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Dear Reader,

Welp, here I are staring at June 2021 on the calendar and know that one of my favorite PHP community events, The Dutch PHP Conference, is yet again going virtual. Yup, Yet Another Online Conference. (YAOC) Just another day of YAOC Shaving in a polo shirt and my pajama bottoms.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand and applaud their commitment to the safety and health of the attendees. But come on, there’s only so many times I can get excited about seeing some of these people present again via Zoom. I mean a few of “the regulars” will put you to sleep in an in-person presentation. Give me Zoom and a comfy chair to sit in and you had better end every presentation with an alarm clock going off.

You know my favorite part of on-line conferences though? The afterparty. I don’t have to watch how much I drink lest there be yet another “Cal’s Drunk” story going around. (Ask Joe Ferguson, last I heard he was collecting them all for a book. It will no doubt be masterfully edited by his much more talented better half.) Most of all though, I am the life of a virtual afterparty! (because it’s basically just me anyhow) :)

Still, given the circumstances, YAOC is better than NCAL. (No Conference At All)

It still gives me a day to set aside to hang out with the PHP community. A day I turn off everything else and sit and learn. A day I hang out in slack and make bad jokes. A day I get to catch up with old friends I’ve not seen in more than a year, and make new friends that I can look forward to meeting in person next year.

So yeah, YAOC. But the way I look at it it’s not YET Another Online Conference, it’s YEA! Another Online Conference. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve known the organizers of this event for more than 10m years and I know that virtual or IRL, they know how to throw a conference.

So if you aren’t doing anything on June 17th and 18th, come hang out with me. The slack channel is free an open to everyone. Yes, they don’t charge you a dime to watch me tell bad jokes.

This year, like last, the main conference day is free too. So get a ticket, block off the time in your calendar, brush up on YOUR bad joke or “Cal’s drunk again” story, and come hang with us at DPC21-YAOC.

I look forward to talking to you.

Until next time,
I <3 |<


Dear Reader,

At Sunshine PHP ’19, it was my privilege to make many new friends and re-connect with old ones. One of the new friends I made was Nara Kasbergen.

Nara did a great talk on Community – which of course made me nervous because, well, that’s MY shtick. Never the less Nara delivered a very good talk with some good points.

One of my takeaways was that you need to be an active part of several community. it’s not enough to be a part of your local PHP user group, you also need to be part of at least one conference community, (Sunshine, phptek, PHPBenlux, DPC, the list goes on)  and an easy win is to be part of an online community as well. (Whether that be Twitter, slack , Day Camp 4 Developers, or NomadPHP is up to you)

Take the time to get involved in the PHP community in the way that is best for you.

The connections you make will help you build a career.

The friends you make will help you build a life.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

The EICC Report for PHP User Group Leaders

Dear Reader,

Hi all!

Ok, I’ve got new news, old news, and freebies.

[I originally tried to post this to the UG Amins list but because of the restrictions put on any list hosted at, I could not. I tried 4 times, the last time with nothing that looked like a domain name. So instead of fighting with it anymore, I’m just posting it here. We REALLY need to move the UG Admins list off of that domain.]


As a PUG leader, you are always welcome to attend any Nomad PHP meeting for free. Go to the website, scroll to the bottom, there is a link just for you. :) Just pick the meeting you want to attend, and submit the form. Want to attend more than one, submit more than once. Want to attend them all, submit once for each time. We won’t turn you down. it is our small way of saying thank you for the hard work you put into Nomad PHP.
Day Camp 4 Developers ( ) STRINGS ATTACHED
The next DC4D is now public and we need your help getting the word out. If you would please send an email to your list letting them know that tickets are now available for “Day Camp 4 Developers:Public Speaking for Developers II” we would appreciate it. Once you have sent the email to your list, forward me a copy of the email and I’ll send you a coupon for a free ticket to the event. You can use it yourself or raffle it off to your group.
Raffle Items FREEBIE
Do you need things to raffle off to your user group? Let me know. I will give you coupons to any of my e-books ( if it will help. Also, I’m happy to give you a ticket or two to Nomad PHP to give away as well.
The CFP Report ( I NEED HELP
Ok, this request is in two parts.

PUG leaders
Would you please include a notice about The CFP Report in your next newsletter? (thecfpreport [dot] com ) Let your members who are interested in speaking know about it. There is no charge for The CFP Report and I don’t ever intend for there to be one. it is just my way of helping to increase the speaker pool.

