Current State of PHP & Web Economy

May 18, 2011

So I’ve been on the job hunt since November when I got laid off from my previous position.  It’s been taking me a while, primarily because after having a number of jobs ‘in a row’, I’m really this time trying to find the ‘perfect’ fit.  A position that I’m going to stay in for the next 5+ years.   My next career, not just the next job position that sounds interesting enough to work on for a while.

The job hunt has come (essentially) to a close, and I’ll share more on that in the future.  But in the meantime I’m writing a series of blog posts here about this experience, and how the job landscape, for PHP specifically, has changed.

One thing that has surprised me, is how this particular job hunt situation is different from others that I’ve been on (unfortunately) over the last 5 years or so.   When Digg and I parted ways in July 2008, it seemed that the entire world was trying to hire experienced PHP Professionals.  There was no end to the number of positions that existed.  Everyone was hiring.

Fast forward to when Zend and I parted ways in the December 2009 / January 2010 timeframe.  The world had changed in those few years.  Suddenly noone was hiring.  Money was tight all over, hiring freezes were in effect.  Literally only a handful of positions were available to me (locally or remote).

Now, at the end of 2010/beginning of 2011, I’ve realized that things have changed again.

Actually numerous companies are hiring again.  It’s a glorious thing to see all the PHP jobs out there again.  But there’s an interesting catch now that didn’t exist before.  It seems that every single company, is hiring for the exact same position:  “PHP Programmer with 3-5 years experience”.  It’s uncanny how all these positions list exactly those same requirements.

Companies aren’t looking for more junior/entry level positions (not that this fact affects my job search).  But in talking to the companies, it’s that they just don’t see the ‘bang for the buck’.  They are hiring, but operating lean.  In that, they are seeing the 3-5 year experience person as the sweet spot.  Someone with enough experience that they won’t detract from the effectiveness of those around them needing to manage them.  Someone who can work independently.

But this leads into the other problem.  They also aren’t hiring for people that have more experience.  I walk in with 16 years of experience, looking for leadership positions, and they simply don’t exist.  Again this comes down to running lean.  They aren’t wanting multiple ‘cooks in the kitchen’ if you will, and they already have their Lead/Architect/Director/CTO/etc positions filled.   The words “Overqualified” have been stated quite often to me.

Even if I wanted to take the position at (much lower) salary than I’ve been making, the companies aren’t willing.  Because, perhaps validly, they assume that someone with 16 years experience isn’t going to be happy in a position with responsibilities designed for a 3-5 year person.


Baby Boomers & Millennials – What about Gen X?

March 24, 2011

Perhaps this revelation that I came to, everyone else realized a long time ago.  But while recently attending SXSW I was in the closing keynote, where the speaker was talking about the future.  Specifically about how the future was in the hand of the Millennial generation (roughly, those born 1982 or later), who are taking up the charge, “owning” Web 2.0, starting all sorts of new companies and overall driving society forward right now (at least technologically, according to this speaker).  He specifically said for the Baby Boomers to step aside, and to follow the lead of the Millennials.

Interestingly enough, I had just seen the documentary “Something Ventured”, talking about the ‘old way’ of doing business, and the first venture capitalists that started changing the rules of the game.

Oh, plus I’d attended some talks throughout the week that constantly spoke, of course being SXSW, of people founding companies, getting out there, taking risks, etc.

The thing that clicked to me, when in the closing keynote, was that at least from my own point-of-view, Generation X (that’s me) has been put in a slightly odd place.  At least in the industry that I’ve become connected with, that of ‘The Web’.

The Baby Boomer (and earlier) generations, were brought up with the mindset of finding a good company to work for, working long, moving slowly up the corporate ladder and eventually retiring.  I know that’s what my parents did, as did everyone else around me during that time.  In the documentary, there was this clear understanding (until it began to change, with the likes of Apple Computing), that people didn’t just go and found companies.  Or at least if they did, they were already well established in their field before they considered doing so.  Most of the people in that film that founded companies, had a lot of experience first, were older therefore and then went off to found a company as the next step for them.

