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.

Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd

Current Versions of PHP

(Make sure you are up to date!)

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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!


PHP Conference Asia 2016
August 22 – 24, 2016 · Singapore

Bulgaria PHP
October 7-9, 2016 · Sofia, Bulgaria*

Zendcon 2016
October 18-21, 2016 · Las Vegas, NV*

November 14-18, 2016 · Washington, DC

Madison PHP 2016
September 20 – October 1, 2016 · Madison, WI

ConFoo Vancouver
December 5-7, 2016 · Vancouver, Canada

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

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