I was invited to speak at Midwest PHP 2017 to give my “DevOps for Small Teams” talk. I’m always excited to head up north because I’ve always had amazing experiences with the community there. Also a conference on my birthday weekend this year sounded like a great idea.
The speaker dinner event was fantastic, nice finger food with fellow speakers and getting to know new friends and catching up with long time friends.
The first day of the conference I was mostly working for the day job. I hung out at the Open Sourcing Mental Illness table that we had and got to meet new people and talk about OSMI while I was working on a project for the day job.
Gary Hockin’s opening keynote was excellent, this was the second time I was able to see it and it was just as well delivered and entertaining as the first. I highly encourage you to see him speak (on any topic).
After the first conference day there was a big party at a gaming and bowling place in the Mall of America. We had cards to play all the games we wanted, amazing food and bar readily accessible and it made for an amazing after event. I got to spend the evening with old friends and make some new friends that will certainly become old friends.
The second day of the conference I was in the first time slot and gave a really great version of my talk. I was really happy with the flow and pacing. I had added about twelve extra slides that morning which did make the talk run slightly long but overall it felt great and got some good feedback on joind.in
The rest of the second day I spent catching up on more day job work and spending time hanging out in the hallway track and at the OSMI table. Everyone I talked to was really enjoying the talks. The organizers did a great job selecting speakers based on the keynotes I saw, and what I heard from attendees.
The closing keynote was Eryn O’Neil talking about “Using our Superpowers for Good”. This keynote is an inspiring gut punch right into the ego of a software developer to make sure you’re aware of all possible outcomes of the code you write. I won’t spoil any of the amazing stories she shares, but I know I’m always looking at my code differently now.
After the conference a few of us went out to dinner. I had part of a large sushi boat and it was incredible.
The Midwest PHP 2017 venue was incredible. If you were worried about the cold weather, everything was inside. I didn’t have to venture outside for anything. There is a connecting skywalk right into the Mall of America and the food court with dozens of fast food and nice restaurants is only one escalator ride up. There is also an amazing Lego store to bring out your inner child.
I had a great time, thanks to all the organizers, sponsors, speakers, and attendees. Definitely was an awesome event.