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CWJ: Day -1

Dear Reader,

CodeWorks 09 Vital Stats

CodeWorks 09 day #: -1
Days till I see the Lovely and Talented Kathy:08
Cities left: 7
Miles Traveled: 0
Cups of Coffee: 0
Current Current City: Utrecht

Random Statistic of the day

Average number of cups of coffee per day that I drink at a conference: 4

Prep Work: Getting my head in the game

Ok, I made a final check of my slides, found a typo in one deck and fixed it. More importantly though I’m starting to get myself into the conference mood. Normal conferences are a sprint. I start a few hours before my talks, get into the spirit, do my talks and then spend the rest of the time carousing with friends, new and old. CodeWorks 09 is a marathon though, so I’m starting early.

Getting into the spirit for me is easy because it involves things that I like to do anyhow. One of the main tasks is to make sure I’m current on everyone’s blogs. The PHP community has a great blogger sub-community. Most of the high-profile members maintain blogs and they are the best places to get information about PHP. Of course it doesn’t take much coaxing to do this because most of these bloggers are friends or acquaintances.

Oh and I’m doing laundry too. :)

Random Thought: Companies owe a lot to PHP, make sure yours is paying its debt.

I’ve actually said this to upper management of several companies but I think it bears repeating here. If your company makes money deploying PHP based websites, you are standing on the shoulders of giants; you owe a debt to the PHP community at large and you need to make sure you are doing something to pay it back.

The Debt

PHP is developed, for the most part, by unpaid volunteers. These people give freely and willingly of their time to create and maintain the only language available specifically designed to solve web problems. Yes, it’s “free as in beer’ but morally, your company owes a debt. If you are taking the work of others, it’s time you started to settle the ledger.

The Payment

I am in no way suggesting that any company start donating money to a specific group. The biggest gift you can give is to allow your employees a little time each week or month to contribute back to the PHP community at large. Here are just a few of the ways you can do that:

  • Allow your developers to work on bugs from on company time.
  • Allow your developers to contribute back to an open source project such as Drupal or Joomla on company time.
  • Allow your developers to work on the PHP documentation team on company time
  • Allow your developers to participate in irc channels during business hours and allow them to take a few moments to help someone instead of just asking for help on projects that are important to you.
  • Sponsor space or pizza for your local PUG.
  • …and many, MANY more.

All of these are ways your company can give back. Some of your developers may be doing this on their own time. Reward their initiative and invest in your developers by allowing them to officially participate in these activities on company time.

It doesn’t matter if you are a large multi-national or a small two-person shop. If you are using PHP then you are living off the sweat of others and you owe it to the future PHP community to give a little back.

Until next time,
Quérote miña querida Kathy