Category > Talks

PHP UK 2011

26 February 2011 » In PHP, Talks » 1 Comment

Becoming an American citizen a couple of years ago greatly eased travel-related headaches for me – no more visas to worry about (in general), way faster processing at the passport control, and so forth. Because of this, I was finally able to make it to PHP UK conference this year, and I have to say that I enjoyed it very much. The organizers did a great job with the venue, the social events, food, drinks, making sure things ran on time and a host of other things that I’m sure I didn’t even notice. A really nice touch was the badges that had the name and the sessions schedule printed on both sides. It was also great to meet a bunch of new people, including some that I only knew from the mailing lists or Twitter. This was probably one of the best community-organized conferences that I’ve been to.
I gave a talk on ElasticSearch, which is part of the technology stack behind Mapalong. This was the first incarnation of the talk, but I thought it went fairly well, though I did run overtime slightly and couldn’t do all the demos that I wanted to. The slides are available on the Talks page.

Vim for Programmers on Slideshare

02 June 2010 » In PHP, Talks » 6 Comments

A few years ago, I was considering what proposal to submit to the Vancouver PHP Conference. The usual slate of “how to do this and that in PHP” was becoming a bit tired, so I decided to submit a talk about an essential skill that PHP (and other language) developers might need: using the Vim editor.
By that time I knew that I was firmly in the Vim camp (as opposed to Emacs or IDEs). Of course, writing a 45 minute talk about Vim is like trying to explain Mulholland Drive during an elevator ride, but I rose to the challenge and put together the first version of the slide deck. When I later received the feedback about the talk, I realized that it was the most highly rated one of the conference, above even Rasmus‘s perennial PHP keynote. Clearly, I was onto something.
Since then I’ve expanded and adjusted the talk to fit the 45-60 minute slot, but I still usually run out of time due to the wealth of material. So I published the slides on Slideshare and created a Github repo for my time-tested Vim settings and plugins, so feel free to fork it and submit pull requests. And in general, go forth and Vim.

Regex Clinic on Slideshare

03 May 2010 » In PHP, Talks » 5 Comments

Back in 2004, I submitted a proposal to the only PHP conference ever to have taken place aboard a cruise ship. Yes, the infamous PHP Cruise (“Do we all know each other?”). The talk was about regular expressions and their usage in PHP. I wrote the original version in PowerPoint, but when I boarded the ship and saw Keynote 1.0 on someone’s Powerbook, I was hooked and had to port all the slides to Keynote right then and there.
Well, the talk – and the cruise – went well, and since then Andrei’s Regex Clinic has grown and shrunk in size depending on which conference I was giving it at and how much time was allotted. I considered retiring the talk several times, because surely people should know how to use regular expressions by now, but whenever I give it there is a roomful of people wanting to know what (?>=foo) does. And as much as I try, I always run out of time trying to cover everything from the basics to more advanced usage.
I feel that the slides are pretty polished by now and it’s better if people can read them at a comfortable pace, so the whole tutorial-sized presentation is now available on Slideshare. I omitted the section that covers PHP’s regular expression API, because it already has great online documentation. Otherwise, go forth and read about look-ahead assertions and recursive matching.

Starting Codeworks 2009

28 September 2009 » In PHP, Talks » 7 Comments

It seems that a short time ago, at the php|tek in Chicago, the Code Works conference was just a glimmer in the eye of Marco Tabini and his associates. And today I am in Atlanta, starting off the east coast leg of the conference along with a few of my friends and colleagues. The first part made stops in San Francisco (where I served as a social director since it’s my home town), Los Angeles and Dallas and it sounds like everyone had a great time.
After Atlanta we go onto Miami, which I am only familiar with through Dexter; Washington D.C., where I hope to take in a couple of sights, since I’ve never been; and New York, a city that I always love to visit.
My talks in this conference will cover VIM, regular expressions, and distributed systems with PHP, including memcache, mogilefs, and Gearman. There are many good talks on the schedule, so consider signing up and joining speakers and other attendees for what is bound to be an excellent event.

