Rowan Merewood

@rowan_m

Talks

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Rating: 5 of 5 
(28.Feb.2009)
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades (keynote)
Great opener, woke me up! Aral has crazy enthusiasm for his subject backed it up with solid geek credentials and it really set an ideal tone for the rest of the conference.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(28.Feb.2009)
Living with Frameworks
Solid subject and Stuart knows what he's talking about. He's got a knack for making things accessible but still interesting at different levels. Could have done with a bit more polish to give it more of a story, but I know that was down to time rather than skill!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(28.Feb.2009)
Myphp-busters: symfony framework
The pun definitely worked and the presentation flowed nicely. The real world examples were great, but I would have like to have seen more detail on them and I think there would have been time to do that. Likewise, with the Symfony platform... but maybe that's the point, I want to go and find out more now!
Rating: 3 of 5 
(28.Feb.2009)
Sharding Architectures
Pretty technical compared to the other talks, which I appreciated but may have lost some of the audience. Some cool visualisations that I think could be improved on to pull the rest of the crowd along. More concrete examples of what approaches work on different datasets would have been interesting. Did get me thinking about some of our own stuff though, so was definitely worth attending.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(05.Sep.2011)
Unusability
Nice selection of anti-patterns. Especially like the example with jamming all the UI in screen at once - as a developer that's quite a natural impulse. Did finish early, it would have been nice to have spent the full time providing some deeper detail. Engaging presenter though and I was scribbling down notes for later.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(05.Sep.2011)
Opening Video & Introduction
So... I was not expecting that at all. That boy has a serious voice. Different way to kick things off. Nice tone setting as well with the little chat about makers and creating experiences for users' everyday things. This whole thing is fun but it's got real consequences.
Rating: 2 of 5 
(30.Jan.2010)
Pre-conference Social
Enjoyed the local beer, but the long, thin table arrangement downstairs made it hard to mingle and socialise. Feels like the hotel bar would have worked much better.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(30.Jan.2010)
PHPillow & CouchDB & PHP
Was hoping to see a bit more about PHPillow, but there were some good points in there about the considerations for how you format the your data for CouchDB. Would have like to see a bit more detail on the specifics, but came away with some things to research.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(30.Jan.2010)
The State of SOAP in PHP
Enjoyed David's presentation style, he's very comfortable with the material and knows the subject very well. Personally, I like his push towards validation and he didn't shy away from going into all the various limitations and pitfalls of XML. Only downside was running out of time before getting into the SOAP vs. REST discussion, but we hit some of that in lunch anyway.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(30.Jan.2010)
PHP and the Cloud
Surprised by just how much content Ivo managed to fit into this presentation without rushing through it. The overview of the various services, how they fit together and the various pros and cons of them. Enjoyed the mix of high-level summaries and business considerations with the inclusion of code examples on how to use a few of the services (font could have been a bit bigger though). A few places where I wasn't convinced that the applications mentioned were necessarily "cloud" apps, but then maybe that's indicative of the first part of the presentation explaining how we're at the top of the hype curve at the moment.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2010)
The lost art of simplicity
Enthusiastic and engaging guy. Entry level stuff, but good for a keynote.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2010)
Hidden features - from core to PECL
Quite technical talk, picked up some interesting tidbits. Note to self: look up inclued. Definitely knows his stuff.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2010)
Regex-fu
I disagree. Really enjoyed the flipchart, my only gripe was that the camera could have been in a bit closer. Maybe an old-school overhead projector next time. Content was good too, room was involved and there were a bunch of valuable tips in there.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(26.Feb.2010)
PHP on the D-BUS
Exactly what I wanted. Proper technical session, live demos, and other cool stuff. May well have to go check this out of svn and start playing.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(10.Jun.2010)
Writing a PHP extension in C - part 1
Melanie knows her stuff, so there was a lot of great technical content in here. She's also good at answering questions on the fly while keeping the flow of the presentation. This was particularly useful, as I don't think (as an audience) we quite had the C skills she was initially expecting. Learned a lot, definitely made the right choice of workshop to attend.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(10.Jun.2010)
Writing a PHP extension in C - part 2
Same as my comment on: http://joind.in/talk/view/1523 just had to knock a star off as it did become harder to concentrate later on. Not sure if there was any way around that though, pretty intense subject.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(11.Jun.2010)
97 Things Every Programmer Should Know
Always learn stuff when I talk to Kevlin. The articles in the book are great and it was nice to hear the editor's personal insights on them. Only criticism I can bring is that the actual book-plugging took a bit too long at the start before the meatier content. Still, I'm just quibbling there. Achieved the goal off kicking off and setting the tone for the day.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(11.Jun.2010)
Premature Optimization Mistakes
Fairly standard range of options, but presented quite naturally. Also made some points about a few technologies I hadn't considered before. Felt like he would have been more suited to an hour long slot, as it was a bit rushed. Enjoyed the practical examples, very easy to apply.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(11.Jun.2010)
Working with Zend_Form
Rob delivers technical content well, especially when you can see he enjoys the topic. Nice structure to the talk too. I went knowing nothing about Zend_Form but now feel I know the conceptual overview and can dive in. Possibly could have done with some visuals to illustrate the structure.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(11.Jun.2010)
Crash! Burn! Recover!
