing but thankfully nobody had a camera or such device ;-)
Without a doubt a place we should all go next year to!

I feel like I must mention 2 talks I liked a lot, actually they were both keynotes, the one from Joe Stagner a laid back session where people got to ask him a whole bunch of questions about MS and more, best thing about it was seeing people discussing on IRC what to ask next so we got some really good questions IMHO

And then there was Terry Chay … Terry Terror, first time I saw him present that talk and it was fun as it can get, worth seeing but don’t take your serious hat with you :-)

As anyone can see this is a bit half cooked blog post since it was done on a flight from JFK to Iceland but heck, I think the disorganization just shows how much we did during this one conference.

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