Things You Don’t Know About NomadPHP + The ‘After-First-Talk’ Of NomadPHP – Features 5 interviews with The Organizer, The Speaker & 3 Attendees

A Small Intro…

The ‘After-First’ NomadPHP Talk

(Last) Wednesday 22nd May 2013, NomadPHP hosted their first talk which was about “Zend Framework 2” – a talk by Rob Allen. I even announced a two-ticket giveaways which was made possible by NomadPHP. In this article you’ll find short interviews which will showcase the opinion, feedback and suggestions from the NomadPHP organizer (Cal Evans), Rob Allen (The Speaker) and three attendees – two of which were the 7PHP Ticket winners.

NomadPHP – The Interview

If you did not know, the organizer behind this new virtual UG concept, aka NomadPHP, is ‘His Awesomeness’ Cal Evans. Yet again with another awesome initiative, Cal (once again) demonstrate why he is The Icon Of Thy PHP Community.

Cal Evans NomadPHP Organizer

>> How did you come up with this initiative, what motivated you?

Honestly? I got to thinking about you one day. You live on an island, off the coast of an island, off the coast of a continent. We’ve never met but we are friends now. Not only that but from your remote location, you participate in the PHP community more than 99.99% of the developers out there.

I got to wondering how many other developers are out there that can’t or won’t get involved in a physical PHP User Group. They still need to learn. So I’ve set out to try and make the speakers that we in North America and Europe take for granted, available to every PHP developer.

>> The objectives set by NomadPHP

  1. Give every PHP developer, around the world, a chance to learn.
  2. Give new speakers a chance to get their name out there.
  3. Give User Group leaders and conference organizers a chance to see new talent first hand and decide if they are right for their meetings or conference.

>> Can you tell us what we should expect to see with Nomad PHP ahead, any planned roadmap?

I’m not ready to talk about the future right now.

Right now I just want to see if this little experiment is going to work. There are a few friends who know the big picture though. Let’s just say that this is just the tip of the iceberg. ๐Ÿ™‚

>> The frequency of the talks?

Once a month.

>> The number of talks per session?


Well, for now, one. There is a great discussion going on over on the UG-Admins mailing list about how meetings are run. I may change the format in the future to allow for a show-n-tell or a lightning talk before the main talk.

>> Any information about the pricing scheme

Pricing is simple, $10 per ticket.

1/2 of that goes directly to the speaker. The rest of it goes to pay the bills and buy a bottle of good Bourbon every month or so. ๐Ÿ™‚ This isn’t a get-rich quick scheme. Neither I, nor the speakers are going to retire on what we make from Nomad PHP. The whole point of charging is that people take it more seriously when they have to pay, even a little. Also, I know what it takes to write a good presentation. There is a lot of time and talent that goes into these things. I think the speakers deserve a little something for their time. All that having been said, I usually give away about 1/4 of the tickets. For the inaugural event, someone tweeted after it had started and asked if it was too late. I DMed them the event info and invited them to join as my guest. Mostly the free tickets to go people who I feel are doing something for the PHP community and I want to say thank you, even in a small way.

>> Will we be able to download the videos after the session in future? (since now I see it’s online viewing only)

No, the videos will not be available for download, only streaming and only for 3 months. After that, they go away. The reason is simple, most of the speakers are shopping these talks to conferences as well. I don’t want to ruin the market for them.

>> What are the challenges that a 100% virtual PHP User Group faces as compared to one in real life?


A lot of people are hesitant to ask questions on-line in a group of people they don’t know face-to-face. In real life, you usually know the people in your group so you aren’t as self-conscious about asking questions in a meeting. I hope that as we start to meet regularly, we will get more comfortable with each other and overcome this.

>> How can it be better than a real life one?

You can attend where you are. Doesn’t matter if you are at home, at the beach, or sitting in an airport. I’ve actually run a virtual conference from the Nashville airport. I got there early, ran it, and then got on my plane. Also, Nomad PHP has a much larger speaker talent pool to draw from than any physical group.