Now, I think it’s safe to say, that almost every kid in college in a technical field (if not in high school), is firmly considering the idea of starting their own company with their friends as soon as they graduate.  It’s the ‘new way’ of doing business.

Which is where Gen X got left in an awkward state.  We had the rug pulled out from under us.  We were brought up with the world preparing us for ‘find a job, work your way up the ladder’.  Now suddenly the tables have turned, and we’ve spent so many years of our life doing that, trying to work our way up.  To realize that all the Millennials are just going out and starting their own companies, short-circuiting the process.

Basically we were born too late, to have lived in the world of ‘stability’.  We were born too early, to have been indoctrinated into a world encouraging risk early in your life/career.  Now we are all middle aged, with kids, families, commitments.  While millennials do exciting things that we wish we’d have had the ability to do when we were that age.  But noone was.

PS.  I wish the Millennials well, Please go out there and make amazing things!  I realize that this post may have sounded like a rant, or jealousy.  It wasn’t meant to be.  It was sadness inspired, I guess, at looking back and realizing at how the timing of life causes interesting side effects on it.


My take on the Mac App Store

January 9, 2011

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the newly released Apple Mac App Store. (Especially with the recent blow up about how GPL licensed apps conflict with the App Store restrictions, and therefore can’t live on the App Store). But that’s another story.

I wanted to give my own thoughts at the moment. Personally, as I started browsing through the store, I realized, that I really loved the idea of this. Primarily for two reasons:

  1. I’ve lost licenses in my day, and hate trying to keep the copies of software I own, in the versions I own, with the licenses I own, all organized, and then upon every new machine install, it’s a painful cycle of physical media swapping, installing, and digging for downloaded software through folders of junk.   The idea of a single place where all my updates are handled, my licenses are always carried/remembered, is a dream come true there.  (See caveats later)  Plus all of my dread of getting a new computer, or doing a fresh wipe/install would disappear.  As it would be a breeze to install a new computer, then go into the App Store and install everything.
  2. Looking in the store, you see tons of Apps that probably wouldn’t have ever existed before.  Having an easy path to create $1 to $5 small apps and games and directly sell them, is going to inspire creativity, just like it did on the iPhone.  For example you couldn’t find $5 games for the Mac in the past, and if you did, it was a painful process buying/installing them, and you always questioned their value anyway.

Now, as I say that, and bask in the glow … I think that the App store has a serious chance of completely flopping.  What?  Yeah, I do.  And it’s a case of the devil being in the details.

As it stands, there are a number of problems with the current setup, that actually could be painful enough to kill it, if Apple doesn’t move fast enough to ‘fix’ these.  And honestly, Apple isn’t known for moving fast in response to feedback.

So what are the biggest issues?  From what I can see, they are:

  1. For my utopia mentioned above to come true, everyone must be in the App Store.  As long as Apple has licensing restrictions that keeps some people out (GPL), then that can never be realized, and it can be a worse situation where some software you’ve downloaded/installed otherwise, and some via the App Store.
  2. There is a pain right now, because software you currently own, can’t be marked as owned in the App Store, and in turn follow it’s free updates path.  Worse, it’s broken, as in many cases it sees that you have the software installed, and it marks it as owned.  But it’s my understanding that updates won’t work, since it wasn’t installed by the App Store.  They need a way to clean this up.  Not only because of the current situation (as that will solve itself over time, as you keep buying newer versions in the App Store).  But also because of future situations.  What if someone gave you software (on a disc) as a present?  If everything you owned was via the App Store, and you couldn’t ‘sync’ that disc to the App Store, that would be a painful situation for you.
  3. Lack of ‘upgrade’ discounts.  In the current model of desktop software, people always go and create new versions of the software, and then offer a discount for people upgrading, versus new purchases, to keep their customer base loyal.   There is no way to do this in the App Store.   So if you have a new Major release, you only have 2 options.  Release it for free as an update, or submit it as a new app in the store (MyWidget v3), and charge a single set price.   There isn’t a mechanism to provide a discount if someone already owned v2.   This breaks the model that’s been used for over a decade in the software industry, and therefore is a major pain point I’ve seen discussed by software developers.   Apple really needs a mechanism to provide these verified discounts.

