“I say neigh, don’t egg them on.”

The countdown to Web & PHP Con 2013 is on! There’s less than 2 weeks to go before we descend upon San Jose Convention Centre, CA, to bring you the latest in cutting-edge practices from the industry’s top web developers. Talking of the industry’s top web developers…over the last couple of weeks we have been running short Q&A’s with our speakers in order to get to know them a little better and find out a bit more about their session.

Today is the turn of Mike Stowe.

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Mike is a professional software engineer, PHP 5.3 Zend Certified, and has over 10 years of PHP hacking experience. In those 10 years he as had the privilege of building numerous websites and applications, including applications for the medical field, law enforcement, one of the leading audio and lighting dealers, large and small non-profits, and numerous industrial companies. He has also spoken at numerous conferences, published multiple articles on PHP and security, is an active member of OWASP, and helps organize MNPHP, Twin Cities Software Engineers, and the MidwestPHP Conference. He currently work at Constant Contact as a Developer Advocate, representing developers and their needs within the company.

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

An introduction to Agile methodologies in the workplace and a look at some of the benefits and challenges of Agile

2. How did you first get involved in coding?

I was a sports guy who ended up having a knee injury…so instead of basketball practice I found myself on the computer creating a personal webpage using a free service called HotYellow98… but I wanted to do more, so ended up looking at this thing called HTML, and well, I was hooked.

3.What advice would you give aspiring web developers?

Get involved and go for it. There are a lot of great developers out there who are more than willing to help you out. Join a user group, join the mailing lists, and experiment with your code. It’s ok to make mistakes, you’ll learn a lot more that way. Push your skills to the edge every single day.

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

This list would go on way too long… there are a lot of great people in the tech community who have really helped me out. But a big shout out to the local user group organizers and conference leaders, I don’t think people know how much work it is to put on these events and keep them going. Also a shout out to the speakers who give up their time to go out and share their knowledge with others.

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

I would love to have done dinner with Steve Jobs… but who wouldn’t have lol. Also wouldn’t mind talking with Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.

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

I say neigh, don’t egg them on. (hey, had to have a pun somewhere).
7. What are you most looking forward to at Web & PHP Con?

Meeting a lot of great developers and getting to learn what people are doing in the industry.

 

Mike Stowe will be down at Web & PHP Con this September 16 -18 in San Jose, CA giving his talk on ‘Agile in the Workplace’.You can attend this talk and all of our other sessions and keynotes for free! Just register on the website.

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Laughter, tears, and time travel.

Wow! There’s less than 2 weeks before Web & PHP Con descends upon San Jose, CA. It’s hard to believe it’s come around so soon! And we still have a few speakers still to get through. So let’s get to it. Next up we have Ben Straub who keeps it short and sweet.

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Ben has always been a programmer, and loves making things work. He’s a maintainer of libgit2, an api-focused implementation of git internals.

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

Level up your git game with Ben Straub from GitHub. There will be laughter, tears, and time travel. Bring clean water.

2. How did you first get involved in coding?

My dad bought us a Commodore 64 when I was 9 or 10, and I couldn’t help myself.

3.What advice would you give aspiring web developers?

Make sure you learn something new every day.

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

People who have created popular frameworks, mostly. DHH, Mark Otto, Steve Sanderson. It’s because they not only solved their immediate problem, they solved it in such a way as to make that problem completely go away for thousands of others.

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

I really want to pick heavy intellectuals, but I think that Louis C. K., Zach Galifianakis, and Russell Brand would provide me with gut-busting laughter for a few months afterward.

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

100 tiny horses. They can’t climb, so I could pick them off from the top of a big rock. Plus, they’d be SO cute.

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

Meeting interesting people and finding out what they’re working on.

Ben will be down at Web & PHP Con giving his talk on ‘Git (and GitHub) for Ninjas’. Remember, you can see his talk along with the rest of our great line up for FREE!

Whittled Down

And so it continues. We have less than 3 weeks left before the Web & PHP Conference comes to town and still so many speakers that we still need to introduce you to. So no time to be messing around – let’s get straight to it with Dustin Whittle!
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Dustin Whittle is a Developer Evangelist at AppDynamics where he focuses on helping organizations manage application performance. Before joining AppDynamics, Dustin was CTO at Kwarter, a consultant at SensioLabs, and developer evangelist at Yahoo!. He has experience building and leading engineering teams and working with developers and partners to scale to meet demand. When Dustin isn’t working he enjoys flying, sailing, diving, golfing, and travelling around the world. Find out more at dustinwhittle.com.
1. Describe what we can expect from your talk at Web & PHP Con in 140 characters.
Attendees will leave with the knowledge to scale and load test their next PHP web application.
2. How did you first get involved in coding?
BBS era. I started when I was young and it just evolved from there. At first I just wanted to learn how to make my own web site.
3.What advice would you give aspiring web developers?
Get active on github and find an open source project you are passionate about. Always remember that you still have a lot to learn — no matter whether you just got started or you have been a professional developer for a decade.
4. Which individuals do you most admire in the tech world and why?
@mojombo — For building GitHub from nothing and turning it into a real business that powers so many projects.
@fabpot — For teaching me how to write PHP properly and pushing the PHP community forward.
and a thousand others who have been helpful in making me a better engineer.
5. If you could have 3 famous people round for dinner (living or dead) who would it be?
Barack Obama
Shawn Carter (Jay-Z)
Steve Jobs
6.Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Explain your reasoning.
I would rather fight one horse-sized duck. The bigger they are the harder they fall.
7. What are you most looking forward to at Web & PHP Con?
Getting to know the amazing community that has evolved in the PHP And Javascript worlds over the last few years.
Dustin Whittle will be down at Web & PHP Con 2013 giving 2 talks:

Scaling PHP in the real world!

