Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

And we’re back!

A new week means a new lot of speakers to introduce you to before Web & PHP Con kicks off this September! So let’s get to it. Today is the turn of Marco Emrich.


Marco Emrich started professional software development in 1993 and has used many different languages and technologies. He holds an academic degree in computer science (German Dipl. Inform.) and did some research for the Fraunhofer IESE Institute in the area of generative programming.

Currently, he is employed by webmasters-akademie.de, a German IT training center. There, he works as author, trainer, software developer and project manager. He speaks at various IT-conferences (OOP, Seacon, Webtech, SoCraTes, …), writes articles (ObjektSpektrum, RailsWay, PHP & Web Magazine) and facilitates code retreats. He is an active member of Softwerkskammer.de, Webmasters-Europe.org and Ruby User Group Nuremberg, where he shares his insights and tries to push software development to new levels.

In his spare time he works on his pet projects, like fantasy-cards.net and plays video games with his son.

1. Describe what we can expect from your talk at Web & PHP Con in 140 characters.  

Faster-Websites has a mix of proven and emergent optimization techniques. Code Retreats are pure fun AND great learning. Don’t miss it 🙂

 2. How did you first get involved in coding?

My first encounter with a computer was in 1987 during a physics class. This particular one (a Commodore C64) went immediately to my Xmas wish list. When I teared away the gift wrapping, I found the datasette broken. A datasette was a tape drive using audio cassettes for storage – without it, there were no chance to play any of the bundled games; what a sad day for a young boy.

The machine itself, however, worked fine. Bundled with it was a well written manual. Unlike most manuals today, this one didn’t treat their readers like complete morons and even included a course in the GW-Basic programming language. So I decided to learn coding my own games till a replacement arrives. I was fascinated, in love, and just couldn’t stop coding. More than twenty years later, I still love to code.

  3.What advice would you give aspiring web developers?

Don’t follow every hype. Concentrate on the basics instead. Learn HTML+CSS+JS well – these technologies are here to stay. Also learn the principles and methods of our craft: agile methodologies, tdd/bdd, software design, clean code…

4. Which individuals do you most admire in the tech world and why?

Phew. Difficult question. Let’s check twitter  There are a many great people I follow, watch their talks, or read their books and blogs etc. Here is a random selection ‘Aaron Patterson, Adewale Oshiney, Addy Osmani, Avdi Grimm, Brendan Eich, Brian Marick, C.J. Date, Corey Haines, Chris Granger, David Chelimsky, Dan North, Dave Thomas, Douglas Crockford, Eric Evans, Gojko Adzic, Jeremy Ashkenas, J.B. Rainsberger, John Resig, Jose Valim, Kent Beck, Kevlin Henney, Markus Gärtner, Martin Fowler, Michael Feathers, Nat Pryce, Obie Fernandez, Paul Irish, Robert C. Martin, Sam Stephenson, Scott Ambler, Stefan Tilkov, Steve Klabnik, Steve Souders, Stoyan Stefanov, Yehuda Katz, Yukihiro Matsumoto’.

 5. If you could have 3 famous people round for dinner (living or dead) who would it be?

If you allow me some freedom here, I would like to meet with Robert Abbott, Michael Moorcock and Peter Molyneux. Maybe I could talk them into a common game project. I’m convinced, that this would become a masterpiece!

 6.Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Explain your reasoning.

I would like to answer this question like any good consultant: “It depends!”. Does the horse-sized dug also wear a bigger weapon? Does a magical bonus apply? Do the horses wear duck armor or the duck wear horse armor? How angry do they look? And most importantly, what is the current moon phase at the time the fight is scheduled?

 7. What are you most looking forward to at Web & PHP Con?

Hard to say. There are so many interesting talks. I’m mostly excited, however, to meet other developers from all over the world.

Marco will be down at Web & PHP Con 2013 giving two presentations – Faster Websites and Code Retreat.



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