Voting opens for my SXSW panel

19 August 2009 » In PHP, Talks, Tech » 1 Comment

I have not yet been to South by Southwest festivals. And every time I mention this to friends and colleagues, they make big eyes and say, “You have to go!”. Well, I finally cracked and submitted a panel proposal for the 2010 SXSW Interactive portion. The panel is titled “Travelog with Maps: When 1,000 Photos Aren’t Enough” and will present and discuss ways to preserve the memories and tell the stories of your trips using latest geolocation tools, social data, and a bit of code. Chris Shiflett will be my co-panelist. We decided to do this panel after trying to share our Iceland trip in real-time and discovering what is and isn’t there to support it.
If you like this idea, please vote for this panel. Thank you!

May Wrap-up

02 June 2009 » In PHP, Talks, Travel » 5 Comments

May has come and gone and for me almost half of it was spent on the road. SFO-DEN-BNA, BNA-ORD, ORD-ZRH-TXL-ZRH-ORD, ORD-SFO. To decipher that for you, I first went to Nashville to visit my friend Raquel and see the land of the honky tonks. I was surprised to find an almost full-sized replica of Parthenon there, as well as a really great ƒood/drink scene. Some highlights include Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack (I dare you to order something more than medium hotness), a great beer place called The Flying Saucer (150+ beers on the menu), and especially The Patterson House (recommended by the awesome Steph Dub), where we spent a few hours snacking on tasty bits from the menu and drinking the awesome cocktails that the bartender mixologists prepared in front of us.
Then it was off to Chicago for php|tek 2009 conference. The first two days were dedicated to the first real PHP developers meet-up since November 2005. On Monday we discussed technical issues with regard to PHP 5.3 and 6, and on Tuesday the topic shifted more towards potential features aside from Unicode to entice people to move to 6 and how to ease this migration. Overall it was a productive meeting and the notes should be posted soon. The next day I gave the opening keynote on the present and future of PHP. I managed to throw in a few inside jokes and funny photos in there to lighten up the morning mood. The rest of the conference was productive as well—there were great talks on everything from utilizing HTTP status codes to multi-level caching to a talk that Cal gave on telecommuting. After the conference hours we stopped by the Map Room a couple times for some excellent beer flights (La Folie on tap, OMG).

@tychay is not happy

@tychay is not happy

After Chicago, I flew to Berlin for the International PHP Conference Spring Edition 2009. This year they accepted all 3 of my proposals, so I had my work cut out for me. Miraculously, I managed to make the German audience smile and even laugh a couple of times during my keynote. Success! The other two talks intl me this, intl me that on localizing and translating your pages, and All the Little Pieces on using PHP with memcached, mogilefs, and Gearman went well too. Funny enough, the RailsWay conference was going on at the same place—didn’t they know that Terry Chay is coming to town?! This was my first visit to Berlin, so Terry and I played tourists for a bit and went to see Checkpoint Charlie, the remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, and Reichstag. It is really amazing to consider that the Berlin Wall used to be 150 km long and embedded a piece of Western Germany in the middle of Eastern one.
Finally, I had a long series of flights home, and despite a mishap at the immigration in Chicago, arrived to my apartment safely and almost on time. It was great to see old friends and new faces and to talk to the best development community out there.
For those of you who wondered where to get the I � Unicode t-shirt that I wore during my keynote, I put the design up on Zazzle, so you can get your own for the next gathering of the Unicode-minded folks.


22 April 2009 » In Opinion, PHP, Talks » 13 Comments

Yes, it’s true.
A recent post on Twitter from @atourino pointed to my VIM for (PHP) Programmers slidedeck on The slidedeck has been really popular, gathering close to 50,000 views, 2,500 downloads, a few dozen favorites ratings, and a “Hot” award. Good deal, eh? Except that I didn’t upload this slidedeck—someone else did.
Scribd’s about page describes it as the place “where you publish, discover and discuss original writings and documents”. I’ve used it in the past to find all kinds of documents and there’s a lot to like about the site, but the keyword here is “original”. I really don’t mind sharing the slides—heck, I tell everyone at conferences to download them from my site—but on my Talks page I specifically ask people to obtain permission before re-publishing the slides elsewhere. It’s not a difficult thing to do. So far I’ve resisted putting a copyright notice on every slide, because I was hoping the common sense would apply, but apparently not for everyone.
I contacted Scribd’s customer support to see how I could take the ownership of the document in question. They replied that I would have to submit a DMCA copyright infringement notice and ask for the document to be taken down. I understand that this is their policy, but I think this is going overboard, especially for a case like mine. I really wanted to handle this in a polite manner and in such a way that people’s links to the document wouldn’t break instead of doing the dickish move of demanding it be removed completely. At the same time, I feel that the person who uploaded my slides without permission was wrong. Thus, I had no choice but to send the DMCA notice along with a request for the document to be re-assigned to me.
I would encourage everyone to be more careful in handling publicly available content. Please check for any restrictions on usage and publishing, and if in doubt—ask. This will help avoid resorting to heavy-handed stuff like DMCA notices.

