July 2016 Newsletter

Word for the Herd

2016-07 Debt

For the past 11 years, I have worked to help build the PHP community. I was by no means alone in this effort and honestly, I wasn’t even the biggest player.

Some people ask me why I’ve done this. The answer to that question is easy, somebody needed to and everyone else was busy.

Other people ask my the more difficult question, how have I done this? To answer them, I will sum up the how in this one simple phrase, “Pay it forward.” When I see someone who needs help, I try to help them. I don’t try, because they can do something for me in the future. I try because in my career countless people have helped me get to where I am. I recognize and openly embrace the debt I owe to the people and do my best to look for ways to repay it forward.

Sometimes, this is as complex as sitting down with someone and helping them understand a technical concept. Other times, it is as simple as giving user groups books and tickets to raffle off. The difficulty or the value of the gesture doesn’t matter, the consistency does.

Make some time in your schedule to sit and reflect on your career. Look for the people that have helped you move your career forward. Those are the debts you need to repay. Whether it is someone who helped you personally, or the over 2,000 people who have contributed their time to create PHP, the language you make your living with, my guess is you will find that you owe a debt.

The next step is of course to start looking for ways to repay your debt. Volunteer to speak at your local user group. Volunteer to go talk to a school about programming. Reach out to someone on a mailing list that has a question and take the time to give a details and complete answer. (It is perfectly ok to use your answer to them as a blog post as well.)

However you feel is best, if you recognize that others have helped you get to where you are, actively try to help someone else get to where they want to be.

=C=
Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd


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GET INVOLVED!

Have you checked to see if there is a local PHP user group near you? Visit PHP.UG and see if there is a PHP user group near you. If you find one, get involved!


Conferences

PHP Conference Asia 2016
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* = Cal will be in attendance and have Nomad PHP stickers and patches.

June 2016 Newsletter

Word for the Herd

2016-06 Renewal

Summer is here! For many that means that the kids are home from school, vacations are being planned, and the BBQ grill is out and being used on a regular basis. (Ok, to be honest, here in Florida, US, we have grilling weather most of the year.)

Life is busy for most of us but during the summer, things seem to pick up a bit. Make sure and make time for yourself during this summer. If you have a vacation planned, set aside some time just to sit and reflect. Park yourself in a chair or on a blanket somewhere peaceful with your favorite beverage, (adult or otherwise) and just pause.

Where is your career? Do you like the direction it is headed in? Reflect back on past jobs and what you liked about them. See your career arc and make sure it is headed in the direction you want.

If it is, awesome, spend time thinking about all the good times you’ve had in your current job and past. Focus on the things you like about what you do and where you do it. Remember why you do what you do.

If things are not going in the direction you want, spend some time figuring out exactly what you do want. Don’t try to solve the problem or figure out how to get where you want to be, that is for another day. Today, figure out where you want to be.

Make this summer a time of renewal for you and your career. Come home from vacation remembering why you do what you do, why you enjoy it, and anxious to get back to it.

=C=
Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd


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* = Cal will be in attendance and have Nomad PHP stickers and patches.

May 2016 Newsletter

Word for the Herd

2016-05 Encourage

Recently I saw this on Twitter:

“It’s never your successful friends posting the inspirational quotes.”

I know Social Media can be a wasteland of memes, useless advice, and yes, motivational quotes, but this one is just depressing. Not because I think it might be true, but because of the very narrow scope of the word ”successful” that is being applied here. The author of the tweet seems to think that success can only be measured in a single way and of the people he knows that have achieved a measure of this success, they don’t encourage others.

You determine what success is for you. You and only you can decide what you being “successful” looks like. Yes, society likes to pressure us into thinking that success in one area is “true success” but you are under no obligation to accept that definition.

I am of the belief that success is a pursuit, not a goal in and of itself. I am not “successful” I am pursuing success in my own way. One of the ways I measure my personal success is in emails I get from people that I have helped along the way. People who take the time to say thank you. This is one of the currencies in my life and without them, I do not consider myself successful.

