ZendCon 2015 starts October 19

This year’s ZendCon has a new location—Las Vegas—and more IBM i speakers than ever, including:

  • Tony Cairns (IBM)
  • Massimiliano Cavicchioli (Zend)
  • Jim Oberholtzer (Agile Technology Architects)
  • Mike Pavlak (Zend)
  • Stephanie Rabbani (BCD)
  • Chuk Shirley (Sabel Steel)
  • Shlomo Vanunu (Zend)
  • and myself, Alan Seiden (Alan Seiden Consulting)

Tutorial day, Oct. 19, is recommended at this premier PHP conference. I’ll present “Db2 and PHP in Depth,” a three-hour tutorial of techniques for using IBM i’s native database, which can help make PHP applications more secure, easier to write, and faster. I’ll also present new features of Db2 and PHP’s Db2 interface that were inspired largely by comments and requests of past ZendCon attendees. Special guest Tony Cairns from IBM is expected, too, for a lively discussion about practical PHP development on IBM i. Bring your questions.

Later in the week I’ll present “Create a welcoming development environment on IBM i,” based on my experience leading PHP projects for IBM i, and “Strategic Modernization with PHP,” which shows the possibilities on the IBM i platform and the strengths of various approaches. Expect to hear valuable advice from your colleagues, too.

I’m looking forward to attending talks, talking to sponsors, chatting with many of my blog and newsletter readers, meeting clients, and getting to know Rogue Wave, the company that recently acquired Zend.

Information about ZendCon: http://zendcon.com

Zendcon 2014 promo video for IBM i users

About Zendcon:

ZendCon+Tutorial discount expires Aug. 31

ZendCon, the premier PHP conference, October 27-30, 2014, in Santa Clara, California, has a discount expiring August 15 31 (extended!). When you register, be sure to include the tutorial day (Oct. 27). If you already registered but forgot to add the tutorial day, you can contact the organizers via a link at the bottom of the registration page. Among other half-day tutorials, I’ll be presenting two focused on IBM i:

  • PHP Performance on IBM i
    • If you’re interested in performance of PHP, or IBM i generally, in order to scale your application up to meet increased user demand, or if you have specific performance needs right now, you’ll want to attend.
    • Additional insight to be provided by IBM’er Tony Cairns (see below)
    • Testimonial from last year: “Our process now runs 30-50% faster, thanks to one tip from Alan’s presentation.”
      —Mike Meszaros, Software Developer, Specialty Pipe & Tube
  • DB2 with PHP in Depth
    • DB2 on IBM i has received major enhancements over the past year, including a dozen new settings in the PHP ibm_db2 middleware. Hear  how they can help improve security, performance, and stability. Other topics will include, but not be limited to:
      • Basic topics (with added commentary to make it interesting for everyone) such as library lists, prepared queries for security, persistent connections
      • DB2 in frameworks
        • Zend Framework 2
          • Including pagination (page-at-a-time logic)
        • Status of PDO and how it can be used in Laravel and other frameworks
      • The real scoop about modernization and the DDS vs. DDL (SQL) debate
      • Connecting to IBM i’s DB2 from Windows and Linux and other IBM i partitions
      • How to link MySQL-based applications (WordPress, etc.) to DB2 with the DB2 Storage Engine, with special tips
      • Using DB2’s HTTP features to make PHP-based web services even more accessible, including to allow RPG to call PHP and get results back
      • How to optimize queries
      • Strategies to safely open your application to the public
      • Topics and questions that YOU request (contact me in advance if you wish)

My co-presenter for tutorials will be IBM’s Tony Cairns, who helped bring PHP to the IBM i in the first place. He also created XMLSERVICE (toolkit back-end) and is a maintainer of ibm_db2 on the IBM i. One reason Tony comes to ZendCon is to hear from attendees such as yourselves. Normally he stays locked up in his lab. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet him. Watch Tony and me argue and debate in front of the class!