Don’t take that the wrong way – Nomad PHP is not, and never will be – a replacement for a physical user group. If you have a local user group, GET INVOLVED! NOW! Nomad is for those that don’t have one, those that can’t make it to their local group, or those that want to hear a speaker that can’t normally hear.

>> I have noticed a timezone issue, for example for US people the time is evening which is good. But for people in Europe or myself in indian ocean, this is kinda hyper early morning (ranging from 1a.m to 4a.m). Will you take this into consideration?

Yes…but I’m not talking about that right now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

>> Your message to The PHP Audience?

The PHP community is one of the greatest assets you have in your programming career. GET INVOLVED! Ask for help, and when you can, help someone else.

>> Criteria that any potential speaker should adhere to, to be able to get easily selected and to deliver a good talk?

You have to have an interesting topic. That’s pretty much it. It helps if you have given at least 1 talk in real life but that’s not a strict requirement. I don’t care what your gender, religion, race, or political affiliation is, I don’t care if you are a cat or a dog person. If you’ve got a good topic and you want present, send me an email,, I’m listening.

>> Software/technology that the online talk is using I LOVE THOSE GUYS! If they would get their crap together and get a Linux client complete, they would be perfect. I can’t recommend FuzeMeeting enough. I’m not an affiliate or anything but if you need a webinar solution, check them out.

>> Any medium of exchange for Nomad-ians to regroup, discuss and talk? (forum, irc, fb/g+ groups..etc?)

Not yet, and quit trying to steal my thunder. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As we get settled and in the groove, I’ll announce these things. Right now, we’ve got the mailing list, but that’s just meeting announcements and the monthly newsletter.

>> Twitter hash to be used?


>> If anyone wants to help and/or contribute to Nomad PHP in one way or the other, how can he/she proceed?

Right now, I am looking for 2 things.

  1. Publicity. If you want to help make Nomad PHP a success, send an email to EVERY PHP DEVELOPER YOU KNOW and tell them about it. Then start going through your LinkedIn, your Facebook, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. If you have an idea for a topic, speaker or you want to pitch me on presenting, email me. If you don’t hear back from me, EMAIL ME AGAIN! ๐Ÿ™‚

>> I’ve read you are really motivated to support local groups in one way or the other. Can you tell us a bit about it and what *cookies* are available for them?

Well, right now, since we are jsut starting off, I’ve only got one. Any User Group leader that wants to attend Nomad PHP, drop me an email. Give me your name, your group’s name, and your group’s URL. I’ll give you a free Video Only ticket. (If you are a member of the UG-Admin list, you already knew this) ๐Ÿ™‚

Since part of the idea behind Nomad PHP is to help speakers get better known, I want the people who make the decision to be able to hear them speak.

>> Any other things you want to add?

Nomad PHP is designed to be a gateway to PHP User Groups. My hope is that attendees come away excited about getting together with other programmers and go seek out their local group. Here’s a hint, if you look around and can’t find the leader of your local PHP User Group, guess what, you are it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Rob Allen – The First Speaker Of The First NomadPHP Opening

If you follow 7PHP, you would recall that I did a PHP Interview with Rob Allen last year (2012). So he should be no stranger to you. But for those that don’t know this Pro-PHPer & Pro Zend Evangelist, you can have a glance at his 7PHP interview here! Let’s now head towards his NomadPHP interview..

Rob Allen Main Author Of The PHP Book Zend Framework in Action

>> Hi Rob, could you tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a software developer and consultant with many years experience in web development with PHP. I recently started my own business, Nineteen Feet, where I help companies by developing web applications and providing training for their developers. In recent years, I have been using Zend Framework extensively and am active in the community contributing code, QA and documentation to the Zend Framework project. I can be found online at and on Twitter as @akrabat.

>> How has your talking experience with NomadPHP been?

I enjoy presenting and providing training on Zend Framework 2 and this time was no different. I find it a little harder to present virtually as you can’t see the audience and gauge the reaction to what you’re saying. However, judging by the feedback, the talk went well which was nice.

