This is a list of books currently on my To Read shelf... literally. I do not suggest or anti-suggest any of them at this time as I haven't read them yet.
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Disclosure: There's lots of disclosure on this one. First, the conference series is hosted by Marco Tabini and Associates who are friends, partners, and unindicted co-conspirators. More importantly, I've been drafted by The Man himself - Marco Tabini - to be the "community guy" for this effort.
In case you haven't followed the news and chaos out of php|tek 2009 this year, you've missed the announcement for CodeWorks 2009. In case you haven't guessed, I'm a big advocate of going to conferences. The people - and not just the presenters - that you'll meet are amazing. I believe some of the biggest and best ideas, contacts, relationships, and business come as a result of them.
The problem we're facing is the economy. Travel budgets are down, training budgets are down, and managers want their people to remain productive (aka billable). Unfortunately, once you pay for the conference pass ($800-1500), the flight ($300-500), and the hotel ($200/night), you could easily spend $2000, if not $3000 per person.
Ouch, I know.
CodeWorks takes a different angle on things... the Vision is to bring the same conference experience to you. Over a two week span this Sept/Oct, we'll have a traveling caravan of PHP'ers - names you'd probably recognize from other conferences - hitting a total of seven different cities in 14 days.
No, seriouesly... we're hitting San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Washington DC, and New York City in 14 days. The full CodeWorks schedule is here.
Of course, the "names you'd probably recognize" aren't the only people doing cool and amazing things in the PHP Community. The cities we're visiting have active and vibrant technology communities and have hosted events like BarCamps, DrupalCamps, Mysql meetups, PHP Meetups, WordCamp, Linux events, and probably more events than I can possibly dream of. So after much negotiating, fighting, and outright bribery - I didn't need that kidney anyway - we've set aside one dedicated slot to local speaker.
But here's the thing...
We don't claim to know every local community perfectly.
We don't know who in your groups is doing what cool and amazing things.
We don't presume to know who the hidden gems are in your group.
... but you do.
So I have the job of reaching out to local users groups - DCPHP and NYPHP were the easiest but DallasPHP has been amazing - and have them choose a local presenter. Yes, each group is in charge of choosing their own local speaker... with almost a complete free hand* in the process. Once the presenter (and an alternate) is choosen, that doesn't end the interaction, we have another handful of things in the mix between now and the conference.
If you're in the leadership of one of those groups and we haven't talked, please contact me. I'm "caseysoftware" on all the IM systems and you can reach me at keith [at] blueparabola.com.
By the way, if you're looking for a discounted ticket, you can get 20% off just for being a part of a Users' Group... and another 20% Early Bird discount for buying before July 15th.
* The only rules are simple: