Icon Of The PHP Community Turns 50 – Happy Birthday Cal Evans!

Icon Of The PHP Community Completes Half A Century!

The PHP community may very well be the greatest feature of the language. So many great people that are all willing to sit down and share what they know” – Cal once revealed on 7PHP.

So if The Community is the greatest feature of the PHP language, Cal Evans is very well One of the greatest, if not The greatest, asset to The elePHPant Community. Cal is known for being helpful & useful consistently and beyond your imagination. He always does his utmost best to keep the Community bonded – something which is unparalleled; really who has so much energy, motivation and will to go to that extent? Cal does! And he does it in a unique, friendly, humble and effective manner.

He has done so much for The Community, that now when he is completing half of a century (he is now a PHPentury elePHPant), it’s not going to be just a great day! Oh no! It should be an ‘awesomely great’ day!

“Cal you are AWESOME” – sings The Community in every corner of our elePHPant world and with style!

Cal Evans – Icon of The PHP Community

Something which you probably did not know..

Three of the elite elePHPants, namely Elizabeth Naramore, Michelangelo van Dam and Evan Coury stepped up to setup the following amazing initiatives to wish The Grand Master, Cal Evans, a Happy Iconic 50th Birthday:

  1. A special Tumblr page with a list of ‘wishes, singing and all’ from various elePHPants
  2. an awesome birthday gift (from the generous contributions of so many PHPeople, which Cal will get to know in his special birthday card)

If you want to wish Cal happy birthday you can do it in these ways:

  1. Submit your wish on the special Tumblr page
  2. Send a tweet to @CalEvans
  3. Wish him in the comment section of this post

Happy Birthday Cal Evans – Yours 7PHP-ly

Cal, may you have all the health, fortune, motivation and energy to carry on with even more awesomeness in the other half of the century that is looking forward for you more than ever! You are our inspiration to “go beyond”! Happy birthday Mr Awesome!

And now, I humbly present the message of some of the amazing elePHPant rockstars of this generous and welcoming Community, that is The PHP Community.

Birthday Message From Michelangelo van Dam

[Michelangelo => 7PHP interview / @DragonBe]

>> How did you come to know Cal – tell us your story

I first met Cal at ZendCon 2006 where I attended the conference as a developer living on an island not knowing there was a huge community out there. Even I didn’t spoke with him directly at that conference, he had inspired me to become more than just a php developer.

>> Would you like to share some ‘Key moments spent with Cal’

Haha, that’s a good one! Every moment with Cal is a “key moment”! But one moment I will always remember was during PHPUK ’07 conference where I was sitting with Felix De Vliegher and Cal on a tram on our way to the hotel. Cal was giving us advices how to start a user group and what the things were we needed to think of. During this 15 minute tram ride he convinced both Felix and me and not soon after we started PHPBelgium. A year later we joined forces with phpGG and PHPBenelux was born.

We still call him the “Godfather” of our community and we were honoured that he spoke at our very first conference, now already 5 years ago.

>> The good thing about Cal is..

You’ve got your comparison wrong, Cal is the synonym for goodness.

>> One thing that you’ve learned from him

One thing out of the billion things I’ve learned from him? That is a tough one!

He leads by example, and I’m just absorbing his wisdom.

>> Your birthday message to Cal on his 50th one?


You are a dear friend, a role model and Godfather of our community! I wish you a very happy anniversary of your 50 years of wisdom!

Happy birthday Cal

=C= fanboi Michelangelo

Birthday Message From Adam Culp

[Adam => 7PHP interview / @adamculp]

>> How did you come to know Cal – tell us your story

How I came to know Cal is such a hard thing to nail down, because we’ve both been in the community for so long. Though I think our friendship has truly grown over the past 4’ish years, we have known each other (or at least I have known of him) for a very long time.

>> Would you like to share some ‘Key moments spent with Cal’

We are all so busy, it’s hard to really get quality time in. However, I’ve enjoyed many conversations with Cal’s listening ear and insights, as well as scuba diving together in the warm Florida waters.

>> The good thing about Cal is..

Cal is open minded, while at the same time always willing to share his past experience and knowledge on any topic. Though he doesn’t push his views on anyone, he is always willing to share his perceptions constructively.

>> One thing that you’ve learned from him

If there was one thing that I have picked up from Cal it would be his contagious love of “community”. His never ending desire to help grow and enhance the PHP community has driven many of my own contributions and facilitated some of my own accomplishments.

Birthday Message From Jake Smith

[Jake => @jakeasmith]

>> How did you come to know Cal – tell us your story

I have been developing in PHP since 2001, but I never really joined the community until 2008. I found this conference called “PHP Tek”, and thought it’d be great to attend. Sadly I couldn’t make it that year, but I joined IRC and chatted with a lot of people.
Code Works made a stop in Dallas that year and I finally got to attend my first ever conference. I had recently purchased a book, Guide to Programming in Zend Framework, and saw Cal was speaking at Code Works. I, in total fan boy fashion, took the book to Cal’s talk and had him sign it.

I stuck around for the after party and got to talk with Cal a little more, and essentially that was the moment I was hooked into the PHP Community. Since then I’ve attended/spoke/organized conferences and events, and it all started at a small conference where I got to meet Cal for the first time.

>> The good thing about Cal is..

There are too many things to list at one time, but the thing I enjoy is his extreme positivity. His willingness to share his time/efforts to the community shine through is also something that sticks out to me.

>> Your birthday message to Cal on his 50th

You’re an amazing person whose life has touched so many in different ways. You welcomed me into the PHP community and become instantly hooked. Whether it was Tek, Voices of the ElePHPants, or Day Camp 4 Developers….I just wanted to say Thank You for all that you do. Have a Happy 50th Birthday!

