Knowing me, knowing you – A ha!

Over the last few weeks we’ve been making it our mission to get more information and gossip on our Web & PHP Con speakers. We know they’re an awesome bunch but we wanted to make sure you knew that too…and let you know what you have in store at one of their sessions!
So today is the turn of Joshua Thijssen.
Tim de Pater
Joshua Thijssen is a freelance consultant, systems administrator and developer. His passion lies in designing and working with complex projects, working on high scalability and availability projects and helping other to achieve higher standards in both coding and thinking. He’s the author of the upcoming book “Mastering the
SPL library”, lead developer of the upcoming web language “Saffire” and is regular speaker on both web development and system administration conferences.1. Describe what we can expect from your talk at Web & PHP Con.

I’ll be talking about public key encryption. I will show you how simple
math helps keeping our world-economy afloat and how it can help you
secure your own data. Furthermore I will be talking about how we can
quickly find issues on a (production) server that is on fire (not
literally, obviously). Rumors have it that my talks might be accompanied
by big sound & light shows, a ticker-tape parade and special guest
appearances by unicorns and rainbows (not yet confirmed though).

2. How did you first get involved in coding?

When I was 5 or 6 on a C64 in Basic and very quickly later on in
assembler. With the help of dad, programming simple applications. Pretty
much stopped playing games, and started to create them myself.

3.What advice would you give aspiring web developers?

RUN AWAY!  But really: don’t focus too much on one single framework, on
just doing wordpress or just doing jquery. Focus on the WEB as a whole:
the languages (not only php), the infrastructure, the tools, the
scalability, the protocols. Know how the system you are building works
with the rest the web and eventually this will result in you writing
better and more robust applications and sites.

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

Not particularly one person, but I admire everybody with a passion for tech.

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

Linus Torvalds (living) – Einstein (dead) – Schrodinger’s cat (living
AND dead)

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

100 duck-sized horses obviously. It’s easier to outrun tiny-legged horses.

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

Meeting new (and old) friends from all over the world, plus: free buffet!

Joshua will be presenting 3 sessions at Web & PHP Con:

Alice & Bob: Public key cryptography 101
(re)discovering the SPL
Don’t reboot, debug!

(And remember, you can check out all of these talks and more, absolutely FREE. Just register for your place here.)

Ducks and unicorns and gnomes, oh my!

So for the past few weeks we’ve been getting to know a little more about our amazing speakers who are headlining our Web & PHP Conference this September in San Jose. Today, it’s time to get to know Frédéric Harper.

So without further ado…

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In the IT world for more than 10 years, Frédéric Harper started as a developer working with different technologies focusing on Web, and mobile development. One day, Frédéric got a revelation, and decided to use his social skills to be an Evangelist. He spent a few years showing the Openness of Microsoft talking about Open Source, Web standards, and Interoperability. Now, as a Senior Technical Evangelist at Mozilla, Fred shares his passion about the Open Web, and help developers be successful with Firefox OS. Experienced speaker, t-shirts wearer, long-time blogger, passionate hugger, and HTML5 lover, Fred live in Montréal, and speak Frenglish. Always conscious about the importance of unicorns, and gnomes, you can read about these topics, and other thoughts on his website.

1. Describe what we can expect from your talk at Web & PHP Con in 140 characters.
You’ll go out from my sessions with a new way of thinking about the Web, and how you’ll build your websites as your web applications.
2.How did you first get involved in coding?
I started with scripting for an IRC client on Windows, mIRC. I wanted to customize the default behaviour, add features, and be able to create something.
3.What advice would you give aspiring web developers?

Practice, and avoid copy pasting from solution you found on the Web! You will be good by trying, failing, learning, and by continuing to create sites or applications.
4.Which individuals do you most admire in the tech world and why?
If I have to choose one, I would say Jeffrey Zeldman. I like Web Standards, and Jeffrey is the Godfather of Web Standards. I also like he can manage to have a Web design business, started A List Apart, a Book Apart, an Event Apart, and still find time to speak at conferences. I saw one of his talks, and it’s always insightful.
5.If you could have 3 famous people round for dinner (living or dead) who would it be?
Mickael Jackson, because I’m a big music fan, and he is still the king of pop. Tim Berners-Lee because the Web is an entire part of my life. The last one would be Matt Groening because of Spider Pig, heu, I mean, The Simpsons.
6.Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Explain your reasoning.
I would prefer to fight one horse-sized duck as there me be a way for me to defeat it or at least… I would be able to run! With 100 ducks, they can team-up together to defeat me, and it may be harder to run…
7. What are you most looking forward to at Web & PHP Con?
People! It’s always the part of a conference I’m constantly looking for. I like to watch amazing presentations, and share my passion with others, but for me, connecting with people, and creating new relationship it’s amazing.

