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Chris Weldon

A savvy software engineer and agilist, Chris slings code in C#, but has also been known for commanding fleets of systems. He's currently a Tech Lead at Wolters Kluwer.

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Well, I’ve been at the Zend/PHP conference in San Jose, CA since Sunday. The tutorials began on Monday, and with the beginning, I recognized a HUGE diversity gap. There were plenty of Americans, Canadians and Britans who were speaking English, but as I sit here typing this there are 3 individuals speaking French (could be Canadian and not French individuals, don’t know specifically). Additionally, there is a lot of Hebrew floating around. I had forgotten on the first day that the Zend company is headquartered in Israel, so this would explain the Hebrew. It’s different - OSCON was nothing like this.

The conference is going well thus far. The two tutorials I attended were “PHP Development Best Practices” and “Extending PHP”. I think when I first signed up to take Extending PHP, I was thinking it was something other than writing extensions. I had attended a seminar at OSCON about writing extensions, and I was thoroughly unimpressed. It was quick and didn’t really catch my interest. However, the speakers giving it this time really caught my attention, despite their assumption that everyone in the classroom knew C. Nevertheless, although I was not understanding half of the lecture, it does make me want to learn C so that I can go through and create PHP extensions for my business (and possibly TAMU).

I got to network with several individuals at a ZCE & Speaker only party on Monday evening, and it was quite intriguing. I learned about ExtremeBlue (a very unique programming challenge for students) from 3 IBM representatives (2 from the UK one from Canada), and finally met Paul Reinheimer - the individual who trained me online for the PHP ZCE Certification. Additionally, I got to talk to several individuals with superior cameras (D200 and SP-D800 flashes) and I’m totally envious and know what I’m going to upgrade to. I also got to talk with Chris Shifflet who seems like a real laid-back individual, but quite intelligent when it comes to PHP.

In any case, the first Keynote of the day is about to begin. Gotta run.