Conference season approaches and in May I'm on a trip to take in two of the most high-profile events in the PHP conference calendar: DPC in Amsterdam (19-21 May) and php|tek in Chicago (24-27 May). The two events have historically been a few weeks apart and I've always complained at having all the fun for the year in such a short space of time - but this year the events are literally back-to-back, there are a small number of speakers attending both and we're pretty much all on the same flight from Amsterdam to Chicago!
Both these events are pretty special for me, I've been at them both for the last couple of years. DPC is organised by my previous employers, Ibuildings, and I gave my first ever conference talk there three years ago. I haven't actually delivered a session at DPC since then, partly because I hosted the event last year, so I'm wildly excited to be speaking again there this year. It's been a long road as a speaker since that very first conference talk!
I'm giving two sessions at DPC: the first is a full day ZCE 5.3 preparation tutorial which is going to be quite a rollercoaster; there's so much content in ZCE that I'm not sure at this point how it will all fit in to one day. If you're thinking of getting PHP 5.3 certified then there's even better news: discount vouchers for ZCE for all DPC attendees! You'll get these if you attend the event, not necessarily my tutorial, but I'm really hopeful that between the tutorial and the vouchers, we'll give plenty of developers the push they need to achieve their certification. As if that wasn't exciting enough, I'm also giving a talk in the main DPC conference, about OAuth. It's a technical session and something I'm very excited about and working with quite a bit in various projects, I'm really excited about this one too :)
As for the US leg of the trip, well Tek has been the only reason good enough for me to cross the pond for the last couple of years (I'm not much of a traveller!), and it has been well worth it both times. I've learned a lot, laughed a lot, and pushed myself as a presenter far beyond what I thought I was capable of, with both technical content and softer talks. There is always a good crowd there and from the buzz I've seen so far, this year will be no exception.
At tek I'm "only" giving two talks (I've given at least three sessions for the last two years so two talks feels like hanging around!) but they are two talks that I've given before, loved, and I'm enjoying updating them for the tek audience. Which is to say, yes I'm neurotic about talks and my slide decks are taking shape for all these events already. I'm giving "Teach a Man to Fish", a talk about coaching development teams and raising your own game, with some stealth economics thrown in hopefully in a way developers can digest. I'm also giving "Best Practices for API Design" which sounds quite soft but is actually a laundry list of things I wish API developers had known before I was forced to use the result of their labours!! Although I've given a talk with this title before, it's getting a serious update as I've worked with more APIs since then and have some new and some different recommendations for API design.
Consecutive conference madness is going to be pretty tiring but in truth I can't wait to meet up with old friends, make new ones, and enjoy both technical and hallway tracks at both events. If you're at one or other event, please do grab me and say "hi"!