Cal actually made a sales pitch presentation fun! He's honest about which bits are good, which aren't and what's good for prototyping vs.production. Live code demo, but he holds the attention well and was prepared for when it went wrong. Late in the day and he managed to keep the crowd awake, which is always an achievement.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(11.Jun.2010)
Database version control without pain
Had read the slides from a previous conference, but it was good to see the presentation as Harrie filled in some of the gaps. Nice and confident in his delivery and he kept a decent pace. Would have liked to have seen a bit more about the Doctrine stuff, but he covered a lot for a 45 minute slot. Technical examples were easy to follow as well.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(12.Jun.2010)
Conference Social
Nice place and well timed. Only downside was the crowding and noise made it a bit more of a challenge to mingle.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(12.Jun.2010)
Where in the world: Geo data in PHP
Was hoping for a bit more detail here, quite a bit of the basic stuff. e.g. The visualisation of the mining data was really interesting. Unfortunate colour scheme meant the code examples were invisible and that broke the flow a bit. That said, he's enthusiastic about his topic and held the the audience's interest.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(12.Jun.2010)
Technical Writing 101
Motivational and entertaining. Elizabeth gets a lot of audience interaction too. Should probably and write up some of those ideas that have been hanging around.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(09.Oct.2010)
Zend Framework 2.0 is coming!
Rob's enthusiastic about this topic, which kept it engaging. He's also very knowledgeable on the subject, so pushed out a lot of useful information. Criticisms would be that it felt a bit rushed at the end and didn't close that strongly. There was also a bit of a mix in of general PHP 5.3 features, but it was still relevant. Also, loved the minimalist slides. Can be difficult to pull off, but it worked.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(09.Oct.2010)
Debugging - Rules and Tools
Always nice to be surprised when I hit a topic I think I know well and then new tidbits come out. Some helpful tips on encouraging the scientific method on identifying and fixing bugs.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(09.Oct.2010)
Practical HipHop
Interesting overview of the Facebook infrastructure and deployment. Scott manages to turn the heckling into interesting discussion, which means that some unexpected stuff turns up. I would have liked to see a bit more of the hands-on stuff though.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(09.Oct.2010)
Framework shootout
Very cool format. Marcus refereed well, kept it moving, interesting and on track. Only tiny criticism is controlling the overly dominant personalities on the panel - looking at you, Mr. Zuelke! Not sure if that's humanly possible though. Excellent way to close off the day as it got people involved when they're normally falling asleep.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(10.Oct.2010)
Saturday Conference Venue
Really good venue, only criticism is that it felt like we were really pushing capacity this year. The rooms were packed and got a little overheated and lunch didn't seem set up to deal with the number of people there. Still, not a bad problem to have! The hotel staff were all helpful, wifi was stable, the tracks were easy to find.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(10.Oct.2010)
The Journey towards Continuous Integration
Impressive first talk and wasn't even put off by the technical mishaps at the start. The LOTR the link was fun and worked well. Very brave to show the real build-box results and I think it added a lot of credibility and weight to the material. I would have liked to have more detail of the concepts at the end - distributed builds and so on. It felt like too much time was spent at the start covering the generic introductions to unit testing and so on, which we've all (hopefully) seen before. Still, get all that together and maybe come back next year for part two? :)
Rating: 4 of 5 
(19.Feb.2011)
Real Single Sign On (SSO)
Knowledgeable guy, nice range and level of detail. Learned a few things and have stuff to look up.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(19.Feb.2011)
Memory Management, Garbage Collection, destruct(), debugging memory
Derick is in his element talking about this stuff, well informed and amusing. Fairly good discussion too, even though there was a danger of it drying up. Sorry, can't remember the name of the chair, but nice seed topics provided.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(19.Feb.2011)
Running a Project with Github
Picked up some useful tidbits about specific features of Github and some of the other systems out there. Despite Lorna's... um, less than glowing opinion of the platform and its underlying VCS, there was some pretty constructive stuff in there. Particularly interesting discussion at the end on how the tools available affect the workflow of a project. Specifically I was after the real world experiences, (e.g. the use of an alternative issue tracker) and that was delivered.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(25.Feb.2011)
Running on Amazon EC2
Knowledgeable guy, obviously deployed to this platform a lot. Nice set of practical examples showing where the problems are too, so not just a sales pitch which talks like this sometimes turn into. Delivery could have been a bit more lively, I had to put some effort into paying attention rather than being grabbed - but it was stuff I've been meaning to look at. Again, another set of slides I'll definitely be going back to for reference.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(25.Feb.2011)
