Dutch PHP Conference 2011

I am pleased and proud to announce that I will be presenting at this years Dutch PHP Conference from May 19th to the 21st in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

I will be giving a tutorial on the basics of optimizing MySQL along with a session on character sets. I, in particular, look forward to the tutorial since it covers areas that I find fascinating – query and server optimization.

On a personal note, neither I or my husband have ever been to Amsterdam before. So since we have never yet had the opportunity to play tourist there, my husband plans to join me on the trip for the conference. We hope to play tourist while there and at least see the Van Gogh museum. Though hopefully we will get to see much more then just that.

BarCamp Orlando is announced!

I missed last years BarCamp Orlando since it was being held Easter weekend. This year I am hoping to make it!

This year it will be Saturday, April 2, 2011 from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm at:

Wall St. Cantina
19 N Orange Ave
Orlando, FL 32801

Not sure if I will present yet.. But thinking about it.

PHP Benelux Conference

I have to admit – I am both pleased as punch, and jealous as heck that my colleague, Geert Vanderkelen, will be presenting a MySQL Performance Tuning tutorial at this years PHP Benelux Conference.

Lots of stuff will be discussed, including configuration, understanding status variables, finding bad queries, schema tips, etc.

Wonder if he will let me steal away in his luggage?

Presenting at Day Camp for Developers

I am honored to announce that I will be presenting at Day Camp 4 Developers #2: Telecommuting.

I will be presenting on what for me is a constant struggle – to balance your home and work life when you telecommute. I must admit that I and my family fight with this every day.

If you want learn more about telecommuting, what is involved, what tools are needed and how to talk to your boss about setting up a telecommuting program, I hope you will consider joining us!

Collaborate 2011

I am very pleased to say that I have been accepted to speak at Collaborate 2011. This is an Oracle conference that is being held in Orlando, Florida and is run by the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and Quest International Users Group (Quest).

All of my previous presentations have to this point been at conferences that are primarily targeted at the PHP coders of the world. As a member of that community, I have always felt comfortable there – talking to and with PHP coders.

This however, seems to be a different kettle of fish.

This Oracle conference seems to be rather large (5000+ according to the site) with lots of content on many different subject areas. I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but I definitely intend to cruise through the various tracks and sit in on sessions that I normally do not have exposure to (BI/Data Warehousing, Master Data Management, and Professional Development).

That being said, I wish it was possible for me to also be attending the MySQL User Conference. It is being held the same week as Collaborate in Santa Clara, California. I will miss catching up with many of my good friends as they attend the user conference while I am at Collaborate. But I know that there is always next year.

Zend Con

I sat through a number of sessions while at Zend Con this year and they were all wonderful. As a MySQL person I have to admit a preference to anything DB related – just to give you a heads up…

Day 1:
Documents, documents, documents by Matthew Weier O’Phinney. I particularly enjoyed that this was focused on the software architectural design and was system agnostic for the document database.
Technical Debt by Elizabeth Naramore. Her no nonsense discussion and interaction with the audience kept this discussion interesting and engaging. The ideas and concepts discussed were something that every developer and manager should understand.
Demystifying PostgreSQL by Asher Snyder. I have been wanting to look at PostgreSQL for years, I just never seem to have the time to do it. This was a nice intro to the system and its capabilities which I have to admit, are pretty dang cool.

Day 2:
– EXPLAIN – yeah it was my own talk, but hey – I was there!
Pragmatic Guide to Git by Travis Swicegood Travis is a gifted speaker that manages to draw you in with his enthusiasm. His clear logical walk through of the basics of Git covers all the commands that a beginner will need.
Infobright DB by Jeff Kibler This was a talk that I originally went to mostly out of curiosity. Once they started I found myself highly interested (data warehousing and mining is an interest of mine) not just for what they did – but how they did it.
Welcome to the Dark Side: We have Brownies by Josh Holmes. The talk was informative, engaging, and just all around fun. Turns out Microsoft isn’t so bad after all… I mean – they had brownies even 😀

Day 3:
Umm – slept late and then just practiced my last talk… Since it was on the last set of talks on the last day..

