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.
This is not the home of dotProject or web2project. It is the home of CaseySoftware, LLC. Any dotProject support questions should be referred to their support forums.
This blog post heavily quotes my occasional collaborator Cal Evans. The quotes are used with permission. The link to the original is at the bottom.
Despite the problems with sexism in the tech community in general, the PHP community has had it pretty easy. While there are potentially a number of reasons, the founder of phpWomen Ligaya Turmell shared it this way (paraphrased from Cal):
The PHP community has not had the problem with sexism that other communities seem to have but that is because from the early days, we have had strong women role models. Women like Lara Thomson, Sara Goleman, Liz Smith, and the like have played such a prominent role in the community that no, we’ve not had as big of a problem.
So I am honestly surprised to see this promoted at a conference:
Almost six years ago now (whoa!), I was a regular agitator in the Washington, DC PHP Developer's Community (DCPHP). The community was probably a hundred people with skills ranging from total newbs who couldn't spell PHP to contributors to major open source projects. At that point, we consisted solely of a monthly presentation-style meeting and a mailing list.
And without fail, traffic on the mailing list started getting.. aggressive.
To be clear, there was nothing wrong with the group, that's just how email goes.
Email is a lossy way to communicate. You don't see the smiles or frowns, hear the tone of voice, or see the frustration that elicited that response. And misinterpretations are going to happen. Now take software developers - a culture known for being direct (aka blunt) and sometimes inappropriately so - and trouble is guaranteed.
Last month I attended SXSW for the third time. In addition to having a good time and meeting up with friends & colleagues, I had the chance to be a guest on Developer Smackdown to talk about Community and the similarities and differences between them in the PHP and .Net Communities.
When web2project was first formed in November 2007, I was recruited to work on the community side of things. I had previously earned a spot on the dotProject team by performing support in the forums, blogging, writing the occasional documentation, collecting user feedback, and tracking bug reports, so it was familiar ground.
This post was lifted wholesale from Cal Evans's post from DevZone. I think he summed it up well and I had nothing to add.
Today, the PHP community mourns the passing of a friend. Three weeks ago, Richard Thomas, community member and friend to all who knew him passed away. I had planned on writing this post today and am ashamed that I put it off so long. Thanks to Jeff Moore's post and Paul M. Jones's post I was reminded of my duty to my friend.
I didn't know Richard as well as some. I hung out with him on IRC and we swapped work horror stories and coding tips whenever we met at conferences. I was privileged to see him just days before he passed when we were both at CodeWorks Portland. I got to talk to him for a bit at lunch and between sessions. Sadly for me, that conversations centered around topics so trivial that I don't even recall the details, just that fact that it was with Richard.
From Jeff's blog:
Richard is survived by his wife Lisa and four year old daughter Nicollette. Donations are being accepted to assist them. Even if you haven’t had contact with Richard, consider making a donation if you’ve done freelance work, as Richard was doing at the time of his death. Donations can be sent to:
Niki Fund, 4818 Davis Place #G, Renton WA, 98055
While I never like to hijack a moment, Paul made an excellent point on his post that I'll repost here for all because it is sagely advice from a man I highly respect.
And now, a practical note: A lot of PHP folk out there are freelancers or independent consultants, or are in other kinds of unstable job situations. If you are one of these, and you have a family, *please* consider purchasing term life insurance to take care of your loved ones if you pass suddenly. Get it even if you are very young. It is not expensive. It’s not the only thing you should do to prepare, but it’s an important thing.
Richard died at his computer doing what he loved, programming. We will miss you Richard, the world is a little darker place without you.
Admittedly, I only knew Richard in passing. We'd met at a couple conferences and he was at CodeWorks last month. I wish I'd gotten to know him a little bit better.
As many do this time of year, I'm taking a few moments to review last years' goals and set new ones for this year. I don't do this lightly. I simply share them here as a form of public accountability. Without further ado...