Two years ago, I attended php|tek 2010, and that is when my life began to change. I met a few people and had a great time, but I was overly shy and didn’t get as much out of the networking opportunity as I could have. One night, I went to dinner by myself at Harry Caray’s. A nice expensive dinner, with nobody to share it with… 🙁
This is not meant to be an “oh woe is me” post. However, this conference had a HUGE impact on me as a developer and my confidence from that point began to grow. I saw myself in a different light, and made it a mission to change myself for the better.
I can honestly say that TekX changed my life for the better. At least it was the catalyst for me to change my life.
The New Awakening
With the confidence from TekX, I began to do things like attend Orlando PHP and even considered starting up Daytona PHP again. Over the two years I continued learning as much as I could, attended user group meeting, local events (like PHP Codeworks), etc…
I then started hanging out in IRC and met some great people virtually. I learned about a fun podcast call “/dev/hell” and listened to Chris Hartjes make a really great point about being shy at conferences. I bought him a beer this year because of that simple point. Sorry, Ed, you weren’t there at that point, or I would have bought you one too.
Anyway, I stepped outside my comfort zone immediately by talking to someone (Tom, sorry I didn’t catch the last name) outside the airport. I wasn’t even sure he was there for php|tek, but I did it any way and had many great conversation with him the entire week.
I went out to dinner with different people every night of the week and had a blast. I joined into conversations, and even started conversations. This was no ordinary trip for me, it was exciting and I didn’t find myself shying away into a corner like I had in the past.
Thank you to all the great people that I had great conversations with.
I have so much more to say, maybe another post soon.