We just finished our trip out to Santa Clara, California for this year’s ZendCon. It’s been a fun, tiring, and overall enlightening trip and I figured I would share it with everyone. This was our first “company trip” since we first opened doors last year, and frankly I didn’t know what to expect.
Back in my “corporate” days I always found these things boring and pointless. However this trip actually turned out to be pretty educational as well as fun. I guess it makes a difference when you actually “want” to attend these things as opposed to having to “sit through” it.
Here are some highlights and what we got out of it:
PHP Cloud, ZF2, Rackspace and other Zend stuff
Most of you guys know that we use Zend Framework for all of our projects, but we haven’t really explored other products of Zend much. In the early days we felt some of their products weren’t mature enough, but some of the products they launched this week has really opened our eyes. One of those things are PHPCloud.com. PHP Cloud basically sets up an easy to use development environment for us which will allow us to easily setup new projects and share it with the team. We will also be switching to Rackspace using Zend Cluster Server and Zend Studio for our IDE’s which will allow us to work easily in the cloud development environment in PHP Cloud as well as deploy to our production server on Rackspace.
CouchDB, MongoDB, and other NoSQL DB’s
We’ve been hearing a lot about these NoSQL / document-based databases for a couple of years, but to be honest we haven’t really had much time to explore them. During the conference we spoke with the engineers at CouchDB and MongoDB to learn a bit about their products as well as look into other large table DB’s like Cassandra. We are still figuring out which one of these DB’s will be best for us, but so far it seems for the flexibility and performance, MongoDB looks like it will be the winner. One thing is for sure, we are definitely moving away from MySQL for majority of our projects.
West Coast Tech Scene
On Monday, we were invited to visit one of our client, Styleowner’s development office out in San Francisco. We headed out there, checked out their space (which was pretty awesome), got a bit of work done and played some X-box. Styleowner is a Ruby shop and one thing I realized is that these guys are not the typical PHP “Geeks” that we’re used to. Later that night they invited us to Github’s 1 Million Users Party which was just a few blocks away. I’m not sure if I got the whole picture of the tech scene out in West, but I felt that it was definitely a lot more progressive and mainstream compared to out here.
That pretty much sums up the trip. Overall it was an awesome trip and we plan to attend again next year. Let us know any questions or comments you have!