Your Agile Performance Testing Checklist: MultiMechanize, Bees with Machine Guns, PageSpeed and AppDynamics

Remember guys, you can check these and more awesome sessions all for FREE! Free as a bird! Just register here.

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.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

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Have you cast your vote yet? What are you waiting for?

Round 4 of the public vote for Web & PHP Con is in full swing. As always, the decision is entirely up to you!

So who do you want to see included in the line-up for the conference?

Evan Coury with his session ‘Introduction to Modules in Zend Framework 2’; Mike Stowe with his session ‘Ruby for PHP Developers’; Joshua Thijssen and his session ‘(re)discovering the SPL’ or Matt Simonsen with his session on ‘LAMP Security and/or real-world hacks’?

Head on over to the website to cast your voice and make yourself heard!

Knowing me, knowing you, ah-ha!

So, as we said yesterday, we thought it was about time that we gave your a proper introduction to the speakers that will be attending Web & PHP Con. We know they’re a awesome group of people but we want to make sure you know that too (and maybe get to know a little more about them and what their session has in store for you at the conference). So we sent out a short Q & A to all of our speakers to dig a little deeper…

Second up in our series is Jeremy Lindblom.

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Jeremy is a PHP software engineer at Amazon Web Services in Seattle, Washington, where he works on the AWS SDK for PHP and strives to make it easier for PHP developers to work with “the cloud”. Outside of work, he often spends time working on personal and open source PHP projects, and is a co-organizer of the Seattle PHP Meetup Group. Before moving to Seattle, Jeremy was the lead web app developer at Synapse Studios in Tempe, Arizona, and frequently promoted PHP development at his alma mater, Arizona State University. In his spare time, he likes to be at home with his family, make funny faces, watch movies, and make and eat yummy food.

1. Describe what we can expect from your talk at Web & PHP Con in 140 characters.
Git educated about #git — including the basic commands and workflows — through a combination of slides, demos, and music!
Learn about AWS, the cloud, and the new AWS SDK for PHP. See how #AWS can enrich your #PHP apps and help you scale.
2. How did you first get involved in coding?
Enabled by the evolving Internet and inspired by Super Mario, all roads eventually led to programming. Whether it was tinkering with Hypercard, making simple games with Visual Basic, making hoardes of hobbyist websites, or programming my TI-83 Plus calculator to do my math homework for me, everything contributed to my choice of entering the Computer Science program in college and getting involved with PHP to make my websites actually DO things.
3. What advice would you give aspiring web developers?
There is an endless amount of information to learn about web development. Never stop learning. Find a mentor. You will need to both simultaneously expand the breadth of your knowledge while acquiring deep, practical knowledge of a handful skills in order to be employable.
4. Which individuals do you most admire in the tech world and why?
It’s hard to say. There are so many smart people that are innovating all over the world. Many of them do not even have a public presence. I’ve met so many incredible people within AWS that are completely anonymous outside of the office.
5. If you could have 3 famous people round for dinner (living or dead) who would it be?
I’m not sure I could choose just 3 of the Muppets.
6. Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Explain your reasoning.
One horse-sized duck, or Chocobo, as they are referred to by some. I believe that after you defeat it you can summon at will to come to your aid. It would also be an effective form of transportation around the Seattle area where there is much water.
7. What are you most looking forward to at Web & PHP Con?
I love meeting people, matching real faces with Twitter avatars, and having discussions about code.

And the winner is…

A big congratulations go out to David Stockton who won Round 3 of the public voting for the Web & PHP Conf. We’d like to offer him a warm Web & PHP welcome to the program!

You voted David’s session ‘Increase Code Quality with Code Reviews’ as the one you most wanted to see included into the program. And what a great choice it was!

Here’s what his session has in store for you:

One of the best ways to help improve the quality of your code and help your developers improve through learning from each other is to implement a formal code review process. Teams that do code review at all often do it in an adhoc manner. This can involve over-the-shoulder code review, emailing diffs, group reviews with a projector, etc.

There are several code review products that are designed to make a more structured and useful code review process a reality. Products like Review Board, Crucible, Fogbugz Kiln and others allow for a much more elegant, efficient and flexible code review process. The allow for feedback on code to be recorded and for reviews to be done when other developers won’t need to interrupt work on their own work.
Code review helps to ensure consistent coding standards, catch bugs before they become part of the codebase, and helps improve the skills of your entire team as they can learn from each other as part of the review process.

And remember! You can have access to this session and all the rest of the great content, sessions and speakers lined up at the conf for free! That’s right, not a single penny! Make sure to register your free place now!