ZendCon 2015

Hello everyone!

I had an absolute blast at ZendCon 2015. Mostly cause it is in Vegas! For those who know me really well, I love to play poker and it’s not often I get a chance to do it, so I took the most opportunity I could to take advantage of it. Luckily, I didn’t bring enough rope to hang myself with so we are all good there.

To the conference itself, I don’t know if I chose the wrong tutorials, but I didn’t get a lot out of them. I was expecting something more with better concrete examples really, but it felt like more of an extended session if that makes sense. I think they can be done better. I would like to see the number cut down and the workshops go all day. And then give developers something they can fork and go home and work on and be proud of. A working example of some concept they can refer back to in their regular jobs.

I found a lot of the sessions very useful in some form or fashion. I try to glean at least one thing I can take home with me from each session. The DevOps for small teams was the one that interested me the most and it did not disappoint. Shout out to Joe Ferguson for opening my eyes to some of the tools and automation that we have been missing to become even more agile. As a developer who has always worked as part of a small team, it’s hard to find mentors and these conferences offer us a way to connect and learn more and latch on, so to speak.

Also, some of the best talks had nothing to do with actual coding. Which was awesome! I wish more conferences would do this. Dedicate some time to talk about work life balance or how to become better professionals or how to communicate more effectively with our clients and colleagues. This is all great stuff that tends to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to development but it is just as important as anything else we do. As Cal Evans said, this is just a hobby that I happened to get paid for.

I am just beginning my blog journey and I don’t know how long I can keep it up or where it will take me, but this conference was definitely a good step. It helped tremendously and I thank all the sponsors and organizers who helped put it together. Great hospitality, great entertainment, great vendors, great job overall.

Side Notes:

  • A lot of people complained about the smokiness. Vegas is great, casinos are great, not sure how to solve this problem, but just wanted more awareness.
  • This was a truly global conference, I met people from almost every continent! Amazing!