Currently I’m sitting at Sofia Airport digesting what happened the last few days.
A few months ago I submitted a talk to the CfP of a new PHP-Conference in Europe. I’ve had some contacts via Mail with Mihail as he’s the organizer of the PHP-Usergroup in Bulgaria and he also started this conference, so I though, why not apply.
I never dreamed that my talk would be selected, but it was. I was amazed. And then the organizing team invited us for a short sightseeing trip before the conference. Sure, why not?
And then the day of departure dawned. On my arrival in Sophia I was collected at the airport by Mihail himself and got a lift to the hotel. And the next morning a party of about 15 people set of to explore Bulgaria. It was an awesome time! Some of the people I already knew in person, others only via following them on twitter and there also where a bunch of people I didn’t know. But I got to know them. And it was like feeling at home. And the trip introduced me to a fascinating country which I surely will visit again in the near future.
And then there was the tutorial day. I skipped the tutorials and went for a walk around Sofia. Well, about an hours walk through “SouthPark” before I came right to the city center. South Park is fascinating. YOu are in the middle of a 2.5 Million-People City and the only thing you hear are the Squirrels and the magpies. And sometimes you meet people. Absolutely amazing!
Finally the first day of the conference dawned. The organizing team did an absolutely marvelous job! Did I say they did a great job? You got that they did a fantastic job? It was a blast! They set the bar for conferences to a new level. And that was not me saying that, that were several people that have been around different conferences. Well organized, an eye to the little details an excellent venue and a really great bunch of people!
On the second day I gave my talk (on LDAP – if you’re interested in that, ping me) and even though most of the attendees were over listening to Adam Culp talking about refactoring on the other track there have been some people interested in the topic. And from the comments on joind.in I seem to not have made a complete fool of myself. Which is great as it has been the first time speaking at a conference for me! Thank you in believing in me Mihail!
There is space to optimize the talk and I will take that feedback serious (by the way, great and constructive feedback! Thank you!). I hope it wasn’t the last conference I am able talk.
And hanging around with all those people I until then only knew from twitter was amazing. I do definitely suffer from the “Fraud Police” (as Amanda Palmer call it – also known as Impostor Syndrom) but it seems I actually am – and already was for some time – part of the large PHP-community. Therefore a big Thank You to all who welcomed me with open arms!
It really made me sad to leave so many new and old friends behind respectively see them spread into the world. But on the other hand that only means I can see them again on another Conference.
This Community is a PHPamily!