>> As a speaker, how was the response of your listeners. Were they active, engaging?

When I’m presenting, I minimise all other windows as its too distracting. I can’t read an IRC chat channel and also present and so concentrate on the providing the best presentation I can. The channel was lively when I got back to it after the talk.

>> Your message to the listeners?

I hope the listeners feel that they now have a good top-level view of how Zend Framework 2’s MVC system works!

>> The best question you were asked

Adear asked about how to do authentication in ZF2. I recommended using a module from such as ZfcUser.

>> Areas / things that you think NomadPHP can improve upon?

Cal is very good at virtual conferences with Day Camp for Developers which is excellent. NomadPHP is a smaller version and the first meeting went smoothly.

  1. I would like to see a community build up on the irc channel (#nomadphp on Freenode)
  2. it would be nice if the meetings could happen at more EU or AUS-friendly times.

>> Your opinion about NomadPHP in general?

I like the idea. Not everyone has a PHP user group close to them and being able to interact with fellow developers and listen to a monthly talk on a relevant subject is very helpful.

>> Any links to your slides or recording?

As I understand it, the recording is only available to people who buy tickets. However, the slides are available at

>> Closing up message

Keep an eye on and if a talk interests you, make sure that you attend! Next month, Phil Sturgeon is talking about the Laravel 4 framework which promises to be very interesting indeed.

The TWO Ticket Winners Of May 2013 Was..

If you follow-ed me on Twitter or facebook, you already knew the winners of 7PHP’s [NomadPHP May 2013 Tickets] โ€“ Win (TWO) Free Tickets. For those who haven’t, the winner for [OPTION 1] was the lucky David Weinraub (@papayasoft).
Unfortunately there was no participation for [OPTION 2]. In that case, I opted out to reward a 7PHP fan/follower, I named Peter Kokot. @peter_kokot has been following me on 7PHP since nearly it’s birth, I’m really humbled and touched, and no doubt I opted him as the Winner in replacement for [OPTION 2]. I also did a small interview with them to get some feedback on their NomadPHP experience as an attendee and ticket winner..

Note that these two guys’ experience are different in the sense that one attended offline (David), while the other attended LIVE (Peter). So it’s kinda interesting to know how these two scenarios were like and I’m sure Cal Evans would find them useful in his future NomadPHP talks.

By offline, I mean that the talk is viewed by streaming the recorded talk. Yes, if you bought a ticket and you were not able to attend it, nomadPHP will send you the recorded version. And another difference is that you cannot interact with the attendees and you cannot ask questions to the speaker.

Welcoming David Weinraub + His Feedback On NomadPHP’s Talk As an Offline Listener

David Weinraub First Ticket Winner

For those wondering where this pic was taken, David says it was at Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani, Thailand.

>> Hey David! Please present yourself to 7PHP’s audience..

I’m a PHP developer living in Phuket, Thailand for approx 11 years. I’ve got a wife and two great, exhausting, wonderful kids. My first “web” development project was actually back in 1997 using Microsoft ASP on the server and VoiceXML on the front-end, nearly none of which I actually remember anymore. It was only later that I moved to PHP development and real HTML-based web-apps.

I’ve largely functioned as an independent one-man-show until about a year ago when I hooked up with Diamond Web Services based out of Los Angeles and run by Joe Devon (@joedevon) and Robert Cuadra (@robertcuadra). They’re both wonderful guys, smart as all get out, and have built a great team of devs doing interesting work on significant projects. I’m crazy grateful to be working with such an excellent team.

>> How has your listening experience with NomadPHP video recording been + did you have any software issue to listen to the recording ?

Well, first I need to thank 7PHP and NomadPHP for organizing the contest. It was a great surprise to win the draw and a pleasure to be able to attend the talk.

I had initially planned to join Rob’s talk live, but the timezone difference put it right in the middle of early-morning-get-the-kids-to-school time. So, I ended up watching the recorded version.