I’m also presenting a session during the regular conference about the PHP Toolkit for IBM i. I’ve updated my presentation with new features of the toolkit and best practices for calling RPG and COBOL.

ZendCon‘s topics are generally advanced ones to enable professional, enterprise-ready development practices. There’s also an IBM i track and plenty of networking time so that IBM i users of PHP can learn from speakers and each other, making the conference appropriate for intermediate users of PHP on IBM i as well.

Hope to see you there, October 27-30, 2014! Remember to register for tutorial day when you register for the conference. Get in touch with questions you’d like answered during my presentations.

Zend/PHP 2011 Photos, Part 1 (IBM i)

IBM i had a solid presence at ZendCon, the Zend/PHP conference. IBM itself was a sponsor and staffed a booth (Tim Rowe and Tony Cairns). Here are a few photos from the conference. I’ll post more when I get time.

IBM i for Business / PHP pin

PHP/IBM i pin given out at IBM booth at ZendCon 2011

Chris Pharo from CrossPointe LLC's UnCon presentation showing green screen and PHP webified version

Chris Pharo from Crosspointe, LLC, demonstrating how their "TERMS 2020" school district ERP package evolved from a green screen interface to PHP/web, all on IBM i

Alan Seiden with elePHPant at ZendCon 2011

Alan with elePHPant

ZendCon 2010

The 2010 “Zend/PHP Conference” welcomed the full range of the PHP community: open source contributors, small businesses, practitioners of diverse technologies and platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Linux, and IBM i, and the largest names in technology and business: Adobe, GE, the New York Stock Exchange. All these contributed energy and momentum to ZendCon.

I presented two talks (slides: http://alanseiden.com/presentations) and attended many more (slides: http://joind.in/event/ZendCon2010), given by some of the top names in IBM i and PHP. Beyond the great value of scheduled sessions, though, ZendCon offered even more.

As noted by Zend’s co-founder Andi Gutmans in his opening address, ZendCon’s value comes not only from scheduled sessions but from those unscheduled conversations in the hallway, at meals, and at evening networking events. ZendCon is about sharing knowledge, solving problems, and building relationships.

Personal highlights:

  • Alison Butterill’s presentation about IBM’s strong commitment to PHP
  • Susan Gantner’s sessions about interweaving RPG, PHP, and MySQL’s DB2 Storage Engine
  • Meeting Sam Pinkhasov from Zend’s R&D lab. He has such great knowledge that one time I followed him all around the conference center and into the elevator, peppering him with questions, before I finally let him go on the 5th floor.
  • The speaker’s reception, IBM i reception, and Disney-sponsored reception
  • Helping two people with their Apache configurations on IBM i. I continued to work on one of their configurations for 15 minutes after the lights were turned out, finding the command keys by feel alone. (Does that make me a geek?)
  • The Zend Framework roundtable where I got to ask the developers my burning questions.

I want to thank my employer, Strategic Business Systems, Inc., for allowing me to come and speak at ZendCon.

Below are my photos from the conference. I hope to return to ZendCon next year and to see many of you there!

P.S. For those of you in the New York area, come see me co-lead a roundtable recap of the conference at NY-PHP on November 23, 2010.

Andi Gutmans giving his opening keynote at ZendCon 2010

Andi Gutmans giving his opening keynote

Ray Taylor and I chatting before my web services talk at Zendcon 2010

Ray Taylor and I chatting before my web services talk

elePHPant with a fan at ZendCon 2010

elePHPant with a fan

IBM i networking event at ZendCon 2010

IBM i networking event

Ryan Watkins and Alison Butterill at the IBM booth, Zendcon 2010

Ryan Watkins and Alison Butterill at the IBM booth

Leverage the Power of IBM i Zend PHP button

"Leverage the power of IBM i" Zend PHP button

Susan Gantner speaking about RPG + PHP at ZendCon 2010

Susan Gantner speaking about RPG, PHP, and MySQL