at the PHPNW Hackathon

It's that time of year again, the PHP North West conference is almost upon us, and this year they are once again running a hackathon. These events are a great way either to carve out some time to get your head down and hack on an idea that's been in the back of your mind for a while, but they're also a fabulous way to get involved in collaborating on projects. At PHPNW, you'll find there are quite a lot of open source projects at the hackathon, standing by to take on anyone interested in getting involved, either just for the evening or beyond. I'll be there, representing, a tool which is used by the conference itself. So what kinds of things will there be to do and how can you get involved? Continue reading

Talking about ZCE at PHPNW March

If you're interested in becoming a Zend Certified Engineer and are local enough to make it to the next PHP North West User Group meeting on Tuesday, 5th March in Manchester (UK), then come along! I'll be giving a talk and welcoming questions and discussion around becoming ZCE, why you might bother, what is involved, some tips for the exam itself, and pointers to resources to help you (yes the slides will be online afterwards, check the "resources" section on my site on Wednesday ish).

The details are on the Upcoming page for the event, see you on Tuesday 5th!

LAMP and Beyond, 30th June in Manchester

Just wanted to share news of an event that I'll be at in a couple of weeks: LAMP and Beyond. This event is organised by PHPNW and held at Madlab in Manchester on June 30th (it's a Saturday).

The idea is that we bring together a bunch of interested developers plus a few people who know something about some of the technologies which are often used with LAMP but aren't part of the acronym - and work on ... whatever you want to work on! Between us we'll be able to advise on choosing and implementing new technologies for solving particular problems, troubleshoot some sticky issues, and maybe whip up some new projects to give you a chance to play with something new and shiny!

If you want to join, you can get tickets (but be quick, there aren't many left) on eventbrite: - see you there!

A Tale of Two User Groups

This post is probably only relevant if you're interested in PHP and UK-based. In the next few weeks I'll be at some user groups that I don't manage to visit often. On Thursday, 3rd March, I'll be at PHP East Midlands to talk about Design Patterns. On Tuesday, 12th April, I'll be at PHP West Midlands, also speaking but this time about OAuth. I may make it to one or other of PHPNW and LeedsPHP user groups in that time as well ... and all of those are within 2 hours' driving of my home! PHP is alive and well where I live, my great respect and thanks goes to all the community leaders who make these groups happen - thank you all :)

PHPUnconference Comes to Manchester

I'm very excited to hear that the PHPUnConference Europe (@phpuceu on twitter) is coming to Manchester on February 19th and 20th! So excited, in fact, that I've rushed out and bought my ticket (for a whole £40, that's a good investment in my opinion). The event brings together the PHP community from across Europe to an unconference where the speakers are the presenters, and really anything goes!

A great feature is the contributions and interests section - if there's some content that would be particularly useful to you, or a talk you think would be a good fit, then you add it on this page. All the attendees can vote for which sessions we want to see and so we crowd-source the best lineup possible :)

If you fancy some more structured PHP training then hang around in Manchester after the event because thePHPcc are bringing their PHP Days training to Manchester on the Monday and Tuesday following the weekend event, which is pretty exciting :)

Hope to see you in Manchester, all I need to do now is work out which topics I want to see/give talks about ...

Geeks Can Write

A couple of weeks ago I gave a lightning talk at the PHPNW user group entitled "Geeks Can Write" or "Can Geeks Write?" - basically shooting down the worst of the excuses for not writing that I've heard and asking everyone to give it a shot! If you are interested, then the slides are on slideshare. Happy writing :)

PHPNW10: Call for Papers

It's official, PHP North West 2010 is definitely happening ... and for that we'll need some people to pop along and give a talk! As in previous years, we'll first of all deal with selecting the papers for our main conference day, 9th October. Talks can be 60 minutes or 30 minutes, can be on any subject if you can persuade us it's relevant to PHP developers, and speakers anywhere on the spectrum from expert to newbie are welcome.

So what are you waiting for? Go submit your talk at our call for papers page. If you need more assistance then you should check out these resources (and yes, some of them are mine but I feel strongly about this topic and want all you interesting and hesitant people to start speaking!)

Are you submitting? What tips would you offer to those thinking of doing so? Already we're at over 50 submissions, more than last year, so competition is tough but oh my goodness, I'm so excited :)

Speaking at PHPNW May

Next week I'm speaking at the PHPNW User Group in Manchester on Tuesday Evening, 4th May - full details of the event are on The talk isn't directly about PHP though; I'll be giving my "Open Source Your Career" talk, discussing how contributing to the community can really help your professional rise. I'll be giving the this talk at the TEK-X conference in Chicago a few weeks later as well, hope to see you at either one event or the other!

Speaking at PHPNW February

If anyone is able to make it to the PHPNW User Group meet in Manchester next Tuesday 2nd February - I'm the speaker there! I'll be giving a talk entitled "Best Practices for Web Service Design", which covers lots of information about web services and how to write one that your users will love! Details of the event are over on upcoming, you can find out more about the talks, the venue and the group as a whole. If you're able to make it then I'll see you there - its a good crowd :)

Speaking at PHPNW09

I have experience of PHP conferences from all possible angles - as an attendee, as a speaker and as an organiser. At PHP North West this year I will be taking this to new heights and combining all three roles into a single one-day conference. I have a speaking slot at the event entitled "Passing the Joel Test in the PHP World", which I'm very excited about. Its a talk that I think brings together the best ideas from a general software engineering world and puts them into the context of PHP development. If you're wondering what the Joel Test is, then you can read about it on wikipedia.

Having spoken at a few different events now, some local and some quite high-profile PHP conferences (OK, so php|tek - the event of the year!), I'm really delighted to be bringing my ideas to the local conference that I help to organise and attached to a user group full of bright and interesting people. The experience of launching a call for papers, submitting my own abstracts, and then trying to figure out where it fits in when evaluating the CfP was a bit split-personality but with Jeremy's input we decided this was a good fit - and I'm looking forward to delivering it!

The event itself is in Manchester, UK on Saturday 10th October and there is only one week remaining on the early bird ticket price!! So all those people who think its ages away and you'll sort out arrangements nearer the time - you have been warned. The schedule is world-class (quite literally, these speakers do speak right around the world), and the price is pocket money (50 GBP + VAT until 11th September). As well as the technical content you get a fun weekend in Manchester, plenty of social activity, there's more geekery happening the following day and all attendees get a 12-month subscription to php|architect magazine to keep them learning all year long. Now you're persuaded - you can buy you tickets here and let me know to expect you!

PHPNW is the highlight of my year - I hope to see you there :)