Jeremy Ward

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Rating: 5 of 5 
(03.Mar.2013)
Refactoring 101
Adam covered a crucial topic (or topics, if you will, as there was a vast assortment of subtopics relevant to the talk), and did it with the kind of energy and verve one needs to capture and hold an audience's attention at the end of the day. This was a great session that I'd be interested in seeing again if I ever have the chance, perhaps with a bit more time to allow Adam to cover all of the content in detail.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(03.Mar.2013)
Enterprise PHP Architecture through Design Patterns and Modularization
Easily the best talk I saw during day 1, which is saying something because Adam Culp's session on Refactoring was similarly compelling. I went into it thinking the subject matter might have been a little advanced for my current skill set, but once Aaron got through his quick overview of OOP, I knew I was in the right place. His presentation was high-energy, engaging, interesting, and relevant, which is everything I could want from a speech. Excellent job.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(03.Mar.2013)
Database Optimization for Web Developers
I attended the first session only, and Steve covered a lot of information in the time allotted. He clearly has a good awareness of the pitfalls to look out for when using MySQL, and I felt that I got a lot out of his talk. Hopefully the slides will find their way online!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(03.Mar.2013)
Beyond PHP : it's not (just) about the code !
This session was a good supplement to the first "Database Optimization" session presented by Steve Meyers. There were some common themes between them both that reinforced what I learned earlier that morning. I wasn't expecting it to be so database-centric, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(03.Mar.2013)
Learning how to learn
I greatly enjoyed Joel's talk - it really set the tone for the conference!
Rating: 2 of 5 
(03.Mar.2013)
Using Backbone.js in a PHP Environment
I agree with others' comments above. Ken appears to have a good understanding of the material, and the session could benefit from some fine-tuning: cleaning up redundant slides, increasing the pace, rehearsing the material, and incorporating more information about how Backbone integrates with PHP. With these refinements, I think it has the potential to be a very good talk.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Mar.2013)
Embrace Your Inner Designer
Fun, engaging presentation about a topic I care about a lot. The only thing that could have made it better was if Josh had presented in the morning - his strong delivery and charismatic presence is just the kind of thing to set the tone for a day. I hope he presents again next year!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(04.Mar.2013)
Don't be STUPID, Grasp SOLID
Very well done presentation with good visuals and analogies to aid in understanding the concepts. I agree that the presentation could benefit from some "bringing it home" to show real-world applicability - many seemed to leave with questions that this additional information could help answer. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the pacing and presentational style.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(04.Mar.2013)
Building an Identity Extraction Engine in PHP
Jonathan was very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter, and it came through in his presentation. As someone who's not exactly fanatical about internet marketing (as a user), I felt a little wary of the material at times, but I laughed when he said something along the lines of "this shouldn't be used for data mining; it's for customizing user experiences." As I work my way through my web development career, I imagine I will work with some clients who will be requesting these types of services, so I appreciated having some introductory exposure to the concepts.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(04.Mar.2013)
Building an Identity Extraction Engine in PHP
Jonathan was very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter, and it came through in his presentation. As someone who's not exactly fanatical about internet marketing (as a user), I felt a little wary of the material at times, but I laughed when he said something along the lines of "this shouldn't be used for data mining; it's for customizing user experiences." As I work my way through my web development career, I imagine I will work with some clients who will be requesting these types of services, so I appreciated having some introductory exposure to the concepts.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Mar.2013)
Cryptography for the Average Developer
Everyone who attended this session can still recite the take-home message: HIRE AN EXPERT. I thought this was a well-done, fast-paced dive into an interesting topic, and it left me with several things to look into on my own, which is the mark of a good presentation.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(07.Feb.2014)
Trivia Night
This was a lot of fun. An idea: Doing this periodically (every couple of months?) following a regular presentation, where questions are derived from topics presented during meetups since the last trivia night. Another idea: As a group, developing an app where group members can log in to answer the trivia questions and having a leaderboard displayed on the big screen. :)
Rating: 4 of 5 
(16.Mar.2014)
A startup story: Sending a billion text messages
Solid talk with a really interesting and inspiring story. Evan has a good sense of humor and effectively gets that humor across in his slides. As the keynote presentation to launch a weekend full of talks, I felt the presentation was a bit light on time, but the content was appropriate in setting the tone for the weekend. Nice job!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(16.Mar.2014)
How I Learned to Stop Caring and Made Better Software
This was a good presentation that was somewhat hampered by not containing clear takeaways and following Evan's keynote (where there was some overlapping content). It seemed to me the key message was not to get so bogged down into the details that you complicate the work environment and prevent yourself and others from launching out updates. There was some valuable information within the talk, and revising the presentation to really focus on those key points will help make this a rock solid presentation. Bonus points to Eli for championing through a difficult vocal situation.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2014)
Git and Github: Working Effectively on a Team
I've been using Git at a very basic level for just over a year now, and our organization is starting to grow. Soon, I'll need to be working on a team with others and figuring out a work flow that allows us to integrate changes into a codebase via a formal review process. Jeff's presentation introduced some commands that I have been aware of, but wasn't necessarily certain how they work and in which situations they should be used. The command terminology overview was especially helpful in shedding light on some of these not-really-that-obscure commands, and I'm excited to go back to the office and start fetching changes instead of pulling them, then merging branches only when I'm ready. I'm equally thrilled about understanding the difference between a merge and a rebase, and I'm hoping to start using these more advanced techniques in the future. Great, great talk.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2014)
It Was Like That When I Got Here: Steps Toward Modernizing a Legacy Codebase
This is an inspiring and fantastic talk that provides value to all levels of developers. Experienced devs gained insights about how to tackle a large refactoring project, whereas lesser-experienced devs were given an instructional guide on how to move from procedural code to object-oriented programming. Paul is a really engaging speaker which made this talk even more of a joy. A+.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2014)
