Christopher Hoult

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Rating: 5 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
Opening Keynote - You Are A Designer
An excellent talk from Aral; witty, well delivered and presented with a very impassioned conclusion.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
Advanced JavaScript Techniques for Modern Web Applications
I was probably guilty of not reading the extract, but the title "Advanced JavaScript Techniques ..." promised much about structuring code, low-level advances in the field of JS etc. However, it was primarily just a talk on Meteor.js; as such there was just too much detail in there. As the previous commenter (Knut) says, the title might have been better if it mentioned frameworks or "An Introduction to Meteor" Apart from that, Sebastian clearly knew what he was presenting, and he came across informatively.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
Looking Ahead: PHP 5.5
A good presentation of what's coming up; interesting to get more background on the Password API which suddenly looks more useful to me. I'm not sure I liked some of the news that was delivered, but perhaps that's more to take up with the Core team as a whole...
Rating: 5 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
API Design: It's not Rocket Surgery
Dave covered a lot of content in a short period of time; while the delivery was perhaps a little too fast it contained a lot of good, solid, sensible stuff.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
"Small Data" Machine Learning
An excellent presentation; it took me back to my university group project on machine learning. As an anatomy of a real-world tool it was put into context marvelously, and Andrei was very clear on the finer points. Got me itching to get stuck back into it myself, which is the sign of a great presentation.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
Bottleneck Analysis
An excellent presentation containing many salient points and information; this stuff should really be web engineering 101 but it's great to have the points hammered home. My one (tiny) gripe was that Ilia spent some time on pointing out DNS resolution slowdowns but didn't mention any solutions (such as DNS pre-fetching in browsers).
Rating: 2 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
Keynote Panel - Frameworks: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
I think the discussion could have been a very emotive, involved affair, but fell very flat. I'm not entirely sure how the audience got into the mood it did, but when the Twitterfall becomes the main event then you have to worry. It's a shame, because in the middle of it there were a couple of salient points.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
Opening Keynote - The Diabolical Developer
It's a tough act to pull off, delivering an anti-talk. Martijn started out in the right fashion, but his dry delivery made his salient points harder to spot. Initially he started out putting blue, cloudy skies behind the truth, but that convention disappeared fairly quickly. As a talk to make one think about one is being told, it was fantastic. So long as people realised he wasn't serious for most of it - I hope everyone in the room did. I really hope so. - it was actually quite thought-provoking in that it caused us to analyze everything he said, and take each part with a pinch of salt. With more clarity as to what was bad and good advice, this talk would have gone down a storm.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
The future of the PHP Development Environment
Lots of information crammed in there; good context and confident delivery; most of the question answering at the end was excellently handled. I feel that if I wasn't already aware of the technologies described and their upsides that I would have gotten a lot more from the talk than I did.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
Ten Commandments of a Software Engineer
Sebastian is an excellent speaker who clearly knows his stuff; he delivers with excellent authority and humour. Oh, and the content was perfect - excellent advice that should be second-nature and almost never is...
Rating: 5 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
Planning To Fail
As a philosophy, "planning to fail" is an excellent way of approaching a complex solution with multiple working parts. David delivered a great talk, with a lot of background on the issues Hailo have encountered. The Netflix "chaos monkey" was brought into great context; good advice was given on how we might apply this ourselves.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
You Can't Optimise What You Can't Measure
Good content, well delivered - everyone should be doing this!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
Monitoring at Scale: Intuitive Dashboard Design
Some excellent points made by Lorenzo - and the priming example went down a treat. It certainly made me start thinking about the ways in which we can make dashboards more effective in grabbing our attention and bringing the salient points to light. (Full disclosure: I work with Lorenzo...)
Rating: 4 of 5 
(25.Feb.2013)
Keynote Panel - Open Source in Action
It was great to see the issues from Saturday followed up in a timely and well-thought-out fashion. Good collection of speakers, and some excellent points. It was only a pity we couldn't be trusted with a Twitterfall, but that's our fault!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(21.Feb.2015)
Everything That I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Rabbinical School
An excellent talk - Yitzchok has a wonderful, rich, deliberate delivery sprinkled with dry wit. Obviously his source material is rich, but enriched it even further.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(21.Feb.2015)
Adding 1.21 Gigawatts to Applications with RabbitMQ
An interesting introduction to RabbitMQ and the possibilities it provides; James provided us with some good examples and clear explanations of the basics. I might have liked to see a comparison to other MQs, but that's a minor point.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(22.Feb.2015)
Accessibility done right
There was a lot of valuable information and sensible advice from Michelle - I genuinely learned a few new things about accessibility such as WAI-ARIA, and it's clear that Michelle is passionate about the topic.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(22.Feb.2015)
Database Wizardry for Legacy Applications
There were some interesting tidbits in Gabi's talk, and she clearly knows and is passionate about her topic. This was highlighted a number of times throughout the talk. I think in the future, the live displays could either be avoided or polished in order to make the flow of the presentation better.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(22.Feb.2015)
The Future of Programming
Nate has a great presentational style - and he's clearly put a lot of thought into his ideas. It's quite a brave thing to put forward your ideas on the future - and even more so to be specific about your predictions. I wasn't wholly sure that the tech demo added to the presentation - I don't think it supported his points in the way that he wanted.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Feb.2015)
Integrating Communities
Jenny's passion for communities and bringing people together shone through this measured and well-presented keynote - she treated some quite emotive subjects with sensitivity. I was incredibly impressed at her performance having had relatively little experience and time in our industry.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Feb.2015)
