CodeWorks Days 5 & 6 (Dallas)

Yesterday, the CodeWorks B-Team (the session day team, a.k.a. Team Awesome) ran into a bit of a travel snafu that actually worked out better for us. On the way to the airport in Los Angeles, we got stuck in traffic caused by an overturned cement mixer truck. And by overturned, I literally mean the cement mixer was lying flat on its back across the barrier separating the north bound from the south bound lanes. I’m not sure how it was even possible, but there it was. Derick took some video of the accident that he may or may not post later.

The traffic caused our team to be late to the airport, missing our flight. However, we were able to quickly book standby tickets for the following flight, giving us extra time at the airport to eat, placing us on a plane that had WiFi access (our original flight did not), and giving many of us exit row seats. So, it all worked out in the end.

The evening was short, due to our late arrival, but we still made it out to La Hacienda Ranch, apparently the home of the original frozen margarita. A highlight of the evening was being able to meet some of the gang from Dallas PHP, including Tim Stiles, whom I’ve conversed with online but have never met. Afterwards, a few of us ventured into Fort Worth to have a few beers at The Flying Saucer. Special thanks to Josh Holmes of Microsoft for driving us around.

As an aside, we — “we” being the speakers and community leaders attending CodeWorks — have been making lots of new friends with the Microsoft developer evangelists who have been in attendance. It seems that Microsoft has a new breed or new generation of dev evangelists who are genuinely interested in the PHP community, listening to us, and hanging out and having fun with us. For me, it’s a welcome improvement, and I’m not saying this as a surprise change I’ve only observed this week; it’s something I’ve been seeing over the last few years.

There have been a lot of great talks in Dallas. In addition to the set of CodeWorks touring speakers, the local speakers from Dallas PHP have provided some excellent presentations. I was able to enjoy Chris Cornutt’s B.S.T, Easy as 1-2-3 presentation, and now I’m sitting in Vance Lucas’s Object Oriented Apologetics.

The venue in Dallas is also excellent. We’re staying at the American Airlines Training & Conference Center, and while it’s not the fanciest of hotels, I think it has been the best hotel experience we’ve had, with some of the best food and best WiFi we have seen yet. But we’re not even half-way through the tour, so there is plenty of opportunity for this to change and for me to be wowed even more.

I’m heading home this evening. My home is Atlanta, and Atlanta is the next stop on our tour, so I’ve scheduled a little family time during the tour, but I’ll be joining the CodeWorks crew each day, tomorrow for the “Atlanta PHP Meet the Speakers Happy Hour” and on Tuesday for my presentation.

I hope to see you in Atlanta!