ZendCon 2015 Thoughts

Joe • October 23, 2015

community conferences devops laravel php speaking

ZendCon 2015 was my first ZendCon experience. I was selected to give two talks, "Laravel Forge: Hello World to Hello Production" and "DevOps for Small Teams".

This was my first time giving the updated talk about Forge which also includes a basic Envoyer review and I feel like the talk went really well. Attendees seemed to enjoy it and a lot of people told me afterward they enjoyed the talk. I was not happy with a few of parts of the talk and will be tweaking and updating before I give the next version at php[world] in November. I'm glad I was able to share the information and I'm glad attendees where happy with the talk.

My DevOps talk was a really great experience. I walked into the room and it was already nearly half full fifteen minutes before it started. I walked in and immediately walked out. I get nervous before speaking but usually when I walk into the room I have amped myself up but I was not expecting that at all. I went back in shortly after and started setting up. This might have been my largest audience to date. At one time I counted around 60 people in my room and there were a handful of people in and out during the talk, and a number hanging out outside the door watching. I really enjoy giving this talk because as a speaker, it's incredibly easy to deliver because it's ninety percent story telling. The audience was really into the talk, I often ask for show of hands and they were always responsive. A responsive audience really helps put me at ease and I find my groove really quickly.

I was able to attend my first Kosher Con event. We went to a great restaurant and had a good time. Coming back to the hotel was amusing. We crammed 5 of us into a Toyota SUV and it was a bit cramped. I think that Uber driver should have paid us for the entertainment we provided.

I got a lot of good feedback on my talks, which is a really great feeling as a speaker to know people are finding value in your sessions.

The conference got some feedback as well, although I feel like comments on events that use joind.in are often underutilized by attendees, Eric Mann's comment echoes much of what I would have to say about ZendCon 2015 to the organizers. A job well done to all involved, it was a great show and I enjoyed it.