php[tek] 2014 Keynotes

March 28, 2014

I’m quite happy to say that I’ll be one of two keynote speakers at php[tek] 2014! The opening keynote is from Terry Chay, Director of Features Engineering for Wikimedia Foundation. He’ll be discussing the technology challenges faced by Wikipedia. On the second morning, I’ll relay an inspiring story about how to get where you want to be in your career, based upon my own experiences.

The conference takes place in the great city of Chicago (well, just outside of the city), from May 21st to the 23rd, with training and tutorial days preceding the conference itself. You can read on to get more details about the two keynotes, and don’t forget to check the full schedule and speaker list on the php[tek] website to see all the other great talks that are being offered.

Inside the Tech Challenges of Wikimedia Engineering

Wikipedia is the 5th largest website on the Internet, and there a number of factors that make it a veritable challenge for the engineering team: working with existing legacy infrastructure, leveraging innovative new technologies without pissing off the community, and doing it all without taking the site down or sacrificing performance. In this keynote, Wikimedia Director of Features Engineering Terry Chay will pull back the curtain on how Wikipedia tackles its technical hurdles, demonstrating how to apply creative approaches to sticky situations when managing and growing large-scale websites.

Bio: Terry Chay is Director of Features Engineering at the Wikimedia Foundation. In previous lives, he worked at Automattic (WordPress), grew, architected, and sustained the third largest social network in the U.S., and developed the largest revenue-generating product for Plaxo (later purchased by Comcast) as their first web engineer.

How to Get There

I work for Stripe, a major startup player, and I’m a successful developer, writer, instructor, and speaker, but way back when, I was just a graduate holding an English Literature degree with a minor in Philosophy and Religion. How in the world did I get from there to here? Reflecting upon the path I’ve taken, I’ve come to the conclusion that success and achievement aren’t just about learning X or Y technologies. You have to have the right attitudes and behaviors to succeed. Whether you want to be a developer, the founder of a startup, a writer, or whatever, in this presentation, I’ll explain what you need to know and do to get to where you want to be.

Bio: Larry Ullman is a bestselling writer of more than 20 books, published in over 20 languages around the world. Larry has been an active web developer since 1999 with an emphasis on PHP and MySQL (although he’s flirted with other languages and technologies). Over the past 15 years, Larry has also written numerous articles, taught PHP web development online for the University of California at Berkeley, spoken at multiple conferences, and performed in-house training for divisions of the US government. As of 2013, Larry is a Support Engineer at Stripe.