Not Your Grandmother's WordPress
I've recently heard about wpackagist and have been interested in integrating Composer into my WordPress projects since then. I've also seen some presentations in the past that discussed deploying WordPress using Capistrano, but that was nearly two years ago when I wasn't yet ready to explore these concepts. Jason's talk came at just the right time for me, then. He provided a great overview of how to set up your WordPress projects with Composer, how to strip out WordPress themes altogether if you'd like to work with another templating engine, and how to deploy it all from development to staging to production using Capistrano. He also came armed with lots of examples that he and his colleagues at John Hopkins have produced, and I'm excited to explore those resources more in depth following the conference. This is a great presentation, and I hope that Jason will consider giving this talk at WordCamps across the country as well.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2014)
Building rock solid software in the real world
This was a terrific presentation that provided an overview of many tools available to developers for improving the quality of a code base. Given the breadth of information in the presentation, there wasn't a lot of time to dig deep into any of the tools in particular, but Omni's presentation offered a great initial dive into the myriad options that are out there. He had a wonderful sense of humor, too, which also made the presentation really fun to watch. Great talk.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(16.Mar.2014)
Managing Dependencies with Composer
Nice introduction and overview of Composer, information about the PSR-0 and PSR-4 coding standards (a topic that I feel deserves a talk of its own), and an explanation of semantic versioning. I didn't feel there was a very strong "takeaway" from the presentation other than Composer is great and PHP's package support is fantastic, so a possible suggestion for Beau is to evaluate the talk and consider what the main points you want to send the user away with and make sure that you reinforce them throughout the presentation. That said, great job. I really enjoyed this.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2014)
7 Things I Wish Somebody Told Me
I had high expectations for this presentation after seeing Aaron's standing-room only talk at last year's Midwest PHP conference, and he exceeded them easily. I found myself nodding my head as he introduced each key point, and think that the 7 points he outlined are a great guideline for every developer in the field - particularly points 1 (Learning from everything) and 5 (We are customer service). Terrific presentation and a great way to kick off day 2.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2014)
You're the Tech Lead! Now what?
All weekend I've been telling anyone who would listen that the secret to a great talk is to have one overarching message with several key points, and I think Eryn's presentation fit the spirit of my preaching very well. I'll need to reference her slides again later to remember all of the miscellaneous details, but "Facilitate > Advocate > Motivate" is in my brain even a few hours later. Like Jacob said above (and Eryn said in her talk), every company is different, so it's interesting to apply Eryn's talk to my own situation, where I am the only other developer at my company beside my boss. Essentially, I am the tech lead because I manage all of my own projects and communication with the clients, including issues related to project deadlines, scope changes, etc. So, I've definitely experienced many of the issues that Eryn touched upon firsthand, and how I am left to handle them is a bit different since I don't have a team who is working on the actual code (because hey, I'm doing that too!). All that said, I really appreciated having some perspective from the non-technical site of managing projects and making sure the final product gets delivered, and Eryn's presentation was packed with information that I need to process and distill into my own workflow. Great job.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2014)
Sticks, Spit, and Duct Tape: Advanced Responsive Techniques
I've had the privilege of seeing Josh present several times now, and every time I learn something new that I can take back and apply to my workflow. Sometimes - like today - he reinforces that I'm on the right path with my own RWD work, and hearing his perspective gives me more to chew on with how I'm approaching design problems in my own projects. For example, floats/table-cell/text-align: justify. I use each of these almost every day in my own front-end work, and it seems I'm on the right path since I'm handling these situations exactly as Josh described. I've been hesitant to delve further into flexbox largely due to the limited browser support, but I'm realizing more and more that that's something I just need to get over. Write your code, build in your fallbacks, and you're good. Beyond that, I got some tips about some new tools (the Picturefill JavaScript library that he mentioned in passing - I'm looking that up tonight!), tricks (the 0% image quality trick in PhotoShop blows my mind), and food for thought as I continue in my career. As always, I appreciated Josh's high energy, and thought he was a perfect speaker to close out the conference. I can't wait to see what he's got in store next time.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(13.Sep.2014)
Developing Beautiful, Measurable Software
I appreciated the code samples Jeremy provided early in the talk, and later when talking about code complexity. These examples helped reinforce the presented concepts and provided the attendee with something to think back on when returning to coding projects. The section on tools was most valuable for the resource provided - http://phpqatools.com, and provided an overview of what they each do. Certainly, each of those tools could be topics for their own presentation, so the primary value is knowing that they exist. Overall, really nice job.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(13.Sep.2014)
Dependency Injection, Dependency Inversion, and You
Jeff's talk clarified a lot of questions I've had about using dependency injection within a project, and he covered some other concepts I'd heard about (dependency inversion, dependency injection container, service locator) but haven't yet had the opportunity to explore in my day-to-day work. His code examples were enlightening and very helpful in illustrating the concepts. I have a fond appreciation for presenters who take the time to walk through a refactoring example to illustrate how to get to the desired result, and this presentation handled that very well. Great talk.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(13.Sep.2014)
Debugging Zen
This was a unique take on a topic I've previously seen presented in other more technical albeit less-innovative ways. Ben's approach to debugging is akin to meditation before tackling a problem: find inner peace, have humility about the problem lying within your own code, and using your intuition to resolve the issue. He finished with talking about some of the various debugging tools available to PHP developers, which can easily be researched on one's own time. I appreciated hear Ben's insights and perspectives, and would recommend this talk to others in the future.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(15.Sep.2014)
Your Inner Sysadmin
Chris's talk covered a wide range of command line tools available to a Linux server administrator, much of which was quite new to me in my young career. Given the amount of information therein, it's simply not possible to dive down in too great of detail on any particular tool or utility, but I thought he provided enough information on each to make the value each tool provides clear, and to help the attendee determine whether it's something they'll need to pursue further independently. I took copious notes, and I am glad to also have access to the slides to review anything I might have missed.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(15.Sep.2014)
