Matt Trask

One year later - a look back at my year since SunshinePHP

February 02, 2017 | 3 Minute Read

You might be a hobbit if...

Once upon a time, I was called a hobbit. Well, not a hobbit per se, but I was told in no uncertain terms my place was in the shire. Dont get me wrong, there is some cool shit that goes on in the shire Im sure. Adventures to Mordor (Lets not talk about how they could have used Eagles and saved us a few hours), dragon fireworks, drinking, tons of food. Freaking paradise right? Well, it wasnt that nice, but after that incident and subsequent blog post I noticed it put in to motion a whole list of things that helped boost my career. But, in reality, the only thing Ive learned is that Im more like an ewok rather then a hobbit.

SunshinePHP 2016

SunshinePHP 2016 was my first conference. I brought it up and got the go ahead from my boss at the time. It was awesome, I felt like a kid in the lego aisle. Full of excitment and ready to have a good time. I knew a few people going, but it was the people I encountered that I can say changed my life. And not in some cheesy, feel good way. But I walked away from SunshingPHP emboldened to put my name out there. Because of that, 3 months after the conference, I got asked to join a start up. Got asked. I didnt have to apply, rather Jacques watched my progress on twitter and felt that I would add something to his team. I got to work with Elizabeth Smith, which was just amazing. From there, I kept pushing to be involved in the conversations around PHP. Internals, FIG, projects, anything I could. It culminated in my experience at SunshinePHP 2017.

SunshinePHP 2017

Besides the fact I had to be up at an ungodly hour, I arrived at Sunshine on Thursday and felt a surge of excitement. The biggest difference this year over last year is that rather then walking into this massive hotel alone and unsure of who is there, people were waiting for me to arrive. When I got there, I was immediately greeted by Emily Stamey, got to meet Elizabeth Smith in person (yes, we worked remote together and never got to meet in person) and Chris Hartjes, Cal Evans, Adam Culp, Joe Ferguson and so many more. Its because of my tenacity to be involved I went from "Hey, Im Matt. Nice to meet you" to "Its great to see you again, how are things?". It truly made for a better conference. The speakers dinner was absolutely phenominal. It was at a place called Cafe Versailles, one of the oldest Cuban restaurants in Miami. I had the pleasure to sit with Gabi D'Avilla, Anthony Ferrera and Elizabeth Smith. This would provide both fun conversation that night as well as multiple conversations and the start of great friendships over the weekend.

The conference could not have started on a better page. Cal had a great talk, something that I felt was a real inspiration for everyone. I got a chance to see a sneak peak of it, and was happy to see it presented. He had 10 principles as badges which he treats like the badges we see for code coverage/version/maintainers. Even though there were some great talks lined up, I spent most of the day in the uncon and hallway track. Its such a struggle when there are great talks taking place, and yet everyone says find time to get into the hallway track. The first uncon talk was a loosely structured conversation about the internals from Internals developers Elizabeth Smith, Davey Shafik, and Anthony Ferrera. It was awesome to have some of the PHP source code demysitifed a bit by the people who have had a hand in shaping it.

The continued on with a great talk from David Stanley about how they migrated a production database and wrote a migration tool with the Symfony Console Component. After that it was mostly hanging out.

(to be continued...)

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