ZendCon 2011 Call for Papers is out

The ZendCon call for papers is out… at least it will be tomorrow (Friday), officially.

This year I have been placed in charge of the content portion of ZendCon.  In terms of the call for papers I have several people who I will be working with to try and weed out the gold.  Those people are Zeev Suraski (who?), Andi Gutmans (another unknown), Shahar Evron, Matthew Weier O’Phinney, Joe Devon, Ben Ramsey and Stefan Koopmanschap.  So if things go wrong I will be blaming them.

The easiest way for find gold is to know where to look for it.  And so, here are a few tips for you to help you get your talk submitted.

There are three primary themes for this conference.  Your submission does not have to fall directly into these themes, but it will greatly help your chances if it does.  The themes are, in no particular order

  • Cloud Computing
  • Mobile and User Experience
  • Enterprise and Professional PHP

Cloud Computing and Mobile/User Experience are probably self-explanatory, but Enterprise and Professional PHP may not be.  I see it as a) no noob stuff, b) connectivity with enterprise tools, c) advanced techniques (dev, management, etc.).  What does “enterprise” mean?  Well, it means everything and nothing.  While WordPress is used in the enterprise I would not characterize it as “enterprise” whereas “creating an NTLM signon mechanism” is.

Within those themes there are several individual topics for you to choose from, with an explanation of each.

  • Architecture & Best Practices
    • This to me would be things like “how to build an architecture for a PHP application” or “what are the characteristics of a good architecture”.  Another one could be “How do I build a good physical architecture?” or “how do I determine the number of cloud instances I need?”  This can also include things like “what not to do in PHP” and things like that.
  • Testing, Debugging, Profiling and QA
    • I see this as anything and everything before staging.
  • Zend Framework 1&2
    • I am expecting that we will be having more Zend Framework 1 slots open than ZF 2.  If you have a great ZF 2 talk, please submit it, but there are a LOT of existing ZF 1 applications that will continue on for several years.  Bear that in mind.
  • Cloud Infrastructure, Management and Application Services
    • Think “I used to do X with pizza boxes, how do I do it now when the pizza box looks like a Tron set piece?”  In other words, what are some things you can do with things that you do not own?  This could be cloud, API’s, etc. etc.
  • Server & Operations
    • I come with an administrative background and I am convinced that too many PHP developers don’t know enough about the actual maintenance of their application in a production environment.
  • Rich Internet Apps and Mobile/Tablet – Flash /Flex/HTML 5/CSS3/Ajax
    • There could be a whole conference on this.  In fact, there are several.  Gimme some real in-depth stuff on cool things you can do on multi-platform or mobile applications.  Personally, I would love to see “getting started with ActionScript” or “getting started with ObjectiveC” or “building layouts for multiple devices” or “Cool things you can do with CSS 3”.  Go wild.
  • NoSQL and Big Data
    • Ummm… yeah.  NoSQL and Big Data.  Self-explanatory, methinks.
  • Standards Compliance
    • PCI, ISO, HIPPA, COPPA.  We live in a world where laws govern a lot of what we do.  We may want to focus on writing code, but these are realities of our world.  Help your fellow developer navigate that world.
  • Unsung Tools
    • Think SMTP, LDAP, log files.  Things that are not sexy.  There may be new problems that people have but there are a lot of old solutions that can be used to solve them.  Could LDAP be the new noSQL?  😉
  • Agile Processes and Project Management
    • Who wants to be managed?  Not a lot of people.  But software development takes resources.  If you have insights on how to make that resource utilization more efficient, submit away!
  • Real World Case Studies, Designs and Data Models
    • You want to do some bragging?  I want to let you.
  • PHP on the IBM i
    • If mid-range to you is a server, and not a jet built by Bombardier, then you know what I’m talking about here.

Above all, be creative.  Matthew and I were toying around with topics and one of them was “How many X could I show you in an hour?”  X could be public data sources, or JavaScript API’s or whatever.  Obviously, that’s a hard topic to publicize and harder to evaluate, but I think using it as an example  helps to illustrate what makes for a good talk.  Not another “PHP and MySQL” talk, but “building  Angry Birds using using JavaScript, PHP and MySQL”.  Submit topics that you wish OTHER people would talk about.  One of the best ways to learn something is to have to teach it.  So, submit something that you would be interested in learning and start working on it.

And if you have a cool talk that doesn’t fit one of these categories, select “Other”.  I would LOVE an huge list of “Other” talks.

Also, if you have a topic that you would like to give but have your doubts on whether or not it will be accepted we will be having an UnCon again this year, and it will be headed up again by  Michelangelo van Dam.  So, submit it (or better yet submit it AND another talk more likely to get accepted) and still show up.  You will have a chance to present it at the UnCon even if we don’t accept it as an “official” talk.

Additionally, if there’s a topic here that we have missed (such as other frameworks) submit your talk under the “Other” category.  ALL talks, regardless of the category, will be reviewed.

If you have any questions you can either email me at [email protected] or you can post a comment.

Good luck, y’all!

7 Thoughts to “ZendCon 2011 Call for Papers is out”

  1. When submitting, does it make a big difference if the presenter has their slides already prepared and uploaded, or is the abstract enough to make a good decision?

  2. Funny, the last time I submitted “getting started with ActionScript” I had a comment from a Zend employee on Twitter saying that I am stupid to submit ActionScript content to a PHP conference.

      1. It was 2009 I think and these people still work at Zend. Since then I have been reluctant to submit for the call for papers, since I like Javascript and ActionScript very much.

        1. I like JavaScript and ActionScript very much too (I’m speaking on ActionScript at LoneStar PHP). I can’t guarantee acceptance, but I would very much like to see advanced JavaScript and ActionScript topics. Just make sure that they fall in line with either the category or theme areas.

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