APIs at the Speed of Thought
I was very impressed by this talk. Matthew showed us how to use the Apigility tool to streamline the API development process by doing the tool setup itself, then following up with a very brave live-coding demonstration. Although the "gifomatic" API might seem trivial to some, I felt it was concrete enough to communicate to lesser experienced devs who might not yet have written their own APIs (e.g., yours truly) how they should work. I left with a curiosity about exploring the Apigility tool further, and a reminder to play around with API development in my own side-projects.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(15.Sep.2014)
Reframing The Problem
I thought this presentation was a good companion piece to Ben Ramsey's "Debugging Zen" talk earlier in the day. Thinking like a computer scientist involves taking a step back to examine the problem from a different perspective, and using your intuition to help determine whether you're considering all of the possibilities. All that said, clowns are forever horrifying. Nice work!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
Traits of Success: From Car Sales to Software Sales
Lots of great tips from Matt about growing a business. Don't be afraid of failure - failing often educates you and helps you take the next step; build a culture and trust in people; and in hiring, make it deliberate, take it slow, and hire and the right people.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
You Should Charge More
I loved this talk. Lisa had loads of fantastic advice about how to approach the pricing issue when it comes to client services/agency work, including going over different pricing models, and an overview of the different processes involved in working on a project that one should be charging for. Great Q&A afterward, too.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
You Should Charge More
I loved this talk. Lisa had loads of fantastic advice about how to approach the pricing issue when it comes to client services/agency work, including going over different pricing models, and an overview of the different processes involved in working on a project that one should be charging for. Great Q&A afterward, too.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
What the Hell Are We Doing?
Clients suck, products rule, products + services = sweet. Reid shared lessons learned from trying to integrate products into an agency model, and he laid them out in six easy-to-remember points. This nicely reiterates points from Matt's talk earlier in the day, which is to fail often so you can learn from it and improve.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
Satisfy the Want, Deliver the Need: A Design First Approach to Building a Sustainable Business Using WordPress
My key takeaway from this talk was on one of Jennifer's slides: "Apply the same creative process used for clients to the design of your business and lifestyle." She gave a really impassioned presentation about the importance of developing a business model that works for you, doing what you're good at, and taking on quality people to help you in the areas where you're not as great so you can keep focused. Awesome talk.
Rating: 3 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
WordPress Moneyball: How a Little Web Shop Can Continually Out-muscle the Big Dogs by Exploiting Overvalued Things
Toby is an energetic and charismatic presenter. I (and most everyone else, I suspect) really enjoyed his interpretation of Moneyball and how he could apply the principles from the classic book to his work and personal life (A+ on the charts!). That said, I felt that the talk didn't quite cover its topic as described and was a bit on the short side - I'd like to have a bit more to dig into that I could consider applying to my own work. It did have lots of laughs, though!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(04.Oct.2014)
Upping 10up: Rewards and Scars from Bootstrapping 1 to 80+ in 3.5 years
Amazing, amazing interview w/ Jake Goldman about the challenges and opportunities associated with quickly growing a business to 80+ employees. This talk alone was well worth the cost of the conference. Thank you!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2015)
Give it Back - Getting Involved in Open Source
Everything I wanted out of this keynote presentation, I got, and then some. References to relevant reading materials, HUGE lists of ways every developer can contribute (9-5 or otherwise), reminders about the many rewards - fiscal and otherwise - of giving back (with reminders to stay away from drama) and plenty of links to get one started. Perfect way to end the conference.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2015)
Breaking the Stereotype
High-quality presentation about overcoming the developer stereotype to reach across the aisle and get involved with your fellow co-workers, be they project managers, designers, QA, or another role. It sparked a lot of interesting dialogue during the Q&A session, which I think is one measure of a great talk.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(16.Mar.2015)
From Zero to Silex
Overall, a very solid presentation that demonstrated how an experienced developer can get up and running quickly with Silex. As a more intermediate-level developer, I would have appreciated a bit more of an overview regarding what features Silex provides out of the box and a high-level explanation of some of its commonly-integrated packages (I recall that Pimple and Hal were discussed, but at various points during the presentation, and not in a way that set the audience up to know what they were getting into). One new piece of information I picked up on (and tweeted about) that I didn't know before the talk: PhpStorm has a built in REST client! I still would not have known that had Larry not done the live demonstration, and that knowledge alone be very useful in the future.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2015)
Scaling WordPress
This was an excellent, high-energy, and well-paced presentation that - in my mind - was largely a trojan horse to talk about caching, and I mean that in only the best way possible. Zack discussed a variety of methods/plugins/code libraries that a WordPress developer can use to prepare their site for an unexpected spike in traffic, and offered some additional tips that some may not have previous considered, such as making sure there's a separation in the web layer between the front-end and admin portions of the site.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2015)
Mentoring: Change the World One Hour at a Time
This was one of my favorite presentations at the conference. Beth provided a terrific roadmap to developers at all paths in their careers to continue their learning experience through mentorship, either as an apprentice or a mentor. With a robust list of resources at hand, such as where to sign up for a mentor or apprentice, podcasts to check out, and places to go to get involved in the community, this talk offered up a nearly definitive guide on how to get started. Although a bit shorter than some of the other talks at the conference (I agree with other attendees who said the talk would benefit from more anecdotes from personal experience), I thought it inspired a lot of robust discussion and conversation, which was wonderful to see. Thank you!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2015)
Inside Laravel 5.0
As a developer who has mostly worked with WordPress at this point in my career, I felt that this was a very good introduction to Laravel 5. I have been casually following the framework for awhile, and Yitz's overview of the many features new to this version convinced me to download and install it to check it out. Since I don't have any previous experience with the framework, I didn't benefit as much as others from the comparisons to the earlier version, but there was still plenty of information in the talk that engaged me.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2015)
What's in Your Project Root?