I’m sure there are more issues, but those are the big ones that I see holding adoption back at the moment.  We’ll see what the future holds, I’m optimistic, but Apple’s got some changes to be a-making.


    West Virginia is ‘Off the Grid’

    November 28, 2010

    I recently spent a week in West Virginia, my birthplace, for Thanksgiving. It’s actually the longest time I’ve spend in a ‘chunk’ like that in a while. At least, when there wasn’t other reasons for being in (IE, a relative in the hospital) that was vying for my time.

    Since I was just there for ‘vacationing’, and since I’m currently on the job hunt with people trying to get ahold of me … Just how deeply WV is ‘Off the Grid’ was driven home. I mean, I know that Internet & Cell access is going to be highly restricted when I go in. In fact I have troubles often explaining it to people, especially those that live in Cities and just can’t fathom the idea of not having signal 🙂

    But I ran into some bigger issues this time. Primarily based around the fact that the ‘world’ at large now, assumes that everyone has a high speed internet connection. So, at my mother’s house, she has dialup only (All that she can get, while she could have satellite internet, she can’t find anyone willing to drive out to her place to install it).

    Her dialup only connects at 26400 (Yes, 26kbps), because that’s all the phone lines there can handle. I’ve often went and browsed from there, and well knew the twiddle-my-thumbs version of browsing.

    But this time, it was worse. Far worse. Because every website in existence has gotten HUGE. I remember back in the days where modems were king, working at Hubble Space Telescope, where we made sure that every webpage we created, in total was under 35k. That included all HTML, Images, CSS, etc.

    Nowadays, well, the homepage of Amazon.com weighs in at 525k when I just checked. Walmart.com is 456k. And loading a gmail screen to check your email came in at 325k. Suddenly any browsing is extremely painful, sometimes downright impossible to do.

    This is made worse by the fact that since so much software assumes you have an internet connection, that it is wasteful with the bandwidth. I found that Firefox, Windows Update, and Java, were all trying to concurrently download updates to my mother’s computer in the background, while I was trying to just hit a few webpages to research something for her.

    It doesn’t help, that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is no cell phone service at either my father-in-law’s house, nor my mother’s house. In fact, while as you travel to local towns/cities, you start to get cell phone service, and can at least make phone calls. Internet over cell is still lacking. Only in the biggest of cities, there does 3G exist. In even medium sized areas you’ll only have an EVDO connection. And I found the EVDO to be extremely spotty. The phone would often claim to have an EVDO connection. But quite often you’d never get a connection to anything.

    Overall, what’s my point? Not sure I really have one. It’s just that this trip specifically really brought home the point to me, of just how ‘off the grid’ WV has become. It’s so much more painful now, as the world becomes more and more connected, that the ‘gap’ in technology is becoming severe. 10 years ago WV was on ‘equal footing’ with the world when it came to the internet, since everyone was using a modem in the first place. But now with the world assuming high speed …

    WV is getting left behind, and disconnected.


    Switched from Gowalla to Foursquare

    July 21, 2010

    So for a long time, I’ve been a Gowalla fan for all my ‘location tagging’ social needs. In fact, some might have called me a fan of it. You see, ‘many years ago’ when I worked at Digg.com, Foursquare came out. It seemed like a neat service and concept and tons of my fellow Digg employees loved it.

    Thing is, they lived in San Francisco. Foursquare only worked if you where in one of a certain set of big metropolitan areas. I live in the boonies comparatively and so it was completely useless to me. I shrugged and went back to a ‘location tagging-less’ world.