Birthday Message From Joe Devon

[Joe => @joedevon]

>> How did you come to know Cal – tell us your story

I met Cal at Codeworks when it came to Los Angeles.

>> Would you like to share some ‘Key moments spent with Cal’

He helped support Global Accessibility Awareness Day on his podcast. Was much appreciated!

>> The good thing about Cal is..

Always ready to lend a hand. And a great voice for speaking 🙂

>> One thing that you’ve learned from him

The importance of community.

>> Your birthday message to Cal on his 50th one?

Happy 50 Cal!! You beat me by 4 years. See you at 100!

Birthday Message From Jacques Woodcock

[Jacques => 7PHP interview / @jacques_thekit]

>> How did you come to know Cal – tell us your story

I met Cal first at the PHP Community conference, and then at the Nashville PHP User Group, as well as other Nashville community events. We hit it off early on and found we see eye-to-eye on organizing and engaging the tech community in Nashville. From there, we started working together on a number of initiatives.

>> Would you like to share some ‘Key moments spent with Cal’

One of my favorite moments was when he and I were invited to talk to Rep. Jim Cooper on the SOPA bill that was trying to be passed through to law. We spent a lot of time learning the in’s and out’s of the bill and meet to go over what points we wanted to make at our meeting with Rep. Cooper. If you know Cal, you know he can be passionate, so I specially pointed out that we needed to remain calm during our meeting. Well, about 5 minutes into the thing Cal stands up and leans over the table to threaten Re. Cooper’s job. I had to smile while I was shaking my head. Love this man’s passion.

>> The good thing about Cal is..

There are so many things but if I had to pick one it would be he’s enjoyment of seeing other’s succeed and his selfless desire to help them in their journey.

>> One thing that you’ve learned from him

We see eye-to-eye on many things, but the biggest thing I have learned is if there’s something you want, go for it. If the community isn’t doing soothing you think it should, then do it. Failure is welcome.

>> Your birthday message to Cal on his 50th one?

Can’t wait to see what you do with your next 50 years.

Birthday Message From Jason Myers

[Jason => @jasonamyers]

>> How did you come to know Cal – tell us your story

I met Cal through the Nashville PHP group. I reached out to him as a complete stranger asking for advice on switching from networking architecture back into full time programming. Cal met me for coffee, and since then has continued to share his insights. He hooked me with with Luke from FoxyCart, and basically set me on a perfect path. He’s encouraged me to do more than I would have ever done on my own.

>> Would you like to share some ‘Key moments spent with Cal’

To me the key moment was going to Lonestar PHP. He got me a ticket via Elizabeth Naramore, and I drove down to austin from Nashville. When I got there he introduced me to the PHP conference community, and treated me like I was a way more talented person than I am.

>> The good thing about Cal is..

He goes above and beyond for everyone, and seems to thrive on others progress and successes.

>> One thing that you’ve learned from him

Great developers are as much about the community as they are about code. Giving back makes us all better

>> Your birthday message to Cal on his 50th one?

Thank you so much for helping guide me on my path, and for never tiring of my constant questions.

Birthday Message From Davey Shafik

[Davey => @dshafik]

>> How did you come to know Cal – tell us your story

I met Cal through IRC, and for the first time in person at ZendCon ’08 I think.
I hadn’t been to many conferences and Cal set the tone for me 😉

>> Would you like to share some ‘Key moments spent with Cal’

Cal always tells the story of the time he got wasted and wound up on IRC… where
I threatened to kickban him so he didn’t embarass himself. Luckily he chose to remove
himself… though I’m not sure how he remembers the incident so clearly; obviously he must keep logs!

>> The good thing about Cal is..

Cal is always willing to lend a hand, or an ear, and is continuously trying to improve not just the PHP community, but tech in general.

>> One thing that you’ve learned from him

How do you limit it to one thing? I count him as my mentor for all things podcast — I don’t think he knows that, but I aspire to be as professional, and comfortable behind a mic as he is one day.

>> Your birthday message to Cal on his 50th one?

Your attitude and creativity for community are second to none; you only have positive things to look forward to in the future, and I hope that I can continue to be part of all the cool things you do in some small way!

Birthday Message From Jeremy Kendall

[Jeremy => 7PHP interview / @jeremykendall]

>> How did you come to know Cal – tell us your story

My first, and one of my favorite, memories of Cal happened at my first or second ZendCon. I didn’t think Cal knew me from Adam, but he stopped me in the hallway, shook my hand, and said, “Thanks for all you do for the community.” That single thank you cemented my love affair with the PHP community.

>> Would you like to share some ‘Key moments spent with Cal’

I had an extremely difficult time when I first moved to Nashville, TN. Cal talked me through that difficult time and helped me avoid making a huge personal and professional mistake.

>> The good thing about Cal is..

All of them 🙂

Seriously though, Cal would give you the shirt of his back if you needed it. I’d be shocked if he hasn’t, at least once in his life, literally given someone the shirt off of his back.

>> One thing that you’ve learned from him

Cal taught me the value of saying thank you. His thanks to me still keeps me going. I hope I can do that for someone someday.

>> Your birthday message to Cal on his 50th one?

I hope this is awesomer than the previous 49, but not quite as awesome as the 51st!

Get 50% Discount On SignalingPHP The Book!

Cal tweeted:

“Use the code Cals50Today and save 50% on “Signaling PHP” on my 50th Birthday.”

So if you have not bought Cal’s new ebook yet, it’s your chance to do it today!

UPDATED – Cal Posted His Feelings On All These Moments

Read: I love you all so very, very much

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