ZeroMQ is the Answer
Z0MG, very cool stuff. I like it when a talk just jumps straight into code and demos. Ian kept the examples very concise and easy to follow. Quickly demonstrated some of the key patterns and possibilities with 0MQ. Made me consider quite a few things about writing applications and going back to a much more Unix-like style of chaining lots of little components together. Well presented, Ian was enthusiastic and it made the code presentation interesting. The look of the slides was cool too, bit of a 1970's Open University vibe in places - but still clean and modern. Will definitely be going back to the presentation and code as a reference.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(25.Feb.2011)
Opening Keynote
Not bad, nice message and relaxed delivery. However, needed a faster pace for a morning keynote, I need something that energises me and sets up the rest of the day.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(26.Feb.2011)
Large-Scale Data Processing with MapReduce and PHP
Only being harsh here 'cause I know David fully kicks ass when he's properly prepared. The demo was cool, but it would have been nice to see if with a bit more polish so we could have explored some more of the advanced concepts. Always entertaining to watch though and well-informed on the subject so came away having learned some interesting things.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(26.Feb.2011)
Refreshments
Coffee did its job. Pastries were unexpectedly nice.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2011)
Lunch
Fairly tasty and not overly heavy. Wasn't falling asleep after, which is a plus.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2011)
Venue
Only a few nitpicking issues really. Screens were too low in tracks 1 and 2, which was the same problem as last year. Track 1 got quite a lot of background noise from behind the screen divider, that was a bit distracting. The upstairs area with tables and power was really helpful though.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2011)
Pre-conference Social
I only made it towards the end, but it's a good venue and even though the room looks small, it doesn't really get too crowded. Comfy sofas too.
Rating: 2 of 5 
(26.Feb.2011)
WiFi
Normally I just use 3g, but phone reception was pretty poor in there so I think the wifi was getting doubly hammered by everyone. Don't know if there's some kind of extra option they can provide.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(05.Apr.2011)
Simplify your External Dependency Management
Technical problems definitely hurt the flow of the talk, though Stephan dealt with it really well. I think a bit too much time was spent at the start looking at VCS and application set-up, it felt a bit slow to me. However, I did learn about some of the PHP packaging features and repos - definitely something to investigate more in future projects.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(05.Apr.2011)
Profiling PHP Applications
Humorous start looking at PHP optimization tips from the Internet got things going well. Nice selections of tools, hadn't tried siege before but I think I will now. The demo sections were handled nicely too - always a screenshot to fall back on if things didn't work.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(05.Apr.2011)
The forest for the trees
I wouldn't have normally gone to the Java track, but it happened to be the only English talk on in the time slot. Luckily, Greg is very engaging and the talk was applicable to *all* developers regardless of language. Going with no slides worked well too, I was slightly worried at the start that it was going to be a bit rambling but Greg tied the various ideas together really well. I especially liked the various real world examples. Arguments always seem more convincing to me when a person is telling you about their own mistakes and experiences.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(05.Apr.2011)
A Gen Y versus Gen X conflict
Some interesting ideas, but I felt like it could have gone deeper or used some more real world examples. It did provoke some discussion about company cultures and how they change (for better or for worse) afterwards, so that's always a positive thing.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(19.May.2011)
Think like an ant, distribute the workload
Reasonable intro to various concepts. Helgi's quite obviously got some valuable real life experience with this stuff. Would have liked more of the detail though - actual configuration and code. Felt more like a long talk rather than a workshop. Nice explanations of some of the architectures though.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(20.May.2011)
Making the new everyday things
Must not sound like fanboi... Really energising start to the day. Nicely linked the UX responsibilities of designers and developers.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(20.May.2011)
Zend Framework from the CLI
Smooth delivery and Cal is very engaging. More of a natural conversation with the audience than a presentation, which is fun. Shame the code example didn't run and it felt like that might have been preventable with a little preparation (that said, my own code demo wasn't the best). Looking forward to seeing the code on GitHub, some interesting options in there.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(20.May.2011)
Cooking up your development environment
Calm delivery and clean slides, very nicely paced. Actually managed to finish with time for questions too and there was some valuable discussion. The Vagrant demo was a bit underwhelming though, I think it might have been worth highlighting to bits of its progress to show just how much work was happening in the background. Still, great introduction though.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(20.May.2011)
So you think you know REST?