This talk delivered on its promise: to expose attendees to the huge variety of files they might encounter when working with an open-source project. Jeremy handily mapped out a sample file structure so that newer devs will have a better understanding of which directories are there, what their purpose is, and the files that might be found within them. He also provided a general overview of the tools that get used to create these files and what they do, and provided tips for files to include in one's GitHub repository. Great job!
Rating: 3 of 5 
(16.Mar.2015)
Beautiful Architectures with ES6
I feel that there was a disconnect between the content presented during this talk and what it promised to deliver in its description. Like several others have already mentioned, I thought the shift to discussing functional programming concepts when I was expecting more of an overview of what can be achieved with ES6 was difficult to adapt to. That said, Nate is very clearly adept at working with this language, though this presentation could benefit from being split up into several different talks (maybe one on new features, one on tools and libraries, and one on functional programming) that each provide a specific focus.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2015)
The Only Girl in the Room
This panel discussion was a sobering reminder that we in the development community have a long way to go when it comes to providing a safe and inclusive work environment for all. Beth courageously shared some heartbreaking examples of sexism, double-standards, and sexual harassment she has faced as a professional developer, and it sparked robust conversation about where we are as an industry today, and what can be done to improve things. I strongly agree with those who thought this discussion should have been longer, and I'm very appreciative of Beth, Eryn, and Gary for sharing their thoughts and opinions on this topic. I hope we will continue to see more talks like this at other conferences in the future.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Mar.2015)
Getting TLS Right
This was an extremely complex topic that could have very easily gotten too deep in the weeds, so I appreciated that Zack chose a more high-level route. He provided the right balance of technical information with relevant places attendees can go to find out more, along with a hearty dose of reality about the current state of web security. Prior to this talk, I had only a passing interest in TLS, and now I feel inspired to find out more and learn about tools I can use to implement stronger security for my client's sites.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
OOP Is More Than Cars and Dogs
I thought this was a great high-level overview for a lot of OOP programming concepts that can be difficult to understand, and I love the idea of presenting this topic as "More Than Cars and Dogs". The problem with most OOP education is that professors use non-business terminology to explain these concepts, when the reality is that you're more often going to run into nouns like Employee and Manager. Kudos to Chris for using these examples. I would liked to have seen more, including examples of classes that don't map neatly onto any real world object or thing. "Can a dog have wheels?" offered a reason to walk through topics such as inheritance, interfaces, traits, dependency injection, and testing, with the downfall being that the question at hand went against the very primary topic of the talk. Again, reinforcing the idea of how these tools can be used for actual programming problems would be beneficial. Chris was far from the only speaker to suffer from this during the event, but adjusting slides with code on them so that they CAN be visible to the entire audience should be a priority. Overall, I thought this talk was very excellent and few small refinements would make it a must-see.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
Composer Best Practices
In reviewing my session notes, and re-reading the abstract for the talk, Jordi did deliver in presenting exactly what he said he would present - version constraints, stability, and semantic versioning, plus a few additional tips when using Composer. I enjoyed the talk, but somehow, I came away feeling like I wanted more, even if I can't quite put my finger on what "more" means, in this case. Perhaps a clearer outline of where the talk is going before it gets there might help? Topics in this talk I particularly appreciated: Jordi's clarification that the composer.lock file should be tracked in version control (and that it shouldn't be deployed!), reinforcement on how versions should be numbered, what a README file should include, and how to constrain package versions in your composer.json file. Some of the talk around tags, branches, and stability resolution were lost on me, but I'm not sure whether that is a reflection on the speaker, my own knowledge level, or both. Lastly, I appreciated the list of resources I can look up in my own time for additional information. Overall, a solid presentation. There's no better source than the creator of a utility!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
Introduction to OAuth Clients
This was one of several sessions at Lonestar where I left wanting to dig into the topic further on my own right away. Matt was hugely ambitious in trying to cover both OAuth 1 and 2 in the 50 minute time slot, and focusing on just the client side was a smart move. That said, 50 minutes still wasn't enough to get through the material, and caused Matt to skip over some pieces that may have been helpful to newcomers to OAuth such as myself. One example: During the OAuth 1 segment, Matt discussed how to build a base string and a composite string, but as far as I can tell, never showed an example of what the full completed string looks like. In general, I think a talk so heavy in implementation and light on concepts could benefit from a general outline in the slides - tell us where we're going before we get there, then tell us where we're at in the process - visually - so that as learners, we can plan ahead and make sure that we're in the right place when we're following along. Overall, I thought this was an excellent talk. Ideas for improving it might entail describing the differences between OAuth 1 and 2 and choosing one in which to do a deeper dive (as opposed to racing through both), and/or providing more of a visually guided tour that includes an outline, as described above.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
Talmudic Maxims to Maximize Your Growth as a Developer
Simply amazing. At the start of the presentation, Yitz asked, "What can you expect from this session? It's primarily about advice," then said, "Write down just one item that speaks to you." There was far, far more than one item on both the card he handed out for the session and in the notes I took on my computer. The session was a gentle reminder about the value of community, that no one is an island, effectively growing your skill in this field requires far more than just writing code - it involves interaction, patience, curiosity, and practice. A+.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
Architecting the Madness: WordPress as a Modern Development Framework and Business
A very fast-paced, terrific talk that was simultaneously high-level and practical. There are a lot of ways to modernize WordPress as a development platform, and I appreciated Eugene's overview of the various build, development, and deployment tools one should consider when choosing to work with WordPress. I've been exploring ways to integrate Composer into my own workflow and improving my deployment strategy, so while this talk didn't show me HOW to do it, the reminder on the importance of WHY to do it was useful. I felt that the idea to version control and tag your organization's purchased/frequently used plugins and themes was one of the best concepts in here, and I look forward to seeing the completely utility Eugene's team has been working on when it's done. "WordPress can be tamed - you control the environment" should be a mantra. I will agree with a previous commenter that the talk came off as somewhat of a marketing piece, perhaps because Eugene was joined on stage the entire time by Austin from Roots. There was enough good information that I don't think this was necessarily detrimental to the talk, but speaking alone (when you're the only listed speaker) may be something to consider if this talk is given again elsewhere.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
API Pain Points
"An API is literally just a way of interacting with stuff." I loved that quote. Reviewing my notes from this talk, everything comes across more as a practical, common-sense guide to building an API: Use a default query string, don't auto-increment values, ensure you've got unique identifiers, "Just Send JSON", don't use 200 for errors, supplement your HTTP status codes with actual human-readable content. To date, I have limited experience working with third-party APIs, but after seeing Phil's talk and reflecting on the ones I have used, it's clear to me that there's a lot of work to be done by developers to improve the quality and consistency of their APIs. I appreciated the resources Phil provided, along with an overview of which HTTP methods to use depending on the verb. As an aside: I attended Matt Frost's OAuth talk earlier in the day, and he and Phil seem to disagree about which version of OAuth to use. Excellent talk!
