September 2016 Newsletter

Word for the Herd

2016-09 Help

One of my favorite songs is “Help Somebody” by Van Zant. it’s a beautiful, soulful country song that, among other things exhorts the listener to “…help somebody if you can.” It doesn’t matter if you like country music or not, we should all be able to agree that the hook on this song is a sentiment that we can all get behind. All of us should be willing to help someone when we can.

I spend a lot of time talking to members of the PHP community. I’ve seen the worst of this community – the times when we are tearing each other apart – and I’ve seen the best. In the ten years I’ve had the privilege of being a part of this community, I’ve seen it gather ‘round its own, take up collections, and work to give it’s members a leg up. In my thirty some-odd years of programming, this community is unique in this aspect. I’ve been part of other great communities, but never one so willing to help their own.

You are a member of a wonderful community. As a member, you need to look for ways to help. It could be that you donate to help someone over a rough patch. That’s not the only way to help, though. Donating is a visible way to, but there are other ways.

You can help someone by sharing their content. If someone is trying to get reach on a blog post, podcast, or project, help by sharing. Then go the extra mile, reach out to some of your influencers privately and ask them to share as well.

You can help by caring. We’ve all got to keep an eye on each other. A lot of us are distributed, freelance, and sometimes we don’t have a support network. If you have someone you talk to regularly on social media and they go radio silent, reach out to them privately and make sure they are doing ok. (I suck at this, seriously.) Sometimes, somebody just needs to know that they aren’t all alone.

You can help by recognizing. There are people in this community who have done things for you. Maybe they wrote your favorite library, maybe they gave a talk a conference that helped you through a technical issue, maybe their latest book was just what you needed to solve a problem. Whatever the reason, if someone has touched your life or career for the better, you can help by publicly recognizing them. Say thank you and let the rest of us know what they did so that we can say thank you too.


“fight your fights,
find your grace,
and all the things that you can’t change
and help somebody if you can…”

Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd

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Madison PHP 2016
September 30 – October 1, 2016 · Madison, WI

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

October 29, 2016 · Edinburgh, Scotland

November 14-18, 2016 · Washington, DC

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

PHP Benelux
January 27-28, 2017 · Antwerp, Belgium

Sunshine PHP
February 2-4, 2017 · Miami, FL*

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

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