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7PHP.com:
What Is An UnConference (uncon) & How Is It Different From A Conference?
January 16, 2014 @ 09:18:57

If you've ever attended a conference (or are planning on it in the near future) you may have heard of something called an "unconference". If you're not 100% clear on what it is, check out this new interview with Michelangelo van Dam.

Have you been to an unconference aka uncon? I have not unfortunately (at least not yet)! But I was curious of what it actually is, the benefit you can reap from it, the responsibilities that it presents and how it's different from a conference. I started looking around of a possible interview (with uncon organizers around) about it since last year. But this year, 2014, I was adamant of getting it rolling.

To concretise this wish, the perfect man for it was Michelangelo! Perfect because he never turns down an opportunity to share his knowledge and wisdom with The PHP Community and also mainly because he has organized and participated at so many different uncons. Besides, he's the founder and co-leader of the PHP-BENELUX user-group - the level of insight and advice that you get from him is invaluable and of high quality.

They start off with a bit of talk about Michelangelo's background as a developer and his involvement in the PHP community. There's also a bit about the Zend Certification Exam and the PHPWomen group. Finally, they get into the unconference - what it is, what kind of content you can expect and how you can get involved in one at your next conference.

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Link: http://7php.com/unconference-dragonbe

Michaelangelo van Dam:
What I took home from ZendCon 2013
October 21, 2013 @ 11:10:33

If you weren't able to make it to this year's ZendCon conference Michelangelo van Dam has posted a bit from his perspective about the event and the sessions he presented.

ZendCon 2013 is over. I had a really great time there meeting new people, attending great talks and hang out with old friends. And wow, this was an awesome conference!

He talks about his Improving QA tutorial the first day and shares the video about Zend's new API creation/management offering - Apigility. He also talks about this year's unconference (which he managed) and the great talks given there by both known and unknown speakers. He also includes the video of "The Big Debate" about PHP that happened during the lightening talk sessions.

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Link: http://www.dragonbe.com/2013/10/what-i-took-home-from-zendcon-2013.html

Ulf Wendel:
PHP Unconference Hamburg 2013 hungry for more
September 24, 2013 @ 10:22:24

For those that weren't able to attend this year's PHP Unconference Hamburg Ulf Wendel has posted a great summary of the event including several photos.

I am a huge fan of the PHP Unconference. Ever since the first edition the who-is-who of the national PHP community gathers at this family style event. Very few events made it into this league from the start. Having a big name or being a sponsor, however, does not mean you make it on the session table as its the people that vote for sessions every morning. Only topics that really matter to the audience have a chance to make it.

He talks about the quality of the sessions themselves as well as some of the conversations in the in-between times (longer breaks to help make them possible). He also mentions some of the "not so goods" about the event like the scarcity of tickets, the lack of feedback on the sessions and the high marks it took to even make it as a speaker at the event. He links to some of the sponsors for this year's event and puts a request out for help with next year's event

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unconference hamburg wrapup

Link: http://blog.ulf-wendel.de/2013/php-unconference-hamburg-2013-hungry-for-more

Michelangelo van Dam:
Survived php tek 2013
May 21, 2013 @ 09:31:57

If you weren't able to make it to this year's php|tek conference in Chicago, Michaelangelo van Dam has posted a great wrapup of the event and some of the things that happened during the week.

If you were last week in Chicago, you've might felt the city was buzzing PHP all over the place. php[tek] 2013 was taking place at the Sheraton Gateway Suites Chicago O'Hare in Rosemont, just outside of Chicago city. This year it was also the first time Musketeers.me, a php consulting team from the East Coast, was running the show, putting their own signature onto the event. And with great success I might add. A well deserved applause to Eli White, Kevin Bruce, Sandy Smith, Oscar Merida and of course the Beth Tucker Long for their unlocked achievement running a great conference.

He talks about running the unconference for this year's event and one talk that resonated with a lot of people at the conference, Ed Finkler's "Open Sourcing Mental Illness". He also goes through some of the other regular sessions talks he found interesting covering things like security, refactoring, and dealing with distractions during work. He also mentions the hackathon and some of the good work that was done there.

In my experience the best php[tek] ever, and I'm really looking forward to the 2014 edition. If you don't believe me, have a look at the pictures taken at php[tek] 2013. They will tell the story.
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Link: http://www.dragonbe.com/2013/05/survived-php-tek-2013.html

Liip Blog:
PHPUCEU (PHP Unconference Europe)
May 07, 2013 @ 11:16:54

On the Liip blog Lukas Smith has posted a wrapup of the PHPUCEU (PHP Unconference Europe) and some of the sessions that made up the two day event.

So this weekend I visited my hometown Berlin for the PHPUCEU. [...] This wasn't a "normal" conference. This was an unconference. As such attendees proposed talks they could give, but also talks that they would want to hear. Every morning every attendee would then have two votes for talks. The top voted talks would then be distributed across the 4 slots in the 3 available tracks. As such several of the sessions ended up being quite ad hoc with multiple people chipping in with what they new about the topic. What is also special about this event is that the sessions are just as long as the breaks to facilitate idea exchange about the session topics, but also about other topics. Overall I found this to be an absolutely thrilling experience.