Good pragmatic overview of REST over HTTP with some helpful tidbits in there around headers. Good to highlight how much the protocol does for you which often gets mistakenly re-invented. Nice relaxed style of delivery and clear slides. Useful questions at the end covering some of the implementation details.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(21.May.2011)
Why Google Maps sucks
I like Derick's deeply geeky talks and this was on the way to being it. Preparation not an issue since it was the uncon and a lightning talk, more like a guided tour and conversation with the audience. Actually, I can't really think of any criticisms other than I want the detail that a full talk would give.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(21.May.2011)
The missing link between IDE and webserver
Interesting, but very surface-level. Felt a bit like a sales pitch in places. Would have been nice to hear some comparisons to other tools out there - chef, puppet, capistrano, etc. and what the unique features are.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(21.May.2011)
PHPSpec - BDD for PHP
Disclaimer - this guy is a colleague. Nicely put together, Marcello cares about the subject a lot and is engaging. I guess the only criticism is that this was not a lightning talk; there was too much material. Still, will have plenty of time to discuss it.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.May.2011)
Closing Keynote: Open Teams
Good choice for a closing keynote - not heavy technical stuff, but more business related concepts that are valuable for developers to take away with them. Can't fault the delivery, his conviction comes across clearly. As he clearly stated, not everyone will agree with his points and that actually meant to sparked off some interesting discussion in the airport later on.
Rating: 2 of 5 
(22.May.2011)
DPC Conference Social
Loud music and cramped. Quite a few groups ended up moving to different locations so we could carry on discussions from the day. Free drinks is always good though and the atmosphere was really positive.
Rating: 2 of 5 
(22.May.2011)
Character Sets Suck
Left me feeling a bit disappointed due to the lack of preparation. The slides were fine, but from what I could tell Ray had never seen them. Having two presenters ended up being distracting, since it was really only Ray running through the slides. This meant there was a lack of structure to things and the flow seemed quite stilted. Some interesting bits and pieces in there, but it could have been far more effective.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(09.Oct.2011)
How to Stand on the Shoulders of Giants
Slightly slow start, but then Ian really got into his stride and his passion for the topic came through. Really acted as a nice link into the rest of the day. Left me motivated to do a bit more contributing, thanks!
