php[tek] isn’t just about the sessions during the day. The experience extends into the evenings as well so that you can get the most out of the conference! Events range from additional opportunities to continue honing your craft via coding, or a chance to relax and make connections with your fellow attendees. Our events for this year are listed below:
Birds of a Feather (BoF)
This year, the Birds of a Feather event is back. If you are unfamiliar with a BoF, it’s a simple way for people to mingle together circled around a specific topic that they all share.
On the afternoon/evening of tutorial day, we will be setting up the Birds of a Feather in the hotel lobby/bar area. This event is open to all attendees and will be extremely low-key and informal. We will have cards on the tables giving suggested topics for discussion to get everyone started. Join in, buy yourself a drink, and pick a table that’s discussing an interesting topic–or start your own table & topic. Where the discussion goes is up to you!
We’re going to have a special summit on becoming or finding mentorship in PHP and tech. Six speakers will give lightning talks on how to share what you know, make new connections, mentor or get mentored in an online environment, and move your organization to adopt practices and knowledge you learn in the community. Come get free pizza and find out how to help build the PHP community while advancing your own career!
The tek13 hackathon is due some explanation. Why? The term “Hackathon” is applied to multiple types of events and that has caused confusion in the past. The tek13 hackathon is simply an open time & place to get together and hack on some code for an evening, while we provide refreshments.
Exactly what code gets worked on, completely depends upon the attendees themselves. It’s not a structured hackathon with specific APIs to use, nor are there any presentations or prizes at the end. Instead it’s a chance to take all the knowledge you’ve been learning during the day and put it to good use.
Usually there are multiple open source projects represented there, and all very willing to help a newbie out by introducing them to the project and getting them started on contributing to it. We’ve also had entire new projects conceived, hatched, and released during the hackathon! If you are interested in showing up and writing some code, whether for yourself, or joining up with an OSS project team and giving them a hand, you’ll be welcomed!
This section of the conference is run by the attendees themselves! Every year, we can only accept so many talks, and many great talks end up on the cutting room floor. Also, sessions for the conference are set months in advance, yet new technologies pop up constantly. The Uncon is the solution to this.
The unconference this year runs as a separate track on day 2. Attendees will submit uncon talk ideas on the first day of the conference to be voted upon all day long. At the end of the day, the uncon chair (not affiliated with the conference), will select the top sessions presented and schedule them for the next day. Once selected, the sessions will run just like a normal session.
Uncon sessions can vary wildly in their content and preparation level–from people who show up with fully formed presentations, to more open panel discussions about the latest hot topic. In the end, they are chosen by the attendees’ demand!
Yes, we do like to let down and relax as well, and tek13 will be no exception. This year we will have two evening parties to let you mingle and get to know your fellow attendees!
The parties are held in the Sheraton Grand ballroom, and will feature an open bar (for limited time), as well as some planned activities to keep you entertained. Previous years have included Rock Band, PHP Jeopardy, Xbox Gaming, game night, and more. You’ll have to come out to see what we will be doing this year…depending upon the evening, there might even be door prizes available!