Presentations chosen and made at this year's unconference included:

  • a talk about the PHPRC (PHP Content Repository)
  • "Clean Puppet"
  • Behavior Driven Development
  • Agile documentation
  • Hood.ie
  • Symfony2 REST API
  • NoSQL is Not the Answer

If you're interesting to see what the event was like, check out some of the photos they've posted to their site.

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phpuceu unconference europe wrapup event

Link: http://blog.liip.ch/archive/2013/05/06/phpuceu.html

QaFoo.com:
Win a Ticket for PHP Unconf EU
March 21, 2013 @ 09:21:15

The QaFoo group has announced a giveaway they're doing of a ticket to this year's PHP Unconference Europe:

PHP Unconference Europe is an amazing PHP community meet-up. We would love to help you experience this event and therefore raffle 2 x 1 ticket (viable for non-german as well as german participants). In order to take part in the raffle, just complete the following sentence in a Tweet: "PHP quality is /cc @qafoo". Replace the "" with something that you consider important for software quality in your PHP projects and CC our Twitter account (required).

If you haven't heard about the PHP Unfonference Europe, it's a yearly unconference style community event where the participants set out the schedule based on who wants to present and what they want to hear when the event starts. It's less about formal presentations and more about discussion and and "experience sharing." It will be happening May 4th and 5th in Manchester, UK.

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Community News:
php|tek's Unconference Track & Chair - Michelangelo van Dam
February 13, 2013 @ 09:13:27

The php|tek conference has officially announced the Unconference track that'll be happening at this year's event and their excitement about the chair for the track - Michaelangelo van Dam.

We are excited to announce more details about the Uncon at tek13! This year we are honored to have Michelangelo van Dam (@DragonBe) serve as our Uncon chair. Michelangelo has done this for numerous other conferences in the past and we are deeply thankful to him for agreeing to help organize our Uncon as well.

This year's unconference will be an entire track happening all days of the conference instead of just later in the day on some days. If you're planning on attending the event and either didn't get a talk accepted or just want to talk about something you love, you should consider signing up when you arrive. Sessions for the next day will be selected at the end of each day from the ones added to the schedule.

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Symfony Blog:
Symfony Live 2012 Paris Edition
February 17, 2012 @ 11:50:42

On the Symfony Community Blog Fabien Potencier has officially announced Symfony Live 2012: Paris Edition, a Symfony-focused event that will take place in June.

Today, I'm excited to announce the fourth Symfony Live Conference in Paris. It will take place on June 7-8th; Paris in the Spring is a lovely city! Like last year, we will have two parallel tracks and the conference will be held in English (with probably a few sessions in French). The call for papers is open until March 30th; if you want to share your real-life Symfony experience, consider submitting a session proposal (SensioLabs covers travel and accommodation expenses for foreign speakers.)

As in years before, there will be an unconference and Symfony training sessions will be on the day before the event (the 6th). Tickets are already on sale so if you're interested in attending or just want more information about the event, check out the main conference website.

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Kevin Schroeder's Blog:
ZendCon 2011 Uncon
October 18, 2011 @ 12:51:03

Kevin Schroeder has a reminder for those attending ZendCon this week - don't forget about the unconference and bring those topics you may have not gotten officially accepted to the conference and present them!

If you were looking at the UnCon at ZendCon and wondering what, if anything, you should do, let me give you a couple of hints. The UnCon is the place where people who either did not submit a talk or did not get their talk accepted can sign up for a time to speak and talk on the topic of their choice. [...] It's also a chance for you to get a little practice if you have not spoken before and would like to see what it is like. We recommend that you have either slides, examples or both. It's not "required" that you do, but it definitely helps and it shows that you are treating it seriously.

There are times for full talks (the usual hour-ish slot) or an opportunity for lightening talks (20 minutes long and packed with content) with the possibility of a prize. The session with the highest ratings on the unconference event on Joind.in could win free tickets to other conferences or a copy of the official ZF programming guide. Kevin also suggests a few topics you could speak on that aren't represented in the official session list.

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Community News:
Dutch PHP Conference - Update on DPC Uncon
April 21, 2011 @ 12:05:43

On the Dutch PHP Conference's site today there's a new post from Stefan Koopmanschap, the organizer of this year's DPC Unconference, talking about some of the recent advancements in it's organization.

Last year we introduced the uncon track at Dutch PHP Conference, a separate track next to the conference tracks where you, the attendees of the conference, could be the speaker. [...] It was a great success thanks to all the speakers who stepped up to take an open slot and present their topic. [...] This year, we have a bit more time in the morning to register for a slot.

He also mentions the lightning talks (that were popular) and where they'll be in the overall schedule. For more information about the conference, look at their site and maybe pick up your ticket while you're there (Full ticket is 695 Euro, Tutorial only is 375 Euro and just the conference is 375 Euro).

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