    Now, Foursquare wasn’t the first service out there either, Dodgeball and Brightkite both come to mind as services that ‘tried’ before. But Foursquare was starting to get traction.

    Fast forward a year, and Gowalla comes out. It has a really nice clean interface, works well (more on that later), adds in the ‘game’ aspect of collecting/dropping items, but most importantly, it allows any user (me) to create any spot.

    This is amazing and I become a fan. Suddenly I can start creating spots all around me, I go back to their website, I curate them, tweak their position, adjust their radius, and have a grand time of it. During this time, Foursquare gets bigger, more marketshare, and they quickly ‘catch up’. By the time I realize tons of my friends are on Foursquare and I try it again, they’ve got the whole ‘points system’ game going, Mayorships are ‘the thing’ and even special deals are being offered by companies to their Mayor. But most of all, they fix the problem of ‘boonies’. It works near me. In fact, they ‘one-upped’ Gowalla, and appear to have auto-inserted every business name that you could possibly google for.

    Now, I didn’t bother considering switching, who cared, I used Gowalla and I liked it.

    Until recently. What happened? Simply put, Gowalla stopped working for me. I constantly started running into the fact that I couldn’t check in at the location I was physically at. I’d be sitting in a restaurant, half-way through my meal, and go “Oh yeah, I should check in”. I’d pull up Gowalla, but since it couldn’t get a GPS lock indoors, it would do cell tower triangulation. Now Gowalla thought I was 0.5 miles farther away than I really was. This is a problem since Gowalla requires you to be on top of the location to check in. The only way I could check in, would be to walk outside, check in, then go back into the building.

    That’s crazy.

    Not to mention that it had a similar issue if there were lots of locations near you. It would only let you scroll 2 pages or so of locations, so go to an airport where there is a location for every store, every gate, every everything. And you’d gamble as to whether the place you wanted to check into actually came up.

    Simply put. They broke the ONE thing that you are supposed to do with the service. Check in at the location you are at.

    I got so frustrated at one point, and some friends of mine at HiiDef were talking about Foursquare again, so I tried it out, and fell in love. I can always check in at whatever location I’m at. It presents a nice simple list, and I can even search for it by name. I’ve never had an issue checking in. And that’s the ONE thing you want to work.

    So if you recently got a friend invite from me for Foursquare, now you know why. I bought in hook/line/sinker, and removed Gowalla from my phone.


    Conferences, Speakers & Presentations

    March 17, 2010

    There has been alot of chatter in the PHP community lately about conferences, speakers and specifically the fact that many speakers at conferences seem to be doing last-minute preparations for their presentations instead of being professional and ready well in advance.

    Most recently this came out because a number of speakers for ConFoo (A PHP/Python/Ruby/Java conference in Montreal) were tweeting about working on their slides the days/nights before their talks. Some people starting taking offense at this and calling it unprofessional

    First of all, I want to point out a simple fact that while yes, a SELECT FEW presenters are the types that only start making slides the night before a talk. The majority of people (myself included) who are presenting, have made our slides at least weeks in advance (if not earlier). However, we continue to tweak them up until the minute we present. We want them to be perfect, and so we keep reviewing them and modifying them. In fact, I’ve been known to change my slidedeck in response to other discussions happening at the conference, or due to information that was passed on in the Keynote.

    In those rare other cases, those speakers are ones that know their topic intimately and are simply planning on having a conversation about the topic with the attendees. In those cases, the slides are less important in the first place.

    But let’s put that aside for a moment, because I want to focus on something actually completely different.

    The mention of the word: “unprofessional”. Speakers at PHP conferences are, by definition, unprofessional. The PHP ‘conference circuit’ if you will, is one that has grown up in a different manner than other conference circuits that I’ve been familiarized with in the past (Java, Adobe, ‘Web’, etc).

    In most of these other areas, the speakers are PAID to attend. Some of the speakers in fact make their living (or a good portion of it) via being paid to present at conferences. They will get a significant payment for being there, as well as expenses being covered.

