Those that know me know that the PHP community is near and dear to my heart. I am always looking for ways to support it, usually to the chagrin of my employer. We have the greatest community of any programming language I know of and I like helping people find ways to participate in it. (more…)
I’m really curious about the origins of the Seven Things Meme. Anybody know where it started? Anyhow, I’ve been tagged by my friend Matthew Weier O’Phinney so I’ll play along. (It forces me to blog, something I’ve not done a lot of in the past 6 months)
My super power is thinking up titles for things
Everybody has a super power, some of us just have to look harder than others to find them. Luckily for me, mine manifested itself early in life, I am good at making up titles. It doesn’t matter what needs a title, I can look at something or hear an idea and come up with a title for it. (examples would be this blog you are reading, or this one, or this one) Unfortunately for me, it’s not a power I can control. They either come to me, or they don’t. So if you are ever stuck coming up with a title for something, ping me.
I wrote my own PHP framework.
Ok, so who hasn’t? The only difference is that I wrote a PHP framework back in 2001. Apparently, SourceForge doesn’t clean out it’s closets often because it’s still there. The name of the project is a good example of how my super power doesn’t always work. (Matthew, you are not allowed to laugh at my code, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel)
I didn’t have to take English 101 because I wrote a perfect paper
This one will come as a surprise to anyone who followed DevZone closely. I can’t spell and I regularly butcher the English language. Names are my specialty. Give me a name and I’ll show you at least 3 alternate spellings. However, when I started college at the University of South Alabama, my first class was English 101. The first day, the assignment was to write a paper on what you did that summer. I turned mine in and the next day I was informed that I had passed the class because there were no grammatical or spelling errors in the paper. No one was more surprised than my mother, an English teacher. :)
I want a tattoo
I’ve wanted a tattoo for some time to complete my mid-life crisis. Kathy even designed me one but she won’t finish it up. Her design centers around “Property of Kathy” written in Tengwar.) (Do me a favor, drop @kateva a note on twitter and encourage her to finish it.)
I used to produce live concert videos
I wore a lot of hats before I donned the battered Fedora and started writing about PHP. A few years ago, that hat was a beret because I was in “the biz”. I produced over 40 live concert videos. Most of them were for Southern Gospel groups but I did a couple of contemporary Christian groups and even two comedy videos. I’ve moved on now and while I love programming computers, I can honestly say that producing videos are some of the most fun and yet the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life.
I met The Lovely and Talented Kathy while we were both working at Walt Disney World
The year I graduated high school, Walt Disney World opened EPCOT Center. That summer, they went on a hiring spree to staff up for the fall opening. It was during this spree that I sneaked in, with the help of a couple of nice ladies who went to church with my grandparents. I was hired into “Cash Control”, basically, the bank for all of the stores in the park. (For those that care, it’s in “the tunnel” directly beneath the Carousel.) On my first day in Cash Control, I met The Lovely and Talented Kathy and knew I was going to marry her. Unfortunately, she didn’t quite see it that way. (I was a mere child of 18 at the time and she was…well a year or two older than me) One night, after we closed the park and then closed Bennigin’s, her car wouldn’t start. With a straight face and more than one Banana Banshee in her, she looked at me and said “Hey, my car won’t start, will you ride home under the hood and hold the distributor cap on?” The sad thing is that I was so smitten with her that I would have done it. That’s ok, she eventually came around…or I wore her down, I’m not sure.
I got my job at Zend quite by accident
Back when I was at Jupiter Hosting, I actually had time to write some code. I didn’t get to write a lot, but between meetings and other management crap, my team would take pity on me and give me a small project to chew on. One of the projects I wrote (I forget which one) I thought was pretty good. There was this company named Zend that had a code repository (it’s gone now) and I wanted to submit the project to it. I submitted the project and waited…and waited…and waited. After about 2 days of hearing nothing, I started emailing people asking what was up. I ended up talking to Jayons Minard who told me no one was managing the repository anymore, so I volunteered. I ended up managing it for about 4 months while I was working at a small start-up back in Nashville.
When the start-up went tits-up, I started doing contract work until I found something I liked. One of the contracts I started working on was this new site that Zend was building and Jayson was in charge of, DevZone. One thing led to another and after about 3 months of working on contract for Zend, and constantly asking Jayson if there were any positions open at Zend, I got an email from him. He said that Mark de Visser, his boss, would be in Nashville the next week for a Red Hat conference and wanted to interview me. I had a great interview with him and had an offer letter in my email in box when I got back home.
It was probably the weirdest journey to a job that I’ve ever traveled, but it was worth it. :)
Ok, there are my Seven Things. Now for my Seven People. I think this part may be harder than the seven things.
I’ve recently added a new feed to phppodcasts.com, killerphp.com. If you’ve not visited killerphp.com, I suggest you do so now. It’s a great resource for people learning PHP. Stefan Mischook creates some great (killer) videos to walk you through the basics of PHP.
Links to his latest work can be found on phppodcasts.com. Even though it’s not strictly a podcast, it is a great resource and one I’m sure the readers of phppodcasts.com are going to want to follow.