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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If you haven't figured out by now, I attend quite a few conferences and catch a lot of presentations from numerous speakers. I've found that most presenters have a sweet spot. They're good at expressing a concept but don't get into the code. Others can build ridiculously powerful applications but couldn't describe the concept if their lives depended on it.
In the middle, there's a special kind of person. They're the ones that can explain a concept and whip up some demo code. Or alternatively, they can look at some code and identify not just what it's doing but likely reasons why.
These are the people that get me engaged and excited to participate. They're the ones that convince me to try out their projects and curse my lack of free time. They're the ones show me better ways of doing things. These are the people I pay attention to what they say and do.
More than anything, they make me smarter... or at least teach me to make fewer mistakes. ;)
So I'm proud to say that at php|tek this year, we've managed to gather a bunch of these people to come to show what they're building at our third annual Hackathon. On Thursday night (May 26th), we'll have over a dozen projects represented by some of the best and brightest out there.
Even better, since it's a Hackathon, you can't just passively watch and listen. We expect you to show up and try out some code and generally get your hands dirty. It's one thing for a project to be open source, it's something else entirely when you can ask the core team what led to particular decisions and how to use the results.
Of course, don't feel like you have to work on any of those projects. Odds are that you've seen some interesting concepts throughout the week and want to learn more. Maybe you didn't get that question answered. Maybe you've been stumped by a problem and need a hand figuring it out. Regardless, you'll find something interesting
Also, this year our friends at Tropo - a Cloud API for adding voice & SMS communications to your applications - have signed on as sponsors so we have pizza, [beverages], and even a few toys for the evening.
So don't worry about dinner.
Don't worry about asking questions.
Don't worry about missing out on the conference chaos.
Just bring a laptop, some questions, and the ideas you want to explore...