Thursday, August 4, 2011

ZendCon for Mere Mortals

As we ramp up our plans for ZendCon
, the annual PHP conference run by Zend, I have been asked time and again what would attract the IBM i crowd to our annual conference. If you have any suggestions please feel free to share as I am always open to leverage other people's IP just like most of the PHP community. But seriously, we have all the right things planned for IBM folks like good technical content surrounding the new open source toolkit. Tony Cairns will emerge from the depths of the Rochester labs to share a little of the new toolkit's plumbing. Alan Seiden will be on hand with the best-of-the-best practices and a capstone session that will blow the lid off of anything you have seen lately that will include announcements, success stories and much more. So what else would the IBM i faithful want? How about good PHP content?

You see, this is what is so AWESOME about PHP. Nearly EVERY session at ZendCon applies to the IBM i customer as well as the Linux/windows crew. Sure there will be the odd session on Cluster Management which we do not need to be concerned with as IBM has taken good care of us from a scalability and up time perspective. But BUNCHES of other sessions like…
LinkZend Framework! See what is new and exciting about ZF and maybe a sneak preview of ZF2. This is the nice thing about PHP on IBM i; it support Zend Framework completely. Anything you see regarding ZF at ZendCon can apply to IBM i as well.

SOA and Web Services seem to work well in the IBM i community. I have spoken to several customers leveraging Web Services within their infrastructure. One of my customers is using it as glue in a cross-platform environment! So if you have disparate systems or even want a better way to explore program-to-program communication some of these session on REST or SOA might do the trick.

Web 3.0 anyone? I have no idea if that is a real term, but figured I’d coin it before Steve Jobs does. What do I mean? Simply that we are about to turn the corner on the next generation of the Web using HTML 5, CSS 3 and Flash/Flex, regardless of what Calacanis says!. Also concepts like context-sensitive applications side by side with mobile are part of this new REQUIREMENT. Yes, all these will be quite well represented at ZendCon. But wait, you say, these technologies have nothing to do directly with PHP. And to that I would say "yes" and "no". We all know the entire purpose of PHP as a server centric language is to produce something the browser can digest. These technologies are fair game and very digestible by today’s browsers. If you are still dependent upon IE6 then I would say you NEED these sessions!

All this and more like certification testing, demos in the expo area, simply the best sponsors in the community, killer nightlife and the uncon will make the ZendCon value proposition not only attractive to the PHP faithful, but especially to the IBM i PHP faithful. Oh, and did I mention the annual IBM i evening event? I think my good buddy the elePHPant will be stopping by too. Yes, lots of good things for IBM i PHP developers, managers and analysts than just the awesome IBM i sessions. Check it out for yourself!