Southeast PHP - It's a wrap!
I think that’s how I ended the first ever Southeast PHP. After a year and a half of planning, a few times where we wondered if it was even possible, a few times where we were ready to quit and a few times the community surprised us the PHP Community converged into Nashville for two days of learning, networking, and more.
We couldn’t have done it without the speakers, the attendees, the volunteers and everyone else. We saw so many things that made us know this was worth it from Larry Garfield sitting down for about 2 hours or so with a brand new developer to teach her how to work on a certain product. We saw friends who don’t get to see each other often hang out for two days and had an amazing speakers dinner.
As I think through the last two days, I dont think there was anything bad. I just double checked but we had zero code of conduct violations and that was our biggest fear. No one wants to deal with a code of conduct violation and it just so happened that we didnt have to deal with it.
I think the worst thing we dealt with was a speaker who didnt get into contact with us til just two hours before their talk on the last day. But we were surrounded by world class speakers so we knew to have something lined up. If this is the worst we dealt with at the actual conference, I call that a win.
Our projectors were not so great. We got them from a local business for free, so we can’t complain much, but we could have done better. We also should not have waited til the second day to move the projectors around to help make the ballroom have two strong projectors but it is what it is. The first day lunch was billed as Nashville Hot Chicken, but if that was Nashville Hot Chicken then I am the Queen of England. Another thing we didn’t think of was that there weren’t many places in the main hallway where people could gather. That definitely is something we could have fixed but we missed.
So much stuff. Every speaker brought their A-game and it showed. We had talks ranging from beginner talks all the way up to in depth deep dives to the core of PHP. We had talks about working on making diversity a priority, overcoming your fear of failure, how to build world class software teams, to what it’s like to have a mental health issue while working as a developer.
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