Missed a number of keynotes – did some volunteer work manning the PHP Community booth, but really enjoyed the “Dries” and “ROI” ones.

The various parties/after-parties (official and otherwise) were awesome with more then a few hangovers showing up the next day.

And as a minor side note – I also really enjoyed the Running MySQL at Scale tech talk at Facebook while I was there. Learned quite a bit and also got to see Domas again. I missed his brand of craziness.

Zend Con – Tutorial Day

Had a great day. Sat in on the ZCE bootcamp (parts 1 & 2) and attended the speakers dinner.

I have to admit that I am very rusty with my PHP, which is why I wanted to sit in on the ZCE Bootcamp. I figured if anything the bootcamp would at least remind me of all that I have forgotten – and it did… it was scary how much I have forgotten. Christian did a fantastic job, keeping what could have been bland, boring information interesting and engaging. He has some real brain ticklers in his deck that more then showed me how much I have lost. If you are thinking of going for your ZCE – I can not recommend his tutorials enough.

Afterwards I eventually made it to the Speakers dinner and again had a great time talking to old and new friends. Had some fantastic talks through the night from the technical to the personal (Michelangelo, I promise I will keep thinking about what you said).

Unfortunately the timezone changes caught up with me so went up to bed at about 9PM (midnight my time). I always forget how much the time differences can take out of you.

Go Pink in October!

In honor of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month I am temporarily changing my blog theme to the “One Day at a Time” theme for the month of October.

My family has a history with breast cancer so while I do not say much about it, this is a subject near and dear to my heart. In my case, it was a male member of the family that was diagnosed a few years ago. He unfortunately found out about it too late and passed away within 6 months of the diagnosis. So men, though this is primarily discussed in association with women, you also need to take care.

Since the percentage of men getting breast cancer is so low and my grandmother had ovarian cancer as well (there is a link between the two), my mother was tested for the BRCA1 and 2 genes and thankfully was cleared. Admittedly this does not mean I can not get breast cancer, but does rule out the genetic factor – mostly. Because of my family history, I am still checked every 6 months and get an annual mammogram even though I am younger then is normally recommended (40).

Breast Cancer effects us all.

Some links:
American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp
National Cancer Institute – Breast Cancer: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast
Relay for Life: http://www.relayforlife.org/relay/
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: http://www.nbcam.org/
Susan G Komen Foundation: http://ww5.komen.org/
Save the ta-tas: http://www.savethetatas.com/index.php/mission/
Genetic testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancer risk: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/Genetic-Testing-for-Breast-and-Ovarian-Cancer-Risk

Attending Day Camp for Developers

For a while now I have focused almost exclusively on developing my technical skills for work. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I find that it doesn’t always help me get to that next level in my career.

So to try and improve myself on all those “soft skills” that I either don’t have or never thought I needed, I will be attending the Day Camp for Developers online conference.

It is a technology agnostic, inexpensive (only $35), one day (Saturday, November 6th), online event. Check it out!

Day Camp for Devs

Attending Tampa Bay BarCamp

I have never been to a barcamp so far – though I have been wanting to go. As far as I know my local Jacksonville doesn’t hold one so I have to go further out to try and find fellow geeks. Up until now I have either heard about the barcamps after they occur or in the case of the Orlando barcamp, it is during a major holiday weekend so… yeah family doesn’t like that.

I am currently planning to attend the Tampa Barcamp on the Dev day (Sept 26th) with my good friend Davey Shafik. And like a good camper (think that is the term they use), I have a few MySQL talks ready to present if the crowd wants/picks them for the schedule. I am both excited and happy to finally be able to lose my complete n00b status and be able to say I have been to a barcamp!

Tampa BarCamp