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Making Conferences Better

I love PHP conferences. I attended a lot of PHP conferences when I was a brand new developer. Zendcon, OSCON, php[tek], Wordcamp Baltimore, DC PHP and others were my stomping grounds. I learned a lot, and the conferences I attended were on the whole useful, beneficial and wonderful experiences. But I also felt challenged by the fact that conferences don’t offer much for bringing up new developers with concrete information and training. This isn’t necessarily the fault of conferences: it’s impossible to truly impart a useful skill into a developer with only a 45 minute talk.
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A better personal biography

For as long as I can remember, writing a personal bio has been a tough challenge. You know how this goes: you’re applying to a conference, writing a resume or creating an “About Me” page on your website. You have to write down information about who you are, what you’ve accomplished and what you think other people will find interesting about you. All of a sudden you’re frozen in fear: writing about yourself is hard! You don’t know where to start, what to say or what other people will think. Writing a personal biography sucks.

I feel it’s time to do something about this problem. And so, I’ve begun developing a new service called Build A Bio. The Build A Bio service will connect you with a copywriter who will craft a biography for you. All you’ll have to do is answer some straightforward questions honestly. No more trying to guess what other people find interesting; no more struggling to write in the third person; no more fear!

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Are You Going To php[tek] 2013?

One of my favorite (and one of the best) conferences in PHP is the php[tek] Conference, held annually in Chicago. This year, the conference is under new management, being led by Musketeers Eli White, Sandy Smith, Kevin Bruce and Oscar Merida. The conference is being held May 14th – 17th.

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July Slides

July was a month of talks and travel, including speaking at OSCON and user group talks to DCPHP and PDXPHP.

For those who saw the “Micro Optimize This!” talk, you can download the slides here.

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TEK Webcast Notes

Last Friday, I did a webcast as a part of the PHP TEK Webcast series. The webcast was on Caching for WordPress. We had a good turnout, and there were lots of questions about the best plugins to use for WordPress caching.

For me, every WordPress blog should have APC installed on it, hands down. APC almost doubles the response rate for WordPress by itself; APC is easy to install and freely available, stable and exceptional. Along with APC I also recommend either WP-Super-Cache or W3 Total Cache. WP-Super-Cache is great for sites that simply want to do static caching; W3 Total Cache is for sites that want to make use of S3 or other caches (like the APC User Cache).

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Caching For WordPress – A TEK-X Webinar

Anyone who has worked with WordPress knows that it’s greatest strength is also one of it’s greatest weaknesses: it’s architecture. The same architecture that makes it easy to include literally hundreds of plugins also makes it slow, resource-intensive and bulky. Unlike Drupal, WordPress doesn’t have a built-in caching mechanism. What is a developer to do?

On Friday, I’ll be presenting a webcast called “Caching for WordPress.” In this webcast, we’ll talk about ways to make WordPress perform better, including aspects of caching from the application perspective and from the content perspective. There will be a discussion of caching plugins available, as well as a discussion of the WordPress API and what it offers by way of caching opportunities.

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