Rating: 3 of 5 
(09.Oct.2011)
Pre Conference Social
The company and the feeling was excellent as always, however as far as bars go it seemed pretty expensive and loud music at a dev conference always feels a bit odd. Minor nitpicking though, had a really good time.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(09.Oct.2011)
Compiling PHP - Bringing down walls and breaking through language barriers
Nice mix of the business motivations for doing this and the technical details behind it. Presentation style could have done with a bit more enthusiasm as it dragged a bit in places, which was challenging to follow on a Sunday morning. Still, interesting stuff and I'm going to have to look into it a bit more.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(09.Oct.2011)
Party
Pretty much perfect. Good food and drink. Wii was excellent fun. The venue was suited to circulating, so I ended up seeing far more people than usual.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(09.Oct.2011)
Dealing with Difficult People
A pleasure to watch, but it really was too much content for the slot.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(09.Oct.2011)
Git for Subversion users
Clear stuff, but definitely needed to be cut down for the half-hour slot.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(09.Oct.2011)
Playing nicely with Project Managers
Obviously need this man to do more speaking. I'll put you down for a few more Sheffield nights. Delivery was nice and relaxed and the content was short and to the point - just right for a lightning talk session.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(09.Oct.2011)
REST and the Hypermedia Constraint: A Case Study
(disclaimer - guy's my colleague) I always enjoy talks that have a personal touch and a story, something you can't get from just reading a blog post for example. So, being able to see Ben explain the reasoning he had gone through for his false starts really helped my understanding. Interestingly, I think the live demo was the best part - actually seemed far more comfortable talking through those bits than on the slides.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(30.Oct.2011)
Test Driven Development with Symfony 2
Enjoyable and the live coding was very smooth. My only criticism would be that I wanted to see a bit more depth and detail of Symfony 2, since a bit too much time was taken up creating the mock data. That said, it's actually motivated me to go off and investigate that myself!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(30.Oct.2011)
PHP in 2011
Interesting tidbits on performance issues in PHP applications that I'll be using in the future. The history of how PHP got to the position its in was good, a few angles I just hadn't considered before. Speaking style was very laid back and easy to follow.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(30.Oct.2011)
Dependency Injection in PHP 5.3 and 5.4
I think perhaps the motivation for DI could be explained a little better, but that might not leave time to go through the DIC to the same level. The beginning didn't really grab me, but the step-by-step implementation of the container was very helpful with an excellent practical explanation of closures.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(30.Oct.2011)
Doctrine 2
Persuasive introduction, each time I talk to Juozas I get more convinced to try it. Good structure and presentation style too, kept the audience interested. To improve it, I'd think about getting into code a bit sooner to show some more practical examples. It was nice to see how simple things were, but it would be helpful to see more detail. Maybe a quick mocked-up blog application, since you were using that concept through the talk anyway?
Rating: 4 of 5 
(28.Jan.2012)
VIM + *nix Toolchain == PHP IDE
Only rating down a bit because the timing meant that we didn't cover more of the advanced stuff and plug-ins at the end - which is where I learnt the most. Very clearly presented though, definitely going to look at Landslide for presentations and the vim screens were very easy to read.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(28.Jan.2012)
The lust for knowledge and experience
Very clean and effective slides. Picked up some useful bits and there were some nicely explained concepts too. However, saying it was your first big talk at the start would have been more helpful, as the delivery needed some improvement but because the rest was so smooth I didn't realise.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(01.Feb.2012)
Bowling and Kinect in the venue!
No question, having the bowling alley is one of the best things ever. Kinect was bad-ass too. Since it's always good to have something to improve though... 1) The bowling alley seems to be getting a bit old now and the pin reset mechanism malfunctioned quite a few times. 2) Probably needed more space around the Kinects, especially when David gets going.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(01.Feb.2012)
Snacks / sandwiches / drinks / beer tasting / fries
Tasty sandwich selection, really good beer range with friendly bar-tender and getting the snacks from the van was like a whole entertainment activity in itself. Only thing I would improve is to give the person doing the raffle a microphone next time.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(01.Feb.2012)
Orchestra afterparty
Rocked. My feet did get a little numb at points though... so maybe somewhere we can warm up next time, at least for a little break. Hot-tub, maybe? 8D
Rating: 4 of 5 
(01.Feb.2012)
An introduction to Phing the PHP build system
Enjoyed the structure and pacing. Slides were fairly clear, though I personally would have gone for less text on them. Would have liked to see some more configuration examples (e.g. I've never set up Jenkins with Phing before, seeing the connection would have been useful). Seeing screenshots from real projects is cool, but maybe a mocked up project to show some more variety in the graphs/reports might have illustrated the point better. Demo's failing is always annoying, but you were prepared for it and the transition was pretty smooth. Definitely glad I made it though ;)
Rating: 5 of 5 
(01.Feb.2012)
Taking it to the next level
Man, difficult to say anything that hasn't been already. Ended the conference day on a high, and the mix of acknowledging the standard PHP tools alongside some more obscure ones (like Agavi, ehehe) was a nice touch - I actually learned about a few new things. Like Thijs said, the only improvement I can think of is a bit more a tighter thread to the start.