HHVM at Etsy: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
A very dry style perfectly complemented some very interesting war-stories from Dan - I particularly appreciated a blow-by-blow telling of his adoption of HHVM. Perfectly judged and paced.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Feb.2015)
Naming things
It's often said that naming is one of the two hardest problems in computing (along with cache invalidation and off-by-one errors) - but Anne-Julia delivered. Some very sensible advice that we all know is right but really needs saying, as well as some great ideas for resolving our own concerns about naming.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Feb.2015)
Open Source, Love, and Social Responsibility
A wonderful end to a great conference - Davey really delivered on the inspiration front. Genuinely moving at points.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Aug.2015)
Stronger Than Fear: Mental Health in the Developer Community
An excellent talk, and the ideas and resources presented by Ed will be instrumental in my development as a manager and a peer.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Aug.2015)
Unit testing done right
A really good talk from Brian - he clearly has a good command of unit testing, and gave me a lot to think about with regard to my own approach.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Aug.2015)
PHP 7: The Big 5
A very energetic talk on the new features being introduced in PHP7 - delivered at lightning speed, it nevertheless communicated Cal's enthusiam for what are some really exciting developments.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Aug.2015)
Rediscover the Power of WordPress
A really confident talk from a good speaker - I was hoping for more indepth technical discussion, but that was more than made up for by the breadth of information Eric presented.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(23.Aug.2015)
Designing Micro Experiences
I found that there was a bit too much time spent on focussing on the videos Mel created, and perhaps there could be more data to back up the micro experience concept. Nevertheless, it was a good talk from a passionate speaker - and the slides were gorgeous!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(23.Aug.2015)
High Performance PHP
A really interesting talk that took me back to my compiler module at University. It did feel like there was a lot of background for only a small number of concrete recommendations for PHP code though.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(23.Aug.2015)
Developing for the Internet of Things
A really interesting and entertaining overview of IoT - I particularly enjoyed the history at the beginning.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(23.Aug.2015)
API-driven design
While this was a confident delivery by someone who clearly has a good grasp of webservice-oriented architecture, it was a bit hard to tease out the core message of the talk. I would have liked to have a practical example of how you could build your codebase such that you can easily move services to be web-based in the future.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(23.Aug.2015)
PHP Tuning for Large Scale - taming memory and other bottlenecks
Martin is a really good speaker and it was great to get a bit of insight into the memory footprint of common PHP setups. It would be a good idea to perhaps focis a bit more on profiling tools such as XHProf, but otherwise I really enjoyed it.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(24.Aug.2015)
Closing Keynote
Susie delivered a talk on Diversity, a subject that I'm particularly concerned about, so it was great to see it discussed on the NEPHP stage. She had some really good points about "Waste Not, Want Not" and made a good case for not leaving a large percentage of the workforce on the side. I felt that some of her stories lacked a little focus, but it was great that they were clearly very personal. At the end of the day, one of the best things to have in our arsenals to persuade whole industries to change - or at least to start to change - is data, so it would also have been nice to have seen some studies that spoke to some of the more anecdotal pieces Susie presented. However, it's clear that she has had a lot of personal experience in this realm, and I would highly recommend this session to anyone, regardless of their background or feelings on the subject.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Sep.2015)
Lessons Learned The Hard Way
A really well delivered talk about failure and (presumably) eventual success full of really useful wisdom. I would definitely watch Karen again!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Sep.2015)
Having a Pulse on Your Platform: Know When Your API is Down Before Your Developers Do
A really interesting insight into how a large API platform keeps tabs on performance and usage. Kamyar is clearly a knowledgable speaker, with good delivery.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Sep.2015)
DDP – the real-time API for web applications
I've not really encountered DDP before, but from Peter's talk I know I'll need it in the future. A confident talk with a good, clear explanation of the protocol as well as a great demo
Rating: 4 of 5 
(04.Sep.2015)
The Fortune Teller API
I enjoyed this talk as I'm very interested in machine learning; it felt a bit thin on the API side, but the practical demo of Spark was good to see and Bas is a very entertaining speaker.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Sep.2015)
Choosing The Right Database
An entertaining and thoughtful overview of database technologies with a good, non-opinionated message - a great speaker with some beautiful slides.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(04.Sep.2015)
Hooked on HTTP/2: Microservices development with gRPC
A good, deeper look at HTTP/2 and Protocol Buffers - Mandy's a very disarming speaker :)
Rating: 5 of 5 
(19.Feb.2016)
The Code Manifesto
A very impassioned talk; there are a lot of behaviors that I am privileged to not be the subject of and it's important that we raise them to where they are visible.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(19.Feb.2016)
Mentoring: Change the World One Hour at a Time
A great talk with a lot of practical advice from a very experienced speaker - and the discussion after was invaluable.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(19.Feb.2016)
Elastic scaling in a (micro)service oriented architecture
While I have a fair bit of knowledge about all the technologies that Bastian covered, he did so in a highly engaging manner and in just enough depth to make this talk incredibly satisfying.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(19.Feb.2016)
Behind the Scenes of Maintaining an Open Source Project
Jordi is an incredibly engaging speaker and this talk was a highly interesting window into the maintenance of some very high profile OS projects.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(19.Feb.2016)
Imposter Syndrome and Individual Competence
A fantastic talk by a highly relatable speaker. I found the subject matter to be very close to my heart and conveyed with humility and warmth.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(19.Feb.2016)
Security Theatre
An excellent talk - Thomas is a wonderful speaker with a fantastic dry style and wit. He's left me with a lot to think about, and I'm sure everyone in the room would agree!

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