Conf Organisers
If you run a conference, I would appreciate it if you would include a short paragraph in your rejection letters. Nobody likes to get rejection letters but if you offer people a ray of hope, they dislike it a bit less. This is something I’ve tried to do for the past 10 years. So if you could include something like this sample paragraph in your rejection letters, you could help them and me. (win-win-win) :)

Sample Paragraph
There are several things you can do to increase the odds of you being selected as a speaker, one of them is to keep applying and not get discouraged. To help you do this, our friend Cal Evans has setup a free service called “The CFP Report” ( Each week you will get an email with all the CFPs that are open, along with important information about the conference to help you decide if you should apply or not. We encourage you to subscribe to The CFP Report, find other CFPs to submit to, and next year when you see ours pop up, submit again. Remember, this email isn’t a “NO”, it’s a “not now”.



Ok, that’s all I’ve got for you this time. As always, if there is anything I can do to help you or your PUG, please don’t hesitate to ask. :)

If you haven’t yet, make sure you register your group with! Every PUG should be on that list.


Until next time
I <3 |<

Five influencers you should thank this year for making the PHP community so awesome

Thank You by Adi RespatiDear Reader,

It is no surprise to anyone who has talked to me for more than five minutes that I think the PHP community is the most vibrant and engaging developer community out there. So as we approach the end of the year, I am going to list out the influencers that help keep this community at the top. These are the people that you need to seek out and thank because without them, the PHP community would not be what it is today.

5: Core Developers

Let’s face it, without PHP, there would be no PHP community. So the influencer you need to reach out to and thank is any person you know or know of that has contributed to the Core. I’m going to also include all those who contribute to the manual. PHP is a great language and it has a great manual.

4: User Group Leaders

User Group leaders are awesome because every month they organize their small corner of the community. They do this because they believe in the community. It is largely a thankless job. Rarely do people stop to say thank you when it goes great. Trust me though, if something goes wrong, they hear about it. Reach out to your local PHP User Group leader and thank them for all they do for the PHP community.

3: Conference Organizers

If you have never organized a conference then you have no idea how much work it is to put one on. Whether it is a commercial conference or a community conference, the time and effort is largely the same. PHP is blessed with some great conferences both commercial and community. Take some time this week to reach out to those who organize your favorite conference and tell them how much you appreciate it. Let them know if something you learned at their conference had a positive effect  on your life.

2:Conference Speakers, Bloggers, and Teachers

Preparing a technical talk, tutorial length blog post, or a class that teaches something meaningful is a difficult process. Many people will spend weeks or even a month working on a single talk that is over in 60 minutes. These people do this largely to help others learn. They share what they have learned so that other developers can understand. If you know someone who regularly speaks, blogs, or teaches in the PHP community, reach out to them and tell them thank you.

1:Any developer using PHP

All of us together make up the PHP community. If you write code in PHP – for your day job, for your side projects, for whatever – you are part of the PHP community. Instead of urging you to say thank you to other developers though, I am going to take this time to say thank you to you.

If you write code in PHP, thank you.

  • Thank you for choosing PHP
  • Thank you for using it to create cool things
  • Thank you for helping make PHP power over half of the web.

Wrap Up

If you were looking for a list of 5 specific people to follow/thank/put on a pedestal, that’s not what I do. The PHP community is about all of us, not an elite few.

As you are winding down your 2014 and thinking back, think back to the PHP community members that have had a positive impact on your life and/or career and reach out to them personally to say thank you.  Make sure though you take time to reflect on the PHP community as a whole. Take a moment and tweet or Facebook a thanks to the entire community for being such a welcoming and awesome community. Then go get involved in your local PUG.


Until next time,
I <3 |<


Photo Credit:

Thank you by Adi Respati

Quit trying to make the next Silicon Valley

Dear Reader,

I saw another story this morning. This time it was London trying to be the next Silicon Valley. They always have a new variation on the name those, this one was Silicon Roundabout. I know you’ve seen these articles, they explain why [INSERT CITY HERE] is prime to be the next technology hotbed and repeat the success of San Francisco – San Jose.

Stop! We don’t need another Silicon Valley. What we need is something new. If all you can do is mimic what others are doing then are you really adding anything to the world? We don’t need another Silicon Valley, we don’t need another Facebook, what we need is for someone to create something totally new.

Nashville is a focal point for creative people. We have a strong Music and Publishing industry here and each year more and more creative people make Nashville their home. We’ve also got a burgeoning technology startup community. it’s not huge yet but a lot of people in and outside of Nashville see potential. Our goal should not, however, be to create the next Silicon Valley. (Or the next Austin or god forbid, the next Atlanta) We are unique in the world and we need to nurture and grow our special community. Here in Nashville, we combine technology, content and creativity. Let’s find our own identity.

Let’s let other cities try to create the next Nashville!

Until next time,
I <3 |<