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Bing & Bob and The Road to São Paulo

cal-and-paulDear Reader,

Recently my good friend Paul (Bing) Jones and I – Cal (Bob) Evans – set out on an adventure that we later dubbed “The Road to São Paulo”. We were invited down to speak at “The PHP Experience” put on by iMasters. Below are a few thoughts. I’ll warn you ahead of time, this is probably only interesting to my mom and my wife – the lovely and talented Kathy – and I’m really not sure about Mom.

“The PHP Experience”

The PHP Experience put on by iMasters was a great conference. The venue was the Renaissance Hotel in  São Paulo, which is a lovely facility. iMasters knows how to put on an event. The staging was excellent, the room was large and the stage was huge! It reminded me a lot of LaraCon ’14 in that respect.

The speaker lineup included the one and only Erika Heidi Renaldo, who gave her first ever technical presentation in Portuguese.  It was a little surreal listening to her talk and hearing a deep male voice as the translator.

There were a total of 10 sessions. I am very pleased to say that other than Paul and Erika, I did not know a single other speaker. This was a refreshing change from most of the North American and European PHP conferences I attend where I usually know 50%-75% of the speakers.

The Brazilian arm of the PHP community has a good sized talent pool. I had to listen to the content filtered through a translator, which means I caught about 2/3 of what was being said. All the speakers however, presented themselves well, had interesting content, and a good stage presence. I can’t wait for some of them to start applying to North American and European conferences. (Also, expect to see some of them speak at  Nomad PHP in the future)

I was in São Paulo back in 2010 for another conference and I can honestly say that the Brazilian PHP community has exploded since the last time I was there. The conference was packed to overflowing with men and women eager to learn and become better developers. It is fun to see a community grow and I expect to see more great events and more great Brazilian speakers at conferences worldwide.

Even with a broad talent pool as the Brazilian PHP Community seems to have, I do hope that encouraging new talent is at least one of the focuses of the local User Groups. We push that hard here in North America and over in Europe, but I never know if the message is getting out beyond those communities. If you run a PHP User Group, please make sure that you set aside some of your meeting slots to allow new speakers to get some experience.


“The Road to São Paulo”

The Bing & Bob Roadshow movies were never about the destination though, they were always about the adventure; this one was no different. From meeting at the Nashville airport, through our eventual parting at the same, Paul and I had a grand old time.

Traveling with me is not usually a good experience for my companions. I am usually very laid back but I do have my quirks. For example, I am very OCD when it comes to a schedule. We have a schedule for a reason and we should keep to it. I can start to get very antsy and uncomfortable if I deviate from a planned schedule. This is bad when I am traveling as airlines like to do things like delay a flight for 45 minutes because the bathroom light isn’t working.  Thankfully, Paul did not seem to notice, or at the very least did not care when I started to get antsy.

Also, I lost my phone. My phone, my driver’s license, and my credit cards are all in what wife 1.31 calls my “Phallet” (Phone+Wallet). I left it on the plane when I disembarked at São Paulo. I realized my mistake when I got to the hotel. A couple of calls to United and I found out that they did indeed have it and it would be waiting for me when I got to the airport on Sunday.

Thank you United for your courteous and honest ground crew and staff in Brazil.

Also, thank you Paul for allowing me to mooch off you for the weekend. :)

Sunday we arrived at the the airport 8 hours before our flight so that I could retrieve my Phallet. We ended up drinking our way around the São Paulo airport hitting no less than 3 bars in that time. If you know Paul and I this means that those at nearby tables got an earful of Republi-tarian politics (my word, not Paul’s), some religion, and a more than a little talk of guns and gun control. (Mostly of the “Do you use one hand or two variety”) :)

As I said, I am a difficult person to travel with, @kateva will attest to this, but if I have to travel with someone other than my beautiful wife, I will pick Paul every time. Some very deep conversations, more than a  few laughs, and a couple of strange looks from other people nearby.


This year, my goal was to speak at 10 events, an audacious goal, but it pales in comparison to someone like my friend Yitz. I have 8 booked or completed so far. :) That having been said, this trip has set the bar very high. I hope my others are even half as exciting.

See, I told you that only Mom and my wife would be interested. :)

Until next time,
I <3 |<

10 thoughts on “Bing & Bob and The Road to São Paulo

  1. Nice write up Cal. Happy to hear you got your belongings safely. Also good to know you both enjoyed the conference.

    I like the snap of Paul dancing :) .

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