The FuzeMeeting system worked flawlessly. A simple Flash viewer that just worked. Audio came through clearly. Slides visible right in sync with audio. This is in marked contrast to other meeting sites/apps I have used as an attendee that either required a custom Windows or a Mac client that I could only get to work by connecting via a virtual machine.

>> As a listener, how was the response of the speaker.

I had heard Rob speak several times before, both online and in person at ZendCon, and this presentation featured the same calm, clear, intelligent exposition that is consistent with all my previous experience with him.

>> Would it have been different if you were to listen live?

I don’t think it would be much different for me had it been live. In general, I incline more towards being a quiet observer than an active participant in these kind of settings. In those occasional instances where I know what the speaker is trying to convey, but he’s stumbling a bit and expressing it in a potentially suboptimal way, I might jump in with a question largely intended to clarify for the group. But I have a hard time imagining a circumstance where Rob would need rescuing like that, let alone from me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

>> One thing you learned and would like to share + Things that have caught your attention?

The first thing is that it seemed well targeted at app-developers. In the same way that most of us know how to drive a car, but have only a general sense of thr specifics going on inside – and almost certainly could not build one ourselves – I suspect that the vast majority of us are app-developers rather than framework-developers. We want to use/consume the framework to build apps. While it’s always helpful to know what’s going on under the hood, and the ultimate goal is total and complete understanding of everything, I think an introductory talk like this is well-served by keeping focus on the outer layers and only sparingly alluding to the internals.

Towards that end, the talk kind of felt like a story: how a typical ZF2 application handles a request, from config/bootstrap, to routing, to dispatch/controller, to view rendering. And at every stage, Rob noted how the operation is affected by configuration of the core ZF2 components: the event manager and the various service managers.

It was kind of like “ZF2: A Request Processing Oddyssey. My God. It’s full of service-managers.

>> Your opinion about NomadPHP in general?

NomadPHP – a virtual PHP user-group for those without a local IRL PHP user-group – is a great idea and Cal deserves a lot of credit for bringing it to life.

It appeals, in particular, to someone like me who has largely functioned as an independent developer in a geographically low-developer-density environment.

The Web is certainly full of resources that allow us all to learn and to experiment with new ideas and technologies, but it’s so much more satisfying and productive to have peers and colleagues with whom you can share questions and ideas.

Thailand actually has lots of professional software development, but the bulk of it tends to be in the commercial center of Bangkok and to a lesser, but still significant, extent in the academically-seeded area up north around Chiang Mai University. And while Phuket has no shortage of development shops that do the majority of their server-side work in PHP, we haven’t really coalesced as a group.

One of these days, I will actually carve out the time and use the domain that I reserved to set up a PHP user group here. But until then, NomadPHP will serve as my home PHP user group.

>> Areas / things that you think NomadPHP can improve upon?

Not a thing. Got my CalEvans/Akrabat/ZF2 fanboi hats on at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜‰

>> Anything you want to say or add..

I guess the only thing I would add is that all the senior PHP guys are right: community – however you experience it – makes a big difference. So, whether it’s following prominent PHP community leaders on Twitter, reading/commenting on blog posts, answering questions on StackOverflow, or contributing to open source projects (by submitting bug reports, assisting with documentation, or even writing code), getting out there and sharing your expertise (and your ignorance!) helps you to learn more and makes the whole development endeavor more satisfying. At least that’s my experience.

Welcoming Peter Kokot + His Feedback On NomadPHP’s Talk As a LIVE Attendee

Peter Kokot – Dojo Toolkit JavaScript library contributor

> Hello Peter, Please present yourself to 7PHPโ€™s audience..

I’m Peter, web developer from Slovenia. I’ve been using PHP for over 10 years and can say I have many experiences with PHP and web development. Most of the time I’m using Symfony framework. In the spare time I contribute to many open source projects on GitHub as well. I’m also Dojo Toolkit JavaScript library contributor.

>> How has your listening experience with NomadPHP been?

It sure was a very profound experience. Good audio quality, lots of useful information regarding Zend Framework for beginners and experts …

>> Did you have any software issue to setup yourself to watch the talk?

