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A (Slightly) New Type of Conference – PHPCruise


As a developer conference organizer, I’m always paying attention to what “works” the best and what keeps conference attendees together. How about a conference where everyone is on a boat at sea? Genius, right? A cruise ship has the perfect set up – a main room that is large enough to hold all the attendees and smaller rooms for breakout sessions, food available at all times, and your room within minutes away. What better event can you imagine to have the opportunity to really connect and network with the conference attendees?

What is PHPCruise?

PHPCruise is a 2nd annual event, where the last event took place in 2004 and has been a success. Due to a high number of requests of having this conference again, it has returned to 2016 even better than before! Lasting 7 days during the days of July 17 – July 24, it was full of amazing sessions including family tracks where all ages can enjoy learning programming.

Cisco DevNet <3 PHP

I was invited to speak on APIs and also set up a sponsorship with Cisco DevNet, which was an amazing opportunity to get DevNet’s name out in the PHP community. It was really exciting to give out swag to people and talk about our APIs that I am very passionate about. I don’t think of myself as the “corporate” Cisco person, I think of myself as someone who absolutely loves to help developers find ways to make their work easier and I love getting to know everyone and learning about what they do.


The Sessions

I had the opportunity here to be a speaker at the event as the opening talk. My talk was “Nom Nom: Consuming Rest APIs” where I educated the audience on the basics of REST APIs and how to make their first API calls by using the Cisco Spark API and the Tropo API as a use case. If anyone in the audience has never used an API before, they’d be familiar with Cisco Spark and/or Tropo and would be able to go home and play around with the APIs without being stuck. Of course, if they got stuck they would know to contact me, so it’s very convenient.

There were so many great sessions that I had major debates within myself on which one I should attend. There were two breakout sessions every hour. After several days of conferencing, we received a two-day break to relax and enjoy ourselves, and then we came back to another full day of workshops and sessions. I was very excited to get back into it and get my learning on. During the first few days of the conference, I watched some great sessions that I felt was very beneficial to myself. One included a session on how to hack Minecraft. As a new player of Minecraft, I found this very fascinating!


I also watched a few other great ones that still “stuck” in my memory, including Samantha Quiñones speaking on “Hacking the Human Interface” and Graham Daniels “Life Driven Development: Striving for Balance. Although I think of these few speakers as some of the greatest speakers I’ve ever watched, everyone else was amazing too! Each speaker had something different to offer and was able to share a different set of knowledge to all of us.


Should You Go?

As this is the second event and there were no plans of continuing this conference, there may be a chance that this event happens again next year for 2017 as there has been a lot of expressed interest of current attendees wanting to go again and other developers who missed out on their chance this year wanting to go to the next event. I would definitely recommend this event as you get a full educational experience and get to relax and enjoy a fun week at the same time.

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