Rating: 1 of 5 
(24.Feb.2012)
Big Data web - Big Data science - Big Data mining
You have an interesting app, I think but we didn't really see the guts of it. In the future, don't spend so much time on the vague introductions - get straight to the details. Keep on topic too, some of the tangents were totally unrelated and detracted from the presentation. Practice the demo a bit more, it was a bit stilted and spent too much time on trivial details (e.g scrolling through the word list) and there were awkward silences. Keep it all on one computer too. Maybe a pattern where you alternated concept/demo would work better? I think you would have been able to show us more of the cool stuff that way.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
PHP in 2012
Relaxed style, lots of useful tidbits. Felt like it took a little while for the audience to get into it though. Nice scene setting though with the reminders about where PHP came from and why it is the way it is now.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
Develop & deploy using hybrid cloud strategies
Definitely worth attending as Thijs is engaging and flexible in the way he presents. Content-wise, I think there were a lot of people in the room already doing fairly advanced stuff with cloud/dedicated platforms and wanted deeper detail rather than overview (I did). An improvement for me would have been some real-life examples of set-ups being used by clients and the problems or advantages of them. It also felt like it was much more cloud-focused than hybrid. Enjoyable though and I learned some things, but I know there are more crazy secrets hiding in your head and I wanted to hear some of them.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
Creative Coding - why ?doing nothing? doesn?t mean you?re not working
Slightly slow start and nerves were showing. However, the pace picked up later as did the more direct relation to how this affecting coding. Especially at the end when you were answering questions, much more engaging. I would probably compress the beginning of the talk and focus more on how this affects the flow of work and ideas for making yourself more productive by switching into the right modes.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
Scaling Communication with Continuous Integration
Loved it. Good mix of personal experiences, actual tools and processes being used inside Etsy, and general conceptual stuff. Presented in a way that made it easy to pick out bits that are relevant to me and I can take away to implement. P.S. I did like it more though when you were "too mean".
Rating: 5 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
Teaching Your Machine To Find Fraudsters
Delicious math and computer science. I want more content like this, you're forced to think. Definitely a distinctive Barberesque style evolving in the slides. The visualisation of the support vector was particularly good.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
PHP at Scale
Good mix of speaker, well helmed and controlled, interesting range of questions.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
Networking and Raffle
Worked fine. You had a mic this year, which was lacking last year. It was good having it in a nice open space with beer, rather than during the closing address.
Rating: 1 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
Mid Conference Party
This is made to look really pretty bad when you compare it to the night in The Union the next day. I feel this would have been much better if it was just free / paid drinks at the venue. At the conference social, I want to be able to talk with the people, catch up, mingle, etc. I can't do this if there's loud music, the room is packed, everybody is sweating and we're mixed in with random members of the public. By which I mean the people prostituting themselves on the dance floor. One of them even found a guy (not a PHP developer) bundled past us and pretty much started mating with each other on a pile of our coats. So... yeah, good entertainment but it's not why I go to a conference.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
To a thousand servers and beyond: scaling a massive PHP application
Enjoyed this, good slides, good content. Always like seeing real examples of how companies are operating, e.g. you showed the actual deployment script, monitoring, etc. Inspiring to see the push to open source most of the solutions too. Need to go off and investigate HyperDB more to see how portable the library is away from WordPress. Only negative point (and it's a small one) is that you were a bit restless when speaking and it was making the floor squeak, which was distracting.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
Conference After Party
Much more enjoyable than the previous night. I still would have preferred somewhere quieter with more space, but I was still able to have really good conversations and move round all the people I wanted to see. Epic tab though, cheers!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
Cheat your way with UX