Rating: 3 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
Teaching Kids to Fail
I attended a session at MinneBar in Minnesota the previous week entitled "Kids, Code, and Diversity" that was very similar to this presentation. That talk had an advantage over this particular talk: it was delivered by Minnesotans to Minnesotans, by a panel, about a number of programs in Minnesota that are out there trying to tackle the same issues that ScriptEd is working on in New York. I think the goals and achievements of the ScriptEd program are admirable and worth highlighting in any community, and I would agree with others that providing actionable ways developers can get involved would improve the overall quality of the talk. Development conference attendees are generally looking to get better at their craft, to network with the community, and to figure out how they can get involved, so a talk that doesn't offer those opportunities might fall short. Toward that end, figuring out a way to tailor your talk so that it is applicable to the audience will be helpful both for the goals of your organization and your audience.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
Loosely Coupled Live Podcast
A fun, joyful, slowly-devolving trainwreck. I loved every minute.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
After party presented by Sparefoot
The only thing this afterparty was missing was those who didn't go. Great food, drinks, and camaraderie!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
Deploying Web Applications with Capistrano
I've been looking into automated deployments for a little while, and sat in on a similar talk about deploying WordPress applications with Capistrano a few years ago (long before I was ready for this knowledge), so I was pleased with how thoroughly Andrew covered the topic. I know there are some complexities with getting Capistrano up and running with WordPress, so I'll need to do a little additional research on my own, but I feel this talk gave me the inspiration I need to finally take the plunge.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
A Gentle Walk Towards SOA
I always enjoy getting the opportunity to see Jeff speak. In this talk, as with others that I've seen him give (Dependency Injection/Inversion, using Git/Github on a team), Jeff clearly lays out the topics that will be discussed, describes the terminology he'll be using, then walks through each section step by step. I think it's an effective teaching style because it guides attendees through the topic and provides information in a manner that is easy to understand, even if the topic is complex. I've been craving more talks about application design, so this presentation scratched an itch. I appreciate that SOA wasn't being sold as THE way to do something, but merely an alternative that might be appropriate for some larger systems. Jeff often has good visual aids, and I think the ones used in this talk were especially helpful. Great talk, would see again.
Rating: 2 of 5 
(22.Apr.2015)
Logging, Monitoring, Security!
I think this presentation has a lot of potential: everyone knows (or should know) why logging and monitoring are vital for maintaining a secure application, but not everyone is a system administrator or even has one on their team. If you're working in a situation where you don't have a sysAdmin on staff, what happens when your system gets compromised? Essentially, developers should know at least the basics - what logging and monitoring IS, why it's important, and what tools are available that can help us implement at least a minimum level of security. What this talk delivered was several very-pertinent anecdotes about some security situations Cory has faced to-date in his career, and the real-world (re: $$) implications that resulted from these security holes. Knowing what's going on with the system through logging and monitoring can help mitigate these situations when they occur, which, of course is why they are important. After a few stories were told, attendees were given a list of tools with short descriptions about what they did, then the floor was opened for questions. As an attendee, I would like to see this talk restructured to first focus on describing logging and monitoring - what they are, why they are important, and what problems they help solve. The stories are useful as supporting evidence for why logging and monitoring are needed, and illustrating the consequences of not implementing them. Though I understand specific situations are covered under an NDA, some visual examples would be helpful, too - replicating a security hole in code so users can visualize what they should be looking for would bolster the security portion of the talk, as well. Lastly, talking about each tool used individually, indicating why it's useful, and maybe visually showing what it is/does, and describing some of the alternatives out there will raise developer awareness for the tools that are available. I didn't think this was a bad talk by any stretch, but giving it focus and keeping your audience's needs in mind will go a long way toward improving it.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(23.Apr.2015)
Async PHP with React
This talk was a bit above my current skill level, as I don't have any working knowledge of React. That said, Jeremy clearly knows the material very well and I took a solid amount of notes so I'll know where to get started (and who to come to with questions) once the time is right. His presentation covered the need for performing asynchronous operations within PHP, React's stack (including the Event Emitter and Event Loop), and various functions available to Streams, Events, Promises, Sockets, Server, and Connection. The slides were dense with information, so I think those who weren't able to attend but have experience with React (and questions to go along with it) could glean a lot of information from them.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(23.Apr.2015)
Speak HTTP and Consume APIs with Guzzle
I wanted to see this talk at Midwest PHP but knew that I'd have another opportunity at Lonestar, and Jeremy didn't disappoint. This was an excellent talk that provided me with ample information to get up and running with Guzzle (with a bonus review/roadmap of HTTP), a tool which has been on my radar for awhile, but I haven't yet had the need to use since WordPress has its own HTTP request tools built in. As I'm continuing to explore other PHP frameworks and expand my own knowledge and skill set, I know that Guzzle will be an important tool to use. I'm looking forward to checking it out.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(23.Apr.2015)
Turning Your Code Into a Company: The Parts They Don't Tell You
This was a wonderful closing keynote and an incredible reality check for just how hard it is to build a successful business. I appreciated Luke's straight talk, as well as his insight into the history of FoxyCart and the challenges and subsequent rewards that have come from his and his co-founder's hard work and dedication. Lots of great quotes, too: "Don't ever underestimate the power of serving people in a tangible way." "There's no glamour at two in the morning." "Getting 'funded' is not a destination. Build a business, not a startup." Great talks leave me with food for thought, and ideas for how I can best plan out my path as a developer. This talk did those things, and for that, I am grateful.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(23.Apr.2015)
PHP Jeopardy
Top notch fun. I agree that more audience involvement would make this even better, but there's nothing like some good ol' PHP trivia. The Jeopardy twist? A bonus. I now resolve to include the $hat variable in every project moving forward.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(23.Apr.2015)
After party presented by Softlayer
