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Around this time every year, something happens within the PHP community. We come out of the lazy days of summer with focus and excitement. It's due to a number of things - like kids going back to school - but one of the biggest on the calendar is ZendCon.
While php|tek has a definite community or "friends getting together" vibe to it, ZendCon is definitely corporate. It's reflected in the attitude, the clothing (lots of khakis and polos), and the formal exhibit hall, etc. There are still numerous friends getting together, but what happens when you spice things up a bit?
After the success of last years' unconference - mostly due to fantastic speakers like Terry Chay, Ed "funkatron" Finkler, Jason Austin & Garrison Locke and the participants of the User Group Summit - Zend has agreed to do it again. But this time, we have more space, more time, more support, and some genuinely great support from Zend.
Every single timeslot that has regular conference sessions also has two uncon sessions. If I recall correctly, we get 26 sessions over the span of 2.5 days. And - after lots of feedback - we're handling scheduling closer to a BarCamp-style event. The first day will be scheduled in advanced based on voting at Joind.in but every day after will be scheduled by the end of the previous day. That way, as discussions begin and sessions generate interest, there's a way to give space, build interest, and generally support the community.
But of course, none of this is possible without you.
Check out the ZendCon 2009 Unconference page and share your ideas!
* Disclosure: This will be my fifth ZendCon and the second time I've had a staff-ish role. So I'm biased but I think I'm fair. Regardless, read for yourself in my previous coverage of ZendCons.