Really enjoyed this. Excellently crafted slides and very personable delivery. Hit the right note for giving developers the right amount of detail to understand where this can apply to them and what they can do. Demonstrated the importance of UX throughout a project/product/platform and clearly showed the distinction that UX is not just pretty front-ends.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
Introduction: MongoDB with PHP
Always enjoy Derick's code heavy talks. Very practical introduction to the subject. Only criticism would be that the talk felt like it needed more structure, i.e. it felt like the talk almost just stopped rather than reaching a conclusion. Good discussion at the end though and I'm definitely going to be investigating more.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
PHP Under The Hood
Nice, detailed content. Amusing heckling from Derick and handled well by Johannes, the discussion added to things. Could have been a bit more polished though. I sympathise with you about OpenOffice/LibreOffice, I swear it does those things deliberately to upset you.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
SQL vs NoSQL
Tough one. Good panel, but a tricky topic. I wonder if this is better suited to a talk presenting benchmarks for practical examples of how the varying technologies perform in different situations. Didn't really come away learning anything.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(26.Feb.2012)
Closing Address
Short and to the point. Exactly right for a man standing between a crowd and their beer. :D
Rating: 5 of 5 
(01.Mar.2012)
Estimation or "How to Dig your own Grave"
Haven't been able to claim this talk yet, so I can't add the link to the slides. Apologies for rating myself here then to do it... hopefully you think it's fair. http://merewood.org/estimation-or-how-to-dig-your-own-grave/
Rating: 4 of 5 
(01.Mar.2012)
RESTful Web Services with Python
Enjoyed this talk, plus impressive that he was giving this with a cold at the same time. The Python examples were really clear and it was good to hear the comparison between the options. Additional stuff I would have liked: - more explanation of the Python choice over PHP - less general REST introduction, though that depends on the audience's experience level - more exploration of the Python code, a little more introduction to the frameworks/libraries and maybe a live demo? The run-through of the Edinburgh Festival API at the end was very cool. Always good when you see the real-life stuff.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(02.Mar.2012)
Getting Started With Web Accessibility
Delivered exactly what it promised, good targeted introduction to accessibility. Clear slides and a nicely paced talking style. Best thing about this was the small room, much more cosy and intimate. Sean definitely used this, making it much more of a conversation rather than a talk. Being able to expand on certain points made it much more valuable meaning I left having learnt some things and with some points to think about.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(02.Mar.2012)
A NodeJS bag of goodies for analysing web traffic
First time looking at NodeJS for me, so this work nicely as an introduction and the module management basics were useful. Enjoyed the delivery and the humour too. Perhaps we could have seen more of the code of the modules instead of the output?
Rating: 5 of 5 
(02.Mar.2012)
Painless, version-controlled database refactoring
Clear delivery and nicely paced, really easy to follow at the end of the day. Slides were good and the live coding didn't interrupt the flow. Code was hard to read on the projector, but you did mitigate that by just swapping over to the terminal. Really liked the practical nature of the whole thing, always good when you're seeing the stuff that people are actually using in their projects rather than say, just repeating the documentation. Great Q&A at the end.
Rating: 0 of 5 
(30.Mar.2012)
Estimation or "How to Dig your own Grave"
Hey, Anonymous - ask me on twitter. I'm @rowan_m.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(13.Apr.2012)
Estimation, or "How To Dig Your Own Grave"
Slides available here: http://merewood.org/estimation-or-how-to-dig-your-own-grave/ Thanks for feedback, all helps me improve! P.S. Rating my own talk seems a bit arrogant, but that should disappear once I'm marked as the owner :)
Rating: 4 of 5 
(16.Apr.2012)
F as in Failure
Set the tone well for the day, following speakers kept referencing back to it which provided a nice thread through the talks. Hearing real life experience is great too, especially when it's not about how amazing the speaker is but how they're another human being too. That said, I felt like it could have been tighter and directed - I needed a bit more energy first thing in the morning. Minor point though, very enjoyable.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(16.Apr.2012)
Essential Node.js For Web Developers
Accessible, straight-forward, and entertaining. The code examples worked and worked well. Showed off how simple it is to dive in and start experimenting, so thanks for the motivation.
