Joint Virtual PHP Meet-up April 29, 2020

Joint Virtual PHP Meet-up April 29, 2020

category: meet-ups

UPDATE: The video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy5_fubGULg

I am vehemently against virtual meet-ups. How am I supposed to meet other software developers otherwise?

So I was none too happy when the choice became virtual meet-ups or nothing. For the meet-up groups I co-organize, in March 2020, the choice was nothing. We were hoping to ride things out, but the closures were not ephemeral and the reality of having to host virtual meet-ups in April loomed.

The Guelph PHP Group held a virtual meet-up at the end of March. They did a fantastic job -- really superb. The meet-up was well attended, Google Meet worked out great, the presentation was terrific, and things went very smooth.

I co-organize two active PHP meet-up groups: The York Region PHP Group (immediately north of Toronto), and the GTA PHP Group. Why not have both groups do a joint virtual meet-up annually each February? One or both groups invariably cancels due to weather anyways in February.

So why not do a trial run this month? Instead of just the two groups, why not expand it? Perhaps, just perhaps, we can do a wider joint meet-up each February. That would be awesome!

I am thrilled that we are trying this idea out this month.

Guelph, York Region, and Toronto PHP groups, along with the Full Stack Buffalo Group, are hosting on a joint virtual meet-up. I invited the Ottawa PHP Group, and the dormant Laravel Toronto Group (I am a co-organizer). 

This joint meet-up is an experiment, to learn how we should do this as an ongoing annual (semi-annual?) thing. 

Right now we have virtual meet-ups or nothing. But it would be great to use this situation as an opportunity to learn some lessons so we can carry it into our regular meet-up cycle. 


THOUGHTS FOR OUR FIRST JOINT VIRTUAL MEET-UP: CODE OF CONDUCT


Most meet-ups I attend a code of conduct is rarely mentioned. As this is the first virtual meet-up I am co-hosting, it's a good opportunity to mention that whether stated or not there is a code of conduct. Generally, the conference code of conduct is a good overview. The Amazon Web Services Community Code of Conduct is a good one too. 

In all the years I've been coming out to meet-ups and conferences, I vaguely recall a few times when there was almost an incident, and one time when there was a real incident. In the "gee, that escalated quickly" category, the one real incident was nasty, and it cast quite a pall over things. 

The judge and jury of things "code of conduct" reside solely with the hosts. Without seeking consensus from fellow co-hosts, a co-host (co-organizer) can unilaterally decide to expel an attendee. Which almost never ever happens, but the "big stick" is there. 

We are extending a wide swath of invitations for this meet-up. Many of us will be meeting for the first time. Please steer clear of controversial topics, nothing good comes out of these conversations. Note my loud silence at meet-ups when the topic veers off. 

A good rule of thumb is: keep it technical. Do not criticize people. Criticize technology. When criticizing technology, make a cogent case. 

Please be attuned that our meet-up groups enjoy the ongoing support of generous corporate sponsors. We are proud of our long relationships with many of our corporate sponsors. Our meet-ups are informal, informative, and wonderful social gatherings; and, at the same time we are always professional as befits our corporate environment. Even as a virtual meet-up, this mien is maintained. 

THOUGHTS FOR OUR FIRST JOINT VIRTUAL MEET-UP:  DOWN-HOME EXPERIENCE


As we will be participating from home, and our virtual meet-up occurs after-hours, a general rule is to wear what you would  wear if we were having a regular meet-up. We are a casual crew as it is, but I'm sure you'll be reminded of your Marvel Comics jammies at the next regular meet-up. 

IMO, it's easier for curious children to join mommy/daddy to see what mommy/daddy is doing than to be shoo'd away. Also, it's easier on mommy/daddy too. I personally do not mind. As a general rule, our meet-up attendees are interested in what the younger techs