NomadPHP requires 3rd party tool called Fuzebox. It worked OK because it has two options to attend the presentation: web based solution and desktop application. So it is useful for all operating systems which is great. I haven’t any issues setting it up.

>> As a listener, how was the response of the speaker?

Speaker was also available on IRC channel #nomadphp before and after the talk. This was a good addition for questions, answers and getting to know each other.

>> Your good and may be not so good moment(s)?

I haven’t get the chance to setup my development environment during the talk and try Zend Framework together with the speaker. Luckily there is also a recording of the entire presentation available later on and I was able to go through some of the mentioned approaches of Zend Framework.

>> Your opinion about NomadPHP in general?

I’m sort of new to online presentations and haven’t seen much of this presentations online besides some webinars and videos after conferences. It is very useful to have such an alternative for a good price. If you don’t have possibility to visit PHP conferences in your area this will be very usefull to get to know some of the great PHP tools available today with some different approach as well. It is useful and inspires you a lot for everyday PHP development as well. Only catch is the time difference for these presentations. It was 2:30 AM in the morning …

Welcoming PJ Hagerty + His Feedback On NomadPHP’s Talk As a LIVE Attendee

PJ Hagerty – Team Lead At Engine Yard

>> Hi Hagerty, could tell us a bit about yourself

My name is PJ Hagerty (@aspleenic) and I work for Engine Yard as a Team Lead on their world class Application Support Team! Additionally, I am a Ruby developer and community activist interested in how meet ups can better function and how we can open more people to the things going on in tech.

>> How has your listening experience with NomadPHP been?

I thoroughly enjoyed the NomadPHP experience. The content was great ad the delivery was a good way to get the message out and teach the Zend Framework without distractions

>> Did you have any software issue to setup yourself to watch the talk?

I had no issues.

>> As a listener, how was the response of the speaker.

I felt he was responsive, though much of the talk was ons sided, not a a lot of Q&A.

>> One thing you learned and would like to share?

The Zend Framework MVC reminds me a lot of Ruby and Rails. It makes the idea of using PHP more approachable.

>> Things that have caught your attention?

Overall, I loved the idea of NomadPHP and look forward to it expanding.

>> Your good and may be not so good moment(s)?

There was a little bit at the end where the audio got fuzzy, but other than that, the whole thing was great.

>> Areas / things that you think NomadPHP can improve upon?

Not much, just get more exposure so more people can take advantage.

>> Your opinion about NomadPHP in general?

Loved it! Can’t wait for the next one.

>> Anything you want to say or add, you are welcomed to add it here

I look forward to the expansion of nomadPHP and hope it becomes a way for people world wide to contribute to tech groups and become part of the global conversation.

Closing Out..

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. NomadPHP is driving forward with a nice concept and this is just the beginning. But as with anything, NomadPHP is nothing without attendees and supporters. My message to YOU is, try to support NomadPHP by any of the following:

  1. Talk about it with your friends
  2. Share each talk on your network (facebook, google+, Linkedin..etc)
  3. Propose to give a talk
  4. If you have a local user group, ask your members to all unite and have a mutual watch and be active
  5. Blog about NomadPHP
  6. If you are a company, try to sponsor NomadPHP
  7. If you have other ideas, just email Cal and discuss about it
  8. Lastly, spread this article since I believe it contains useful info about NomadPHP

I remind you that NomadPHP is a virtual PHP User Group mainly for people who do not have the chance to avail of a local PHP user group. If you do not have a local user group, join the Nomad elePHPants! If you already have one, you can still join to make it more awesome!

If You Appreciate What I Do Here On Seven PHP :: 7PHP, You Could Consider:

  1. LIKE-ing 7PHP dot COM on FaceBook
  2. Help diffuse this interview to the PHP ecosystem – Share, tweet and spread the word to your audience ==> That would be a FREE way to thank me
  3. Make a comment below using the comment form

{I’m thankful to your response(s)!}

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