This is the first time I've been to an after party at the very end of the conference! Pizza and drinks were great, and I appreciated being able to hang around for a bit to talk to people I won't see for awhile for a bit longer. Thanks, Softlayer!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
Open Source, Love, and Social Responsibility
A nice keynote to open the conference. I enjoyed Davey's deep dive into the number of lines of code pertaining to the open source software we all work with - it really brings to light how everyone's contributions can add up. The focus on other ways we can make a difference were inspiring, as well, and I think it was a good way to get folks' wheels spinning as they head into a day full of presentations.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
Why are Databases so &#%-ing Difficult!?
Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable talk, with lots of audience participation (if prompted by the promise of receiving a plush MySQL dolphin), and as someone less on the DBA side of things, I learned some new tricks about MySQL that I can look into and apply next time I'm writing queries. I will agree with others that the question posed by the talk's title never directly really got answered, though I think it's inferred - databases are difficult because of the myriad little pieces of knowledge that are needed to properly construct your tables and write optimal queries. Perhaps a bit more explicit focus on answering that question (and, I agree - lessening the amount of text on individual slides) will help make this a talk a home run.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
Massively Scaling WordPress in the Cloud - A Case Study
As a presentation focused primarily on the features of Azure Cloud, I thought this was an informative talk that helped me understand some of the potential benefits I could gain from considering the platform for future client projects. Ben discussed some of the challenges they encountered with scaling a particular project, one of which briefly strayed from the Azure portion to discuss the pros and cons of modifying the WordPress core, so I got to learn about a new-to-me plugin, Persistent Database Updater, which I'm excited to check out.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
Demystifying the REST API
Fantastic presentation. Even after losing ~20 minutes to projector issues, Samantha was still able to cruise through and complete her slide deck in a focused, coherent manner, which says as much about her preparation as it does about the content contained within the slides (thanks for putting them online!). As someone who's just starting to work with APIs more frequently, I appreciated the strong overview on the background of REST, its terminology, and verb and status code use cases. I've been reading Phil Sturgeon's book on APIs, and thought this presentation was an excellent companion piece. I'd highly recommend anyone who's looking for more background on REST to see this talk at a future conference if they get the opportunity.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
Project Triage: What to Do When It All Hits The Fan
"When something goes wrong, calm down, make a plan, and execute it." --my paraphrased takeaway from Eryn's talk. This was a wonderful presentation with a lot of common sense ideas that can be easy to forget when you're in the hot seat of a client situation. The best suggestion? When something goes wrong, don't just start writing code - it's the easiest way to exacerbate the issue, which only further highlights the importance of things like planning, peer review, and checklists. Eryn has given this talk at a few other events, and I'm glad I had the chance to see it. You should too, if you get the opportunity.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
NoSQL Showdown - Lightning Talks Edition
I really enjoyed the 'head-to-head' format and would like to see this done at other conferences. Frameworks? CMS? Convince the people! There was tons of great information about Cassandra, MySQL JSON, and MongoDB packed into this talk, and I especially appreciated Jeremy's mini-presentation that gave an overview of NoSQL, the different storage methodologies, and how different database systems are categorized.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
Stronger Than Fear: Mental Health in the Developer Community
I've heard great things about this talk, and I'm glad I've finally had the chance to see it. At some point in it, Ed poses the question, "Are there any C-level execs in the audience?". I'd love to see this presentation grow beyond the development community, because as Ed clearly demonstrates, mental health affects all of us and talking about it is considered highly taboo. He's an excellent advocate for the cause, and it would be huge to get this to an ever-larger audience. Great job!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
An Introduction to Containers and Docker for PHP Developers
I'm just getting started using Docker in a side project with some friends, so Robert's presentation was extremely helpful in pointing out some of the things I need to know. Something I especially liked about this talk was his speaking style - it felt more in line with a college lecture/instructional tutorial than a conference presentation, and I thought that was a great thing. As someone who does a lot of work with WordPress, I appreciated that it was his application of choice for the demo, as it gave me some ideas about how I could use this in my own workflow. Robert was also very eager to answer questions after the talk, which I appreciated. Thank you!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
Anatomy Of A Type System
I'm thrilled about scalar type hints and return types coming to PHP 7, and Anthony provided an excellent overview about what they mean for PHP devs, and more importantly, how they fit into the development world in general. Great talk.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
Building your API Utility Belt
I love any talk with a numbered list of things I should know, because there are clear takeaways and actionable things you can look into once the conference is over and the sponsor tables are all packed up. Keith highlighted several tools devs can use to work with APIs, and covered some of the benefits and features of each. His presentation was spirited in tempo and filled with bad jokes about Batman, which helped hold my attention during the difficult post-lunch/second-day cloud I work through at conferences. One thing I think that can make this presentation better, and I only have that aforementioned cloud to blame if it's already in there and I missed it, is adding some sort of comparison of each tool and rationale for why you might choose one over the other, since there did seem to be some commonalities between them (e.g., you wouldn't use all 7). Otherwise, excellent talk!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
Hello, PSR-7
I thought this was far more than a talk about PSR-7, it was also a great presentation about the process of PHP-FIG and software standards in general. Beau provided a history of PSR-7, talked about the problem it is intended to solve, compared implementations by different frameworks and highlighted overlapping similarities, and even lightly touched upon some of the personal struggles present within the dev community when trying to get something like this implemented. All those details together helped make this a wonderful talk, and I'm glad I was able to see it. Thanks!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(14.Sep.2015)
Down the Rabbit Hole: Combining Career & Community
Twitter was ablaze during this one, and for good reason. Cal gave a passionate talk about his own upbringing, the role models that have made a difference in his life, the ecosystem in which we all live and work, and the power that bringing positive energy to the table can bring to a group working toward common goals. It was absolutely inspirational, and a wonderful way to close the conference.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(16.Oct.2015)