Rating: 2 of 5 
(16.Apr.2012)
The Emperor's New Clothes
Definitely very comfortable speaker and kept everyone awake after lunch, which was good. No point repeating what's already here, so what would have been cool is either a tighter presentation to get through all the points - or turn it into an actual debate, drop a whole bunch of the slides and just lead the discussion.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Apr.2012)
Lessons Learned From Testing Legacy Code
Loved this. It's easy to present ideals, cool new technology, and perfect code in a conference talk. What's much more valuable is to have a speaker (and even more, the company) prepared to open up and admit that yes, people write crappy code, it ends up in critical systems, and no, you can't just rewrite it all. I think the slides could be a bit improved though, the code examples were a little hard to follow in places.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(16.Apr.2012)
Alice & Bob: Public Key Cryptography 101
Tough talk to pull off in the late-afternoon slot, but I think Josh managed it. Explanation of the algorithms were clear, and showing the components in the real certificates was cool.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Apr.2012)
How The Web Evolves With Hypermedia
Not just a 5 because I got to play with the shark, but I have to admit... it helped. I thought the lead-in with the human state machine was quite a nice link for the HATEOAS model. Felt like you were a little nervous at the start, but you hit a good pace after the intro. Closed things off on just the right note.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(18.Apr.2012)
Creating mobile Javascript Apps with Sencha Touch 2
Clearly explained, good examples, personalising it to the conference was a nice touch! I think you seemed a little nervous at the start, but that passed pretty quick. Thanks, will go try it I think.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(18.Apr.2012)
A practical guided tour of the Symfony2 framework
As above, enjoyed and learned some stuff - but the demo would have definitely been better. Maybe just put the mic down and shout? :D The link to the Eclipse stuff really was useful, thanks!
Rating: 3 of 5 
(18.Apr.2012)
Choosing The Right NoSQL Database
Nice clear explanations, but definitely needed to be tighter on the timescale. Maybe more of an explanation on why some of the technologies fail in certain cases, since in a few instances it felt like you just dismissed them. Of course... How to do that but also make a shorter talk. Well, it's my job to give the feedback not solve the problem :P
Rating: 4 of 5 
(18.Apr.2012)
Don't Fall Behind: How to Learn Now What Is Needed Tomorrow?
Enjoyed this, nice motivational stuff. The open source stories were the best part. Would be a five I think if the beginning was a bit tighter, less concepts and more time on the actual concrete examples.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(18.Apr.2012)
Caching and Tuning Fun For High Scalability
Pretty solid stuff, actually not sure if I can think of any to improve it. Good general software engineering principled combined with specific implementation details. Maybe a bit more details of your secret project, it felt like a bit of a tease just showing the results but not explaining about it.
Rating: 0 of 5 
(14.Sep.2012)
Symfony2 on Amazon Web Services
Traditionally, we post comments *after* the talk, in which case this link would make more sense.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(22.Feb.2013)
From the Ground Up - Coding, Deploying and Scaling with AWS
Talk is pointing at the wrong user (i.e. not me) so in the meantime, here's the link to the code. https://github.com/rowan-m/asciigram/pulls I'll rate myself as a 3 for this one - you can tell me if you didn't like stuff, I'll be ok!
Rating: 2 of 5 
(23.Feb.2013)
Opening Keynote - The Diabolical Developer
Difficult way to try and open the conference. Needed to hit the "cartoon villian" note to really get the message across. Delivery wasn't consistent so I was left unsure as to what was sarcastic and what was your genuine opinion. When the whole presentation hinges on the comedic delivery, then it needs to be funny.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(09.Feb.2014)
Git Educated About Git
Came for the song, stayed for the content. There's so much to git that simple intro talks still throw up something regular users may not have seen before. So, it was especially nice to hear some stuff about Jeremey's personal preferences and own workflow.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(09.Feb.2014)
Going Pro
Energised the room and got everybody talking. Passionate delivery with a lot of personal touches. Definitely the right way to close this event.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(09.Feb.2014)
Application Logic Security
Nice mix of concepts with concrete examples. There was a lot of information condensed into that one talk though, it may have benefited from giving a bit more focus to fewer topics. Was definitely worth attending though and I'll be going back through the slides for reference material.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
How PHP Changed the World of Programming
Great interaction with the audience and really set the scene and tone for the conference. Nice single clearly defined call to action.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
Building an API with Apigility
Rob makes building an API seen like a serene and peaceful experience. Excellent responses to questions and showed up the clear distinction between standards, what apigility provides, and what the developer is someone for.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
What a Hack!
Infectious enthusiasm broke down a super complicated topic into easily suggested chunks.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
End The War on Tabs
Docking a star because I didn't like the colour scheme used for the whitespace code examples.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
Web Frontend, API Backend
This talk sneakily went way past the scope I expected and included an excellent OAuth 2 section. Good focus in the questions on adding additional components to your system based only on the need to solve your specific problems.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(02.Jul.2017)
The (Awesome) Future of Web Apps
Good pace, nice mix of advice and practical snippets. My constructive criticism would be that you don't need the video intro, your own material is more engaging!

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