 

Frédéric will be at Web & PHP Con presenting two sessions: Responsive Web Design, get the best of your design and Mobile First. Remember, you can see him and all our other great speakers absolutely FREE! Just make sure to register for your place.

Go forth and experiment!

Today we’re getting to know more about Sebastian Bergmann…no, not the main character from the Swedish police drama now being shown on BBC4 …but one of the speakers who will be down at Web & PHP Con 2013. With less than a month to go before the conference we thought it would be a good idea to get to know a little more about our speakers and what they will have in store for you during their sessions. So let’s get to it…
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Sebastian Bergmann is a mastermind of PHP development and PHP quality assurance. He has instrumentally contributed to tranforming PHP into a reliable platform for large-scale, critical projects. Companies and PHP developers around the world benefit from the tools that he has written.
1. Describe what we can expect from your talk at Web & PHP Con in 140
  characters.
I have a workshop,a keynote, and a session. I don’t know how to describe them all in 140
characters!

2. How did you first get involved in coding?

I wrote my first program on an Amiga 500 in AmigaBASIC when I was
twelve years old. AmigaBASIC quickly made way for Assember and C.
Most of my programming on the Amiga, however, was in ARexx. Soon after
I got my first X86-based PC in the late 90s a former contact from
within the Amiga Scene asked me to help with a dynamic website. He
gave me the choice between Perl and PHP both of which I had no
knowledge of. I briefly looked at Perl, discared it quickly, and
fell in love with PHP. The rest is history, I guess.

3.What advice would you give aspiring web developers?

Alan J. Perlis said “A language that doesn’t affect the way you think
about programming, is not worth knowing.” So go forth and experiment
with different programming languages and don’t be religious about them
(or frameworks). Look beyond the syntax and understand unique concepts.

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

Alexander von Humboldt, Konrad Zuse, Alan Kay

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

When my busy schedule allows it, I play World of Warcraft and raid
with my guild. During most raid encounters you have to deal with one big
enemy and once in a while with many small enemies. Since I am playing
a healer my job is to prevent my team mates from dying. That means I
do not care all that much about whether they are fighting a horse-sized
duck or 100 duck-sized horses.

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

The hallway track! Every PHP conference is a gathering of the PHP
community. I love to catch up with friends old and new to exchange
ideas.

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.

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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.

 

Hi! My name is…

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand or sleeping under a rock you will have heard about Web & PHP Con coming to San Jose, CA this September 16-18 2013. We have so many great sessions, keynotes and workshops in store (check out the website for more info) but that’s not all! We have so many awesome speakers lined up too! So we thought we’d get to know them a bit better and find out what they have in store for us at the event by doing a short Q & A with them.

We’ve already had some great answers from our speakers that you can find in the older blog posts. But today it’s the turn of Wim Godden.

Wim Godden has been working with PHP since 1997 and has been involved in open source projects such as phpAdsNew/OpenX.
Next to PHP, he’s worked with a wide range of technologies (from database clusters to Internet backbone design) and focuses a lot of his time on high-scalability projects and on coaching/training PHP engineers.

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

Caching & Tuning fun for high scalability :

How (NOT) to cache properly, why you should look beyond Apache or simply put :

How to survive a site going from 3 to 3 million visits/day
The why and the how of moving to 5.4/5.5 :

What features in 5.4/5.5 do you really need, why you can’t stay at 5.2/5.3… and how to migrate codebases safely to 5.5

2. How did you first get involved in coding?

I started with Acorn Basic back in 1986, typing programs I got from books (yes you had to copy the code from them, no casettes or floppy disks), then gradually changing them to do what I wanted them to do. Later I built a race result management system for the running club I was a member of, first in Acorn Basic, later in Visual Basic. Along the way I picked up about 10 other languages, before discovering PHP in 1997.

3.What advice would you give aspiring web developers?

Web development takes more than just writing PHP code. The impact your code has on the entire PHP ecosystem is huge. So stop for a moment, look at your code and think about what each line will do to your web server, database server, network, etc. – a wonderful world will open up to you 😉

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

I have the most admiration for people who aren’t afraid to not only think outside the box, but actually go for their ideas. They’re the ones who actually make a difference.

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

Archimedes, Plato and Aristotles… nothing beats the classics. And I think their insights on modern technology and way of life would be an eye-opener.

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

Considering that horses can’t fly, I’d prefer to fight the 100 duck-sized horses. There might be a 100 of them, but as last resort you can always climb in a tree, where the horse-sized duck would definitely get to you.
On the other hand, if I could tame the horses, they might make for a fun attraction with a sleigh behind it, whereas with a duck that would just look silly 😉

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

Meeting people, all with their unique ideas and technical insights, discussing technical problems (and solutions), having a laugh while writing code that you decide to rewrite 2 days later because you learned something that makes it so much easier/better (“what was I thinking writing it this way ?”).