Data Structures in PHP
I was running a bit late this evening and unfortunately missed the contextual beginning of this talk, so I'm grateful that it was recorded and I'll be able to tie all of the pieces together. I did manage to catch the entire last hour, and was greeted with a whirlwind tour of the data structures available both via the PHP SPL and via Ardent, a collections library for PHP I had not heard of until seeing this talk. I thought Matthew did a phenomenal job of providing enough information to demonstrate a use case and example for most of the data structures balanced with keeping things shallow enough that he was able to get through them all. He discussed many data structures I'd previously encountered in my college classes but haven't yet worked with in PHP, and now I'll have further motivation to dig into them individually and learn when and how to use each and incorporate them into future code I write. Thanks so much for taking the time to put this presentation together. I'm looking forward to referencing it again in the coming weeks.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(21.Apr.2017)
Double Loop: TDD & BDD Done Right
I had a general understanding of TDD and BDD coming into this talk, but very little experience with the processes or tools used to accomplish either. Jessica was extremely knowledgeable about both topics and did a great job condensing a bevy of information into a short 3-hour presentation with interactive demo time. I appreciated the flowchart handouts, the general overview of the processes and the tools involved, and getting to see a sample application using these approaches built from the ground up. The examples very were clear and were not at all trivial - they were the sorts of tests developers could expect to be writing in a real-world project. My only criticism is that if the expectation is for people to follow along in the coding examples, copying and pasting content from elsewhere makes that a pretty insurmountable feat. I appreciated the consistent pushes to the repository to adjust for that - by the end of the session, I wound up just following along visually and pulling in the commits as they happened, as I could not type as fast as Jessica could C&P. Wonderful talk. I would highly recommend other conferences consider including this session in their training day curriculum.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(21.Apr.2017)
Containerizing PHP Applications
I've just started working with Docker a little bit in my regular work, and Josh's talk shed some light on the many questions I had about the tool, the differences between its various configuration files, their individual roles, and what it looks like when everything is put together. I even learned that Docker for Mac is actually just a super performant virtual machine! With the information that Josh provided, I finally feel equipped to give Docker an earnest go in both my personal and professional projects, as I think I'll have a far greater understanding of the relationship between all of its moving parts than I might otherwise have. This was an excellent talk that I could not possibly recommend more highly.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(21.Apr.2017)
Introduction to Graph Databases with Neo4j
Excellent introduction to graph databases in general and neo4j specifically. I appreciated Michael's example of visualizing a query as an actual set of nodes and edges. Lots of great resources at the end. This was a perfect introductory session. Thank you!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(21.Apr.2017)
Computers
Solid overview of the different types of the established standards developers can use to structure their HTML markup so it can be more easily understood by machines. To improve this presentation, consider giving more emphasis on why choosing one particular standard over another matters and compare/contrast the pros and cons of each. In addition to the main takeaway (Data structures are all about providing context to our content), think about including a call-to-action so your audiences can leave with a clear idea of what they should do and why they should care about making data structures a part of their workflow. Overall, great job for a first-time talk!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(21.Apr.2017)
Your API Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad
Nice overview of the basics of REST, with practical tips for how to structure your endpoints and responses. I appreciated Ben's slide about the various methods for implementing rate limiting, as well as the recommended resources provided at the end. Good talk!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Apr.2017)
After-Party sponsored by Sentry
Awesome after party. Great food, great games, great beer, great people. Thank you for sponsoring, Sentry!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(22.Apr.2017)
Access Control Models: Controlling Resource Authorization
Mark's presentation was clear and informative. I learned about the four primary types of access control and how user/resource credentials might be stored in and accessed from a database. I appreciated an introduction of the terminology that would be used and the breaks in the presentation to take questions. To improve this talk, Mark might consider taking the second line from his description ("Determining the ideal model for an application can help ensure proper authorization in application resources.") and turning it into a key takeway/call-to-action for the audience. I think that will help inform future attendees about why they should care about choosing the right implementation. Overall, nice presentation. Thank you for giving it!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(22.Apr.2017)
Learn to Stop Wiring and Love Laravel's Container
I thought Beau's presentation was very clear and easy-to-follow despite the fact that I haven't yet personally worked with containers in my career. He prefaced the discussion by clarifying some terminology (e.g., the differences between Dependency Inversion and Dependency Injection, Inversion of Control, Service Locator, and the very definition of Container itself), then walked through examples of the evolution of writing configuration files for PHP apps. Through his examples, I learned that Laravel's container seems to be immensely easy to configure compare to other iterations, and that there are some open source packages out there that can assist developers with streamlining their own implementations if they're working with other frameworks such as Symfony. Very nice, informative talk. Thank you for giving it!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(24.Aug.2018)
Building Better Themes
Josh did a great job delineating the differences between the different types of themes (parent, child, starter, framework), and offered helpful tips and suggestions for getting the most out of your own theme projects. He mentioned some tools that can be useful in making better themes, including the Monster plugin, which is a plugin that registers a widget to output all the other widgets registered on the site - super useful for ensuring that all of your widgets are styled!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(24.Aug.2018)
Growing Great Teams
Drew covered the finer points of identifying, recruiting, and growing the careers of talented employees. He spoke about the things that makes a team great, how you can formalize your hiring process to attract people who share your company's values, how you can manage a great team, and - most importantly, I think - how you can frame your own mindset so that you as an individual can *deserve* to be on a great team. This talk was well structured, well paced, and with some good humor interspersed. I loved it!
