I’ve been doing conferences since July of 2006, when I attended OSCON in Portland, OR. Since then I’ve been to 4 or 5 a year, mostly as a speaker (#humblebrag) but sometimes as an attendee plebian as well. They have included joints like:
So I’ve gotten to see quite a range of conferences, from 10,000 people at SXSW, to 150 people at Brooklyn Beta. And after several years of this, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best conferences are:
- Focus on sharing and learning from one another
With conferences like this, there’s a lot less separation between speaker and attendee, which I like a lot. I personally LOVE jabbering with anyone who wants to hear me, so I love it when attendees come up and ask questions or share their own experiences with me. And this is a LOT easier at smaller conferences that actively encourage this kind of atmosphere.
Last year, I attended two conferences that met those criteria for me: Open Source Bridge and Brooklyn Beta. Both of them were small, volunteer-driven, not profit-motivated, and intimate. The people who attended were across the board there because they love what they do. They love making great things, sharing what they create, and sharing how they create. And that’s why everyone was there.
So I am very excited that some dedicated folks are trying to bring this kind of experience to the PHP community. The PHP Community Conference on April 21-22 in Nashville, TN is going to be an intimate, friendly, intelligent conference for folks who use PHP. You’ll learn new stuff about a variety of topics, from technical PHP issues to open source community building.
Plus, how often do speakers like Rasmus Lerdorf, Andrei Zmievski, Lorna Mitchell and Terry Chay come to Nashville? For once you can attend a top-notch PHP conference that isn’t on the west coast or Chicago.
I’m speaking as well, but what I’m most excited about is being able to learn and share with other folks who love building things with PHP. I’m confident that this will be the best PHP conference of 2011. And I hope you’ll be there so I can meet you and talk about the awesome stuff you’re doing.