Wim will be doing two sessions at Web & PHP Con:

The why and the how of moving to 5.4 / 5.5
Caching and Tuning fun for high scalability

Want to come and see him for free? It’s easy! Just register for your place. We look forward to seeing you there!

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste…

Over the past week we’ve been taking a moment to get to know a little more about the speakers we have lined up for Web & PHP Con 2013. We know they’re a great bunch of people but we want you to know that too! So what better way to get to know a little bit about them, their session and what they’re most looking forward to at the event than with a short Q & A.

So, without further ado, let us introduce Stefan Priebsch.

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Stefan Priebsch unites expert knowledge with extraordinary sense when to use which tool. His specialties are object-oriented development and software architecture. As an internationally acclaimed author and speaker he thrills auditoriums and likes to share his tremendous practical experience.

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

 characters.

I am involved in multiple talks, so do I get 140 characters each? ; – )

Valuable information, maybe a little surprise here and there, and a fair
bit of entertainment

2. How did you first get involved in coding?

I was twelve years old when my Dad bought a Sinclair ZX-80. Since I had
no clue what a computer could possibly be used for, I chose to find out.

3.What advice would you give aspiring web developers?

Keep learning, and make it a habit to question and re-evaluate your own
thought patterns and best practices on a regular basis.

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

Everybody who contributes to Open Source, because they make the world a
little better every day.

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

That’s a tough question. Would I have dinner with all three at the same
time, or individually? Putting, say, Richard Stallmann next to Bill
Gates might defeat the actual purpose of the dinner.

If I were to invite Alan Rickman, could I ask him to dress up as
Professor Snape? I’d also find Anthony Hopkins an interesting guest, but
since he always makes me think of Hannibal Lector, I’d be afraid of him
having me for dinner.

I would also find somebody like Alexander the Great an interesting
guest, but I’m not really sure if we would be able to overcome the
language barrier. So that basically puts many really interesting people
from former times out of perspective, including everybody not speaking
English or German.

Putting all this into perspective, my pick would be my wife and my two
children. They are famous for making my life so much more interesting.

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

I am a friendly person, and since neither horses nor ducks have ever
been aggressive to me, I see no reason to put up a fight. I would rather
choose to walk away in peace.

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

That’s hard to say, because there is so much. I love being in Silicon
Valley, and Software & Support runs great conferences. The conference
schedule alreadly looks very promising, and the hallway track and
networking opportunities are always great at conferences.

Here come the girls!

So, we’ve already introduced a few of our male speakers to you lovely lot. So we thought it was time to introduce the ladies. First up we have Sharon Levy. We thought we’d get to know more about her and what her session has in store for us at the conference. So we sent out a short Q & A to all of our speakers to dig a little deeper…

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Sharon is a Zend Certified Engineer in PHP5, equally comfortable working with UNIX, Linux or Windows platforms. Her accomplishments in public speaking include dynamic, multi-media presentations at code camps and PHP meetups. She has also presented at SCALE (WIOS) and was the local speaker representing the Los Angeles area at the 2009 CodeWorks conference. php|architect has published several of her articles on subjects ranging from email verification to web-based retrieval, to PHP’s support for closures. She presented a ZendCon unCon session onPHP’s anonymous functions in 2011 which resulted in Zend Technologies inviting her to do a webinar reprising that presentation in March 2012. Writing and public speaking activities compliment her primary focus, providing professional web development services for companies in diverse industries, from startups to the Fortune 500.

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

Multimedia, dynamic presentation juxtaposed with an unflinchingly hard look at PHP support for numeric representations.
2. How did you first get involved in coding?

IBM donated a computer to the office where I worked and I discovered that I could eliminate tedium and increase productivity with a little bit of programming.
3.What advice would you give aspiring web developers?

Question everything and then play with the code yourself, trying all sorts of variations.
4. Which individuals do you most admire in the tech world and why?

I admire Valerie Aurora of the Ada Initiative who seeks to make Open Source much more hospitable for women.  Also, I greatly admire Rasmus Lerdorf, Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski for having the brains and ingenuity to bring forth PHP to the world.
5. If you could have 3 famous people round for dinner (living or dead) who
would it be?

I think a dinner party with Mozart, Picasso and Mel Brooks would be amazing.
6.Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
Explain your reasoning.

I’m partial to both ducks and horses regardless of size, so instead of fighting I’d transform myself into a duck or horse depending on the nature of the adversary, using my magical shape-shifting abilities to see if that might give me an edge to negotiate successfully for a peaceful outcome.
7. What are you most looking forward to at Web & PHP Con?

Everything!  I’m elated to be speaking on an important and interesting topic that is useful for PHP developers and I look forward to learning from the phenomenal slate of speakers as well as talking with conference attendees.