    On the flip side, in the PHP conference circuit, every speaker there, in fact, is PAYING for the right to attend that conference and be a part of it. (Or, if they are lucky, their companies are covering their expenses) Sure, most of the conferences do their best to offset the expenses that the speakers will accumulate, but that’s it. The standard package involves a free conference pass, a night or two hotel per presentation, and airfare being covered. (Though some conferences, like OSCon, cover much less).

    There are still so many expenses that a speaker will have. Transportation from airport to conference venue. Parking at their home airport. Meals that are not otherwise provided (usually only lunch is). Extraneous flight expenses (checked bags, etc).

    All of this is being paid by the speaker (or their company) for the privilege of speaking at the conference. This is a net negative, not even breaking even, let alone being a paid speaker who would be taking their position as a ‘professional’, being paid to do a job. Heck, let’s not even take into account the direct loss of productivity that the companies take by allowing the speakers to attend (though other great benefits are gained by doing so)

    In the end, my point is this. I feel that given the nature of all of these conferences. That the organizers and attendees need to understand the situation and treat the speakers not as a ‘professional speaker that they paid good money to see’. But as what they really are. Far more akin to an Open Source Developer, who is donating their time for the better good and education of the masses.

    That is until at least, the situation overall changes. Where conference organizers are able to pay a respectable payment/stipend for the amount of time actually spent by a speaker in preparation and execution of a session. Also where attendees are willing to pay a conference fee that accordingly will cover those speaker payments. It would not be nearly so inexpensive as conferences now are.


    An intriguing use of lambda functions

    March 10, 2010

    I’ve been working hard on Goodsie.com lately trying to bring it to launch. It’s been great being in on a new PHP project from (near) the beginning, as it frees up a number of things.

    One of those, is the fact that I can be using PHP 5.3 and all the new features that come with PHP 5.3. While I’ve used my fair share of the short-cut ternary already (?:), the bigger win for me, are the Lambda functions with scoping (anonymous functions).

    I found a very specific use out of the blue of Lambda functions that I have now used and I see as a great use-case. Which is specifically passing functions/logic from your Controller to your View.

    In the case of Goodsie, I’m using PHP for my templating language and as usual I’m trying to remove as much logic from my View as possible, while still allowing the view to be malleable.

    The specific case I had, was a subview that was generating some pagination code for me. You know, the standard ‘previous, page 1, page 1, next’ section of links. The basic HTML template I had, looked looked similar to:

    <div class="pagination">
        <a href="<?= $baseurl . '/page:' . ($page - 1) ?>">&larr; Previous</a>
        Page <?= $page ?> of <?= $total ?>
        <a href="<?= $baseurl . '/page:' . ($page + 1) ?>">Next &rarr;</a>
    </div>

    Rather straight forward, but I quickly ran into a problem. The way it worked, as you see, is that you passed in a base URL, and the page number you are currently on, and it generated appropriate forward/back links. (Ok, there was also some other logic where it determined if you needed the prev/next links at all, but I’ve removed that for clarity)

    But I then had a case, where I wanted to reuse this subview in an ajax situation. Where instead of straight URL’s being passed in, I might want to pass in a javascript function, and have that function be called with the page number as a parameter. That would be nice as I could use it in both situations. What pagination looked like, could completely change, and still work on both cases. Perhaps we’d want to give a full list of all possible pages. Or show a couple forward/back, etc. The view could handle all of that without a change to the controller.

    But therein lied the problem. When using a URL based pagination, I wanted to concat the page number onto the end of the URL. But when using javascript, it wasn’t pure concatenation, it instead needed to wrap the page number with the function call. Oh the pain a simple ) could cause me.

    I started writing code, where I ended up with tons of switch statements and logic inside of the view. I’d have to pass in two different possible values, a URL or a javascript function. The view at every point where it would output a link, would need to see which version was being used, and from that decide what type of output to create. In short, it was a mess.

