ZendCon07 – Day 1, Part 2 – Afternoon

This is the second half of coverage of Day 1 of ZendCon 2007. The tutorials day is covered here – ZendCon Day 0 and the ZendCon Day 1, Part 1.

The first real session of the day was from Terry Chay on "Finding Art in the Internet". In the opening, he warned us of his swearing, so I decided to keep an f-bomb count. And then be began quoting himself and showed definitive proof on how he killed Ruby. After a while he focused on some of the core of the presentation and dove into the differences between complexity versus complex and simplicity versus simple. The best phrase he dropped was the distinction between viral marketing and word of mouth marketing – a major argument at BarCampDC – "Viral marketing is when users using your system bring in more users. Anything else is Word of Mouth Marketing sh*t." and used differential equations to describe and demonstrate what happens with Viral Marketing… k > 0.

It think the biggest problem and criticism comes along the lines of his priorities. He talks and pushes on security being the last aspect of the whole development process with building the rest of the site first. I have a problem with that. If security is going to be your last concern, you're going to have problems… big problems and you're going to have to fight it all later and probably put your users at risk.

Key quote from Terry: "Jimmy Whales.. he's like a librarian with some strange fetish for Asian clothing that I don't understand." And the final F-bomb count was 24.

Lunch was spent with a few people working in interesting areas. Once I get in touch with them, I'll share the names and info… might have some news for the DCPHP Conference. The post lunch keynote was from IBM and their involvement in the PHP community. Unfortunately, it was mostly a marketing/sales pitch as opposed to something useful to the crowd.

The first session after lunch was "Project Management Methods to Maintain IT Standards" from Eric David … and it left me stunned. The second slide was a description of Agile Methods grouping them all as entirely "reactive and unplanned" while the PMI method is the way to go. Next, he talked about PM tools and suggested Basecamp, Microsoft Project, and Primavera. Anyone see a problem with this list? (hint: ZendCon is a PHP conference.) Alright, so I'm biased. Next, he discussed some of the core concepts of the PMI including Project Charters, Scope Statements, etc. These are all great and useful things, but he really lacked a common thread or story to tie them all together so the examples – although correct – were all over the place. As my frustration grew, I finally decided to go review my slides.

I spoke with Eli White later and he filled me in on the rest of the presentation noting that Eric went into some of the planning necessary for the Agile methods.

Next, I had my session. I had some stiff competition with Eli White ("High Performance PHP & MySQL Scaling Techniques"), Bill Karwin ("Zend Framework Database Quick Start"), and Ben Ramsey ("Mobilizing & Sharing: How the Zend Framework Builds Community for Nokia MOSH") having the same slot as me. Fortunately, lots of people seem to have legacy applications that they're updating and managing for their users. Regardless, it seems to have gone well and I got a handful of good questions and comments throughout. Initially the only downside is that my presentations are tuned for 50 minute slots (40 minutes talking, 10 minutes Q&A)… and the session was 60 minutes. Doh.

I skipped the final session of the day and traded notes with a number of smart people in the hallway and then did the same at the opening reception. I talked with a number of people – including a few who will be at the DCPHP Conference – and traded notes on a variety of topics… there could be interesting things coming.