Planning is underway for ZendCon

… and has been for a bit now. This year I get the distinct honor (???? :-) ) of being in charge of the content for ZendCon. And for those who are wondering, no I’m not in charge of the date or the location.

The primary responsibility I have, as being in charge of content is making sure that, well, we have good content.  I already have a good list of topics that I would like to see papers submitted for but I’m not arrogant enough to think that I know best.  Close, but not quite enough.

While ZendCon may have the Zend name in it, it is the conference attendees who determine its success.  It is whether or not you, as an attendee, are satisfied which determines my success in determining content.  That said, I would like your input on what types of topics YOU would like to see.  So if you have an opinion on what would make ZendCon compelling for you please leave a comment.  The more detail you can give on what and why the more help it will be.  In other words, instead of saying “Databases” say “Relational database performance when working with multiple database vendors” or something along those lines.

I look forward to hearing from you (remember to put it in the comments instead of contacting me directly).

19 comments
Nan Harbison
Nan Harbison

Has a location and date been chosen yet?

admin
admin

We are pretty close to deciding on a date and time

@DrydenMaker
@DrydenMaker

I feel like I am being my typical loud mouth self, but: Real world project management would be one. We get a lot of Agile philosophy and perfect implementation stories, but it would be good to see something along the lines of Peter Schuh's Integrating Agile Development in the Real World.

Eduardo Davila
Eduardo Davila

I recognize ZendCon as a technical conference, but I would like to make it a predominantly technical conference. I think it is important to address the business side of programming, not just for fledgling freelancers like @DrydenMaker said, but also topics for small and medium businesses. I don't know if there would be enough for a completely separate track, but maybe a couple of talks per day.

Even though most attendees see managers as the Pointy Haired Boss, managers do attend and I think many useful business issues may be addressed.

admin
admin

What types of topics for SMB's would you be interested in seeing?

@DrydenMaker
@DrydenMaker

Maybe something estimation and budgeting for projects. ZendCon isnt the place for accounting classes, but it would be good to give some sort of business lifecycle example with tool and process suggestions for a one or two person team. The international context of the con makes it hard to be too specific I am sure. Even if business talks were Uncon talks to feel things out, it could be useful.

Andrew R. Jenkins
Andrew R. Jenkins

I personally like the tutorial sessions - much like the "Taming the Untestable Beast" session. I'd certainly attend a tutorial session on ZF and no-SQL integration (flavor doesn't matter), ZF and BDD w/ PHPUnit, ZF-to-Solr best-practices, and end-to-end ZF-to-Jenkins-to-CI best practices.

Brian May
Brian May

I'd like to see Mike Pavlak riding a unicycle down the halls while juggling melons. (But that's probably not what you are looking for) :)

On a more serious note, I always enjoy solution based sessions. Sessions led by the average Joe who had a problem and walks you through how he (or she) solved it. Not only do you gain knowledge of the solution itself, but you also get a peek into someone else's researching/thought processes.

@DrydenMaker
@DrydenMaker

It might be cool if there were a couple business talks thrown in. Like help for fledgling Freelancers.

The MS presence has been ever growing in support of PHP. I would like to see a solid 'How PHP in your Microsoft Partner environment will Rock Your .NET Off'. A solid case for PHP instead of ASP.NET on the web (beyond religion).

I also like PHPTek's paperless idea. An attendee site with e-reader documents for everything at the con would be sweet.

Oh, and an official ical feed would be sweet too. It would be nice for keeping everyone updated about changes, even during the con.

Skoop
Skoop

I would like to see myself at the conference this year for a change ;)

Seriously, I've never been to ZendCon before but I've hardly heard any negative comments. Based just on the schedules I've seen from earlier years, it would be nice to see slightly less "Zend Framework" and a more diverse offering in frameworks. Maybe also framework/library interoperability would be good.

Plus, any of the topics I will send in to the CfP ;)

admin
admin

Those are actually things that I've put in my suggested CfP list.

Michael Noga
Michael Noga

I've been to the Zendcon twice now, and so far it's been a worthwhile conference. What i would like to see is similar to what Will (whom I meet last year at the conference, great guy) listed.

- functional-style programming
- code testing, like BDD
- advanced topics
- API - The importance of/how to build
- more how to stuff

@DrydenMaker
@DrydenMaker

I like the idea about functional-style programming. Also, everyone lit-up during the Lithium talk when they saw aspect oriented programming. Something on that would be cool.

Oooh and some more on Dependency Injection, specifically Inversion of Control. I cant wait for ZendCon already!

Wil Moore III
Wil Moore III

My $0.02

More:
1 - deployment
2 - functional-style programming
3 - standard tools (PHPUnit, etc.)
4 - advanced topics
5 - how-to rather than should-do topics

admin
admin

#5 is a great comment. Thanks.

Sean Prunka
Sean Prunka

I definitely want to see a few community-centric talks.
I have no problem with product/service focused talks, but I'd be much more interested in "How to use this product/service" instead of the traditional "commercial" format of "Here's why you should use this product/service"

As a note to the vendor-driven speakers: Teach me how to use something and I will be more likely to use it than if you just tell me why I should use it.

admin
admin

Community talks always feature prominently at ZendCon and I don't intend to change that. Additionally, I am totally on board with the "how to use this" as opposed to just "these are the slides our marketing department built". Personally, I favor any talk that has at least some kind of proper demonstration in it. It could be canned, but I want to see something working as well as _how_ I can use it.

Chris Tankersley
Chris Tankersley

Or, at the very least, make sure all the vendor talks are clearly labeled. There's at least one I sat through where it wasn't labeled a vendor talk, and clearly was.

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