Therefore, how can I help but encourage as many people as I can, each and every day? It is the only way I will be successful. I don’t pretend that my daily good morning tweets change anything in the grand scheme, they aren’t supposed to. Their sole purpose is to help you – and me – get the day off on a good foot. Sometimes I try to being a smile to your lips, sometimes, I try to motivate you to help someone else. Regardless of the point, my encouragements are ephemeral. They will be gone as soon as they slip off your screen.

If I do it enough though, and if enough people see it, maybe someone will be encouraged. Maybe someone will start their day off a little brighter. Maybe someone will find the strength to encourage someone else. If that happens, I am successful.

=C=
Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd


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GET INVOLVED!

Have you checked to see if there is a local PHP user group near you? Visit PHP.UG and see if there is a PHP user group near you. If you find one, get involved!


Conferences

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August 4-5, 2016 · Charlottetown, PE Canada*

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* = Cal will be in attendance and have Nomad PHP stickers and patches.

April 2016 Newsletter

Word for the Herd

2016-04 Speak

If you read the “Word for the Herd” regularly, you’ll realize that I’ve already used “Speak”. That’s ok, it is important and needs to be repeated. We are about see a flurry of Fall/Winter CfPs open. Zend just opened ZendCon’s, others will quickly follow. As these CfPs open, remember, there is no better time than right now to decide to start speaking at user groups and conferences.

Start Locally

If you are not sure that you are ready to speak at a conference yet, pitch your local user group. The PHP community has a great network of user groups spanning the globe. Most of which would love to have you speak to them about your pet project or something new you have learned.

Start Small

If you’ve never given a talk before, start with a lightning talk. Most user groups have slots set aside for short 5-10 minute talks called lightning talks. Seasoned speakers use these to test out new topics, but new speakers can use them to see if they are interested in public speaking at all.

Resources

Here are the things you need if you are interested in speaking, or upping your game as a speaker.

Speaking Tips from a Grizzled Speaker

Josh Holmes wrote a great blog post about speaking. Bookmark it and read it at least once a month until you can quote it from memory.

The CFP Report

You can’t speak if you miss the CfPs. Join The CFP Report mailing list and we’ll give you a list of the open CfPs as often as you like. (Once a day to once a week)

Nomad PHP Lightning Talks

Subscribers already know about this but if you’ve never been to a meeting, you might not know that we present three lightning talks per month at our meetings. Joe Ferguson manages the lightning talks program and he is always looking for new speakers. Got an idea? Email joe at joe@nomadphp.com and pitch. If you’ve never seen one of our lightning talks, they are all posted on our YouTube channel and free to everyone.

You know something that others don’t, share it. Sign up to speak at a conference, a user group, or a lightning talk. Help us all be better developers.

=C=
Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd


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GET INVOLVED!

Have you checked to see if there is a local PHP user group near you? Visit PHP.UG and see if there is a PHP user group near you. If you find one, get involved!


Conferences

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May 28-29, 2016 · Belgrade, Serbia

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* = Cal will be in attendance and have Nomad PHP stickers and patches.

March 2016 Newsletter

Word for the Herd

2016-03 Share

I talk a lot about community, to dang near anyone who will listen. Community however isn’t the end game. Community is an means to an end. The end is sharing. We are all better off when we share what we know. Software development – specifically web development – is built on top of shared knowledge. Everything we do, we do because someone shared what they knew so that others could learn, and discover new things.

At Nomad PHP, we believe in sharing. We started the Lighting Talks program so that our community has the opportunity to share with not only with it’s members but with anyone who wants to learn. We need your help though. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a speaker or not, you know something that other’s don’t. We want you to share that so that others can learn, grow, and build on your knowledge.

Join our growing list of speakers who have shared what they know with others. Contact Joe Ferguson (joe@nomadphp.com) and schedule your lightning talk today. Learn by sharing.

=C=
Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd


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GET INVOLVED!

Have you checked to see if there is a local PHP user group near you? Visit PHP.UG and see if there is a PHP user group near you. If you find one, get involved!


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* = Cal will be in attendance and have Nomad PHP stickers and patches.