Rating: 4 of 5 
(24.Aug.2018)
Do more, faster, by extending WP-CLI
Great talk, Ben! I thought this was a good introduction to WP-CLI for devs who maybe haven't worked with it before. A couple of pieces of feedback you might consider including if you give this talk again: - The 2.0 release of WP-CLI separates the framework from the command bundle so, depending on how a dev installs it (e.g., via Composer), they may wind up with only the framework itself. If they'd like to install the whole bundle of commands via Composer, they can run "composer require wp-cli/wp-cli-bundle" - You may consider adding a slide about checking for the presence of WP-CLI before using the WP_CLI object within a plugin. As of the 2.0 release, there is a new hook available in WordPress - cli_init, and the classic approach of checking if ( defined( 'WP_CLI' ) && WP_CLI ) is still available. I'd love to see actual demos of your custom command! I'm looking forward to checking out the talk you linked to in your slides. Take care!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(26.Aug.2018)
Death to Photoshop: Rebooting an Enterprise Design System
Reid gave a nice overview of his own design journey and experience with Photoshop, and the main takeaway here was that Photoshop does what it does well, but that there are other tools out there designers should consider integrating into their workflow that serve purposes Photoshop wasn't intended to do. This was my first time hearing about Abstract, which is a tool for version controlling your assets and being able to visually look at their iterations quickly - it's replacing Dropbox for them.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Aug.2018)
For Blogging Out Loud! Use your voice to blog.
Russell demonstrated how using voice services can speed up the blogging process. His presentation included some stories about his blogging process - how he starts recording ideas while taking his dog out for a walk, and how he tracks his ideas using Google Keep - and showed just how quickly one can get a 1500 word blog post written by simply using one's voice (it's about 10 minutes!). Using that as a springboard, Russell then stated that if you wrote a blog post in this fashion every day for 30 days, and you scheduled them to post once per week, you'd have 30 weeks of blog posts scheduled. I thought this was a fun and motivating talk and you should try to catch it if he's giving it again at a WordCamp near you.
Rating: 4 of 5 
(26.Aug.2018)
Build process automation
Kevin's presentation covered the automated build tools used by his agency and how others could look to integrating them into their own workflow. Not being as active on the JavaScript side of things, I was happy to learn that Webpack 4 comes with a few presets for general compilation tasks, and Kevin was the second person to talk about Lando for local development recently, so I apparently need to look into it. :) Perhaps it wasn't an issue, but one thing I think Kevin could do to improve this talk is to engage with the audience a bit more, asking questions to gauge their experience level, and then defining some terms along the way. This talk was very clearly geared toward developers, but even newer developers who may not yet have heard of many of the tools he described would glean more value from his presentation if he laid the groundwork and discussed what they are, what they do, where to get them, and so on. Overall, however, this was a solid presentation with lots of good information, and I hope Kevin will consider giving it again at other conferences and meetups. Great job!
Rating: 5 of 5 
(26.Aug.2018)
SVG vs Everybody
Somewhere during his presentation, Joshua mentioned that the SVG specification has been around for over 15 years. I don't do nearly the amount of front-end work that I used to, but back when I wrote more custom themes in WordPress, it seemed like SVG was only starting to gain its footing with cross-browser support. This was a great talk to reintroduce folks to the power of SVG. Joshua discussed the different modes of SVG - object, image, and inline, then did a deeper dive into how to use inline SVGs inside your WordPress theme. He demoed a cool example of a plugin that his agency uses to render their clients' logos in different color combinations, and discussed how easy it is to target elements within an SVG for color, animation, and so on. Wonderful presentation - other WordCamps and developer conferences would be smart to select this one in the future.
Rating: 5 of 5 
(26.Aug.2018)
Rethinking Requirements: A Non-technical Guide to Project Definition
I've recently been working to sell my clients on the value of user stories from a development perspective, and was having some fun conversations with other WordCamp attendees about who exactly owns the role of defining what a particular feature of a site is supposed to do. Edge cases come up all the time during development, and it can cause some friction between sales and engineering teams as implementing a feature or features starts to show its scoping shortcomings. Travis's talk, then, came at just the right time, as it helped shed some light on potential answers for those conversations. He was able to jam a lot of quality information into a short time slot (just 30 minutes!), and did it all with humor, grace, links to useful resources, and time remaining for questions! The audience was very engaged, and I think other WordCamps or business-centered conferences would see great value from having Travis give this talk at those events. Awesome job, and perfect gifs!

Events They'll Be At

No events so far

Events They Were At

Lone Star PHP 2017 Apr 20, 2017
Midwest PHP 2016 Mar 04, 2016
Lone Star PHP 2015 Apr 16, 2015
MidwestPHP 2014 Mar 14, 2014
MidwestPHP Conference Mar 02, 2013
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