Speaking at Dutch PHP Conference 2009

09 April 2009 » In PHP, Talks » 6 Comments

A couple of months ago I saw a teaser post from iBuildings about the new Dutch PHP Conference in Amsterdam this year. I really like Amsterdam, so I started racking my brain to see what kind of proposal I could submit. Not a day had passed when I got an email from Cal Evans asking if I would like to give the opening keynote at the conference. Success! Of course I agreed and suggested an additional talk about distributed processing with PHP, titled “All the Little Pieces”.
The line-up for the conference looks great: Xdebug’s Derick Rethans, php|architect’s Marco Tabini, Zend Framework architect Matthew Weier O’Phinney, security guru Stefan Esser, “RESTful” Ben Ramsey, PHP core developer Scott MacVicar and many others. The early bird pricing is available until April 30, so I would encourage you to take advantage of it and come see what is bound to be a great event.

Upcoming Talks

27 February 2009 » In PHP, Talks » 2 Comments

Here’s a breakdown of the talks I will be giving over the next couple of months.

PHP Québec Conference

VIM for (PHP) Programmers

Are you stuck choosing between Komodo, Zend Studio, PHPEdit, or Eclipse as your next IDE? Did you just come to Unix from Windows and wonder how to translate your “1337” Notepad skills to the new platform? Have you pulled out most of your hair struggling to make your current editor do something more complicated than proper indentation? Or do you feel that perhaps you use only 5% of VIM’s potential but desire to learn the true magic?

Then head over to this popular session and grab a seat, because you don’t want to be left standing when everyone else shows up to see what VIM has in store for PHP developers. Plus, it’ll help that hair grow back.

Andrei’s Regex Clinic

Regular Expressions: every developer’s best friend and worst nightmare!

Join Andrei Zmievski, PHP developer and author of the PHP Regex (PCRE) extension, on a journey that will take you from your first steps into the world of regular expressions to complete mastery of this most useful of tools.

A must for everyone who’s ever wondered what /(?\d+)bar/ means.


Mid-conference Keynote: The Future of PHP 6

After a brief hiatus, PHP 6 has picked up momentum and is on track for a release. Join Andrei as he covers the salient changes, updates, and new features of the next generation of our favorite language and how they can be useful in your everyday development.

International PHP Conference

intl me this, intl me that

What are the problems with and best solutions to translating your web site or application into other languages? This session will cover several approaches to this problem based on PHP, focusing on utilizing the new intl extension as well as other open source tools. Warning: some live translations may be performed for the audience!

All the Little Pieces: Distributed systems with PHP

Quick, what do memcache, MogileFS, and Gearman have in common? They are scalable, distributed technologies, and they can also interface with PHP, your ubiquitous Web development language. Digg uses all 3 (and a few more) in its quest for social news domination, and this session will share much of what we’ve learned about them and how they are best utilized with PHP.

The Present and Future of PHP

This keynote will explore the innovations coming with the next generation of PHP, the roadmap to development and delivery, and what you can do to be prepared when the big day comes.

Upcoming Conferences

04 February 2009 » In PHP, Talks » 1 Comment

Part of my job description at Digg is to speak, present, and evangelize publicly on a variety of technical issues including open source technologies and their adoption within Digg, so I thought I’d do an update on the upcoming conferences that I’ll be speaking at.
At PHP UK Conference – London (February 27) I’ll be giving my “intl me this, intl me that” talk that got high marks at the last OSCON. The talk covers problems with and approaches to translating your web applications.
For PHP Québec Conference – Montréal (March 4-6) I will have two familiar and popular talks, “Andrei’s Regex Clinic” and “VIM for (PHP) Programmers”.
And finally php|tek – Chicago (May 19-22) has asked me to do the mid-conference keynote on the state and future of PHP.
I’d better kick PHP 6 into gear.

UPDATE: I will not be at the PHP UK Conference due to a visa mishap.