ZendCon in October down in Santa Clara USA and ZendCon Europe in November right in the middle of Paris France.
So now you have two opportunities to learn new technologies and best practises from the people that work on the projects you work with every day.
As a developer you will love it. Not only you will be drowning in all the information you can process in a week's time… and add some. But you will also have the opportunity to mix and talk to the people behind these products and projects and exchange ideas.
But the best part of ZendCon is that you can extend the conference and share your own skills, knowledge or ideas during the ZendUncon. And I'm honoured that I get to organise these uncon sessions both in Santa Clara as in Paris.
For those of you who have no idea what an uncon is, let me explain it a little. An uncon is an additional track to the conference, often referred to an unconference, where you as attendee (or scheduled speaker) can step up and share your knowledge with those who are interested in the topic you're covering.
The idea of the uncon is also that everyone can participate. The beauty is that there is no schedule, allowing everyone to participate.
But how do we know what topics will be presented? In the main lobby there will be a big board where everyone that passes by can choose an available slot and write down (yes, manual writing with a marker) the topic you want to present (and don't forget your twitter handle). And then you need to make promotion for your session to notify other attendees, speakers, sponsors and staff about your session. I know, a lot of work for attending a conference.
But there's a huge benefit! If you participate in the uncon, we will register your session on joindin where you can receive feedback on your talk. If you ever think about giving the session at a conference, you can use this feedback as a reference and get a benefit when submitting to a Call for Papers (CfP).
As uncon manager I will ensure your session will be registered on joindin for feedback and promotion will be made on the ZendUncon Twitter, Facebook or Google+ pages. But ZendUncon is all about you and your moment to step up and become the next speaker at conferences national and international.
What sessions can you give at such an uncon? Well, it's your moment so basically anything that we can consider acceptable as proper manners is good. You can give a presentation about a subject you like, have a round table discussion about a hot topic, play a game of Magic (if you can't come up with anything else) or hack on a project. If you can sell it to the ZendCon audience, the floor is yours!
So, when you're going to ZendCon, either in the US or in France, don't forget to bring your laptop, your slides and other things required to give your session. Seize the moment and shine.
See you at ZendCon!