    But then the solution dawned upon me. A lambda function would work admirably here. So what I did, is inside of my controller I created a function on the fly, that would generate the appropriate type of link that I was wanting. It looks something like:

    if ($jsfunc) {
        $url = function ($p) use ($jsfunc) { return "javascript:{$jsfunc}({$p})"; };
    } elseif ($baseurl) {
        $url = function ($p) use ($baseurl) { return "{$baseurl}/page:{$p}"; };
    }

    Now I could simply rewrite my original template, to use this lambda function $url to generate it’s URLs.

    <div class="pagination">
        <a href="<?= $url($page - 1) ?>">&larr; Previous</a>
        Page <?= $page ?> of <?= $total ?>
        <a href="<?= $url($page - 1) ?>">Next &rarr;</a>
    </div>

    Now not only would this work for my specific situation, but ANY controller could reuse this pagination subview and define exactly how it wanted it’s URLs to be formed. Now, the view could completely change around how the pagination section is displayed, show as many, or as few pages as it wants to, and all that without ever touching the controller.

    This is one simple example, but I’ve become enamored of this approach. Using lambda functions in this way, you are able to have complicated logic represented inside of your view, but encapsulated/created by the controller. Also of note is the fact that the view is managing to use the $jsfunc and $baseurl values, but without actually having to be granted access to them. This allows for another level of encapsulation, as I exposed one function, instead of 2 separate variables. In the future if other data points start being needed to determine what a URL should be, the view never needs know that, as the controller will continue to update the function on it’s behalf.


    Why I want an iPad

    February 24, 2010

    There has been much talk in the tech-sphere lately about the iPad.  Primarily from people honestly putting it down and ragging upon it.  Saying how it doesn’t have <insert feature they wanted>.  Or saying how it’s a toy because you can’t hack it, put your own unapproved software on it, hook up a USB keyboard, etc.

    I don’t disagree with those statements actually.  There are some features that I wished it would have had, I might have been excited to have seen it run OS/X instead of the iPhone operating system, so that I could have used it more like a real computer.

    But in the end, I think that starts to miss the point.  It’s not a ‘real computer’, it *is* something new, and the more I think about it.  The more I end up wanting one.  Perhaps I’m an edge case, I can accept that.  But ever since the announcement, I keep thinking to myself: “I’d love an iPad right now”.

    So why do I want one?  What are the situations where I find myself wanting one?  Typically they are situations where I’m wanting to stay ‘connected’, do some computing and/or online things.  But I’m not wanting to be tied to a laptop.  Afterall, a laptop is actually an intrusive thing.   Try sitting at the breakfast table with one.  It’s there.  Projecting itself into the space.  Acting as a wall between you and anyone else at the table.  However, sit down with a magazine, or a newspaper, or even a cell phone / iPhone, and it’s not in the way, it’s laying flat, you are picking it up to view things, you can easily lay it back down.  You are using technology but staying more connected to the people around you.

    Plus there are just places where a laptop is awkward to use.  For example, in your lap strangely enough.  At a doctor’s office, on the airplane, etc.  It’s all these times, when I sit back and start thinking: “You know if I had an iPad right now”.  So many of these situations come up, such as:

    • The aforementioned breakfast table, checking the morning news/twitter/email.  (Heck, just doing email in general with something less intrusive than a laptop, but better built for it than an iPhone)
    • Sitting on the couch with family watching TV while also checking things online.
    • While playing video games and needing to look up some information online.
    • While at a non-profit meeting, wanting to look something up.
    • When spending a ‘short time’ at a coffee shop, relaxing while wanting to stay on top of things.

    In general, I think that an iPad is going to be superior in use to a large laptop, because of it’s form factor, as well as to a netbook, because honestly I agree with Steve Jobs about netbooks.  I have one, I rarely use it, and when I do I wonder why I didn’t just grab a real computer instead.  Tiny screen, bad interface, etc.

