php|Tek 2009: Unconference Unchaos

Well, I have good news and bad news.

The Good News: php|tek 2009 will have an Unconference!

The Bad News: I'm in charge.

(cue mad scientist laughter)

Let's be clear right off the bat:  All [name]Camps (Bar or otherwise) are unconferences but not all unconferences are [name]Camps.  The distinction – and this seems to be widely accepted – is that [name]Camp sessions should be selected day of and everyone needs to participate in some manner. Uncons can have the above but don't really have to… which is how it works at these Uncons which are attached to conferences.

Therefore, here's the (estmated) format for this con/uncon combination:

  • Normal sessions start at the beginning of the day and the three tracks run until about 4 or 5pm;
  • At that point, we take over and get full access to the rooms, projectors, network, and anything else not nailed down;
  • We're slated to have three sessions in each room each evening, giving us a total of 18 sessions.

So here's your mission:

If you have ideas for an unconference session – whether you'd like to do it or not – write it down and start warming people up on it.  We'll work to allow conference attendees to vote in sessions which are the most interesting to them.

About 60 days in advance, we'll announce a handful of sessions.  Another batch will be announced 30 days in advance.  Another small batch will be announced 2 weeks before and a handful of blocks will be kept open to be selected once we get to Chicago.

The past year has been exciting for me personally in terms of unconferences.  I've had the opportunity to attend PodCampDC and then helped organize the first SocialDevCamp East and BarCampDC 2 and was given the lead on the ZendCon Uncon by my highly esteemed friend Cal Evans…. and now someone has been foolish willing to do it yet again.  Thanks Marco!