    Plus the iPad is going to add functionality that I can only imagine how I may want to use it:

    • As a book reader (I’d been debating about getting a Kindle, now, to me, this is a no-brainer that I’d rather have an iPad)
    • As a video playing device (just the right size to hold in lap)
    • As a new way to share photos with family.

    In the end, I kinda don’t want to be excited about the iPad, since I have many of those geek tendencies to dislike it solely because it didn’t have X/Y/Z.  But in the end, I keep finding myself back at that “If I only had an iPad right now” stage.  I see myself using it.   Interestingly enough, 90% of the time I see that use being Wifi only based.  So dropping the extra $130 plus $30 a month for a separate data connection, I don’t see.

    Which does bring me to my one complaint though, and the one reason I don’t want an iPad:

    • Price

    Really that’s it.  I know, I realize, that $499 is an amazing price for a product with a 10″ touchscreen, massive battery life, etc.  But in the end, it’s still more than I want to pay for this device, given how I know I’m going to use it.  That is, as a device to use when my iPhone is ‘too small’ for the job and when pulling out the laptop is overkill.

    To that end, I wish it was more like $199

    That being said, I still want one, and I’m going to have a mention struggle between now and release date as to whether I can justify buying one.  The one biggest thing (other than price) that is holding me back at this moment, is that I’m unsure how easy it’s going to be to use the ‘bigger onscreen keyboard’.  Because honestly much of the use I expect out of the iPad, is going to involve typing, which is slow on the iPhone.  I expect the iPad to be ‘slower’ than a real keyboard.  But I’d hope that I could put it in my lap, and semi-touch-type on it.  If I can’t really do that.  If typing is going to be at ‘cell phone thumb speed’.  Then that’s a problem for me.  That may become the killer.  Because if I can’t type easily-enough on it.  I’m going to get frustrated.

    In summation?  I dunno, I’m still torn.  I want an iPad, but I have a couple concerns.  Let’s see if I can resist when the day comes.


    At my new job … HiiDef / Goodsie

    February 13, 2010

    It’s been too long (as usual) between my posts. But I honestly hope to remedy that now. For the last year-ish of my life I’ve made very scant blog posts. Primarily because I was working at Zend as Editor-in-Chief of DevZone and the bulk of my creative writing juices were being spent there. It’s amazingly hard to focus on writing in two places at once.

    But as of 2 weeks ago, I started my new job and I’ve been very excited about it so far. I’ve joined the team over at HiiDef, which is a web incubator/holding company for lack of a better description. Basically they come up with some great web 2.0 styled websites, so far, more focused in nature, and they bring them to life. It’s a very eclectic team of people that are 100% remote though mostly clustered on the East Coast of the US. They’ve focused on hiring the ‘right people’ regardless of what technology base said people used. And hence with their three projects they currently have going, one is Python/Django, one is Ruby on Rails and the other, is PHP.

    That’s where I came in. Their newest product is Goodsie, which is built on PHP/MySQL. It’s a website that’s designed to make it easy for people to create a storefront online and sell their goods. But to offer an easy way to truly configure that website to be a custom storefront, versus other options (Ebay, Etsy), where things are far more cookie cutter.

    It’s “[pretty close]” to launching. Though without a firm date. I was brought on board to take over as Lead Developer for the project which had previously been worked on by a part-time contractor, so that they could have a full-time guy to take it from 80% to launch and beyond.

    Anyway, it’s been an exciting first couple weeks and everyone here is a great attitude about how a company should be run and the value of employees.

    The future is looking bright. (Though a bit covered in snow at the moment)


    Presentations Uploaded

    December 9, 2009

    Ok, I’ve been a slacker, I’ll admit it.  I hadn’t uploaded slides from my last three conferences:

    • PHP Conference Brasil 2009
    • CodeWorks DC 2009
    • DCPHP 2009

    I’ve now done that, they are all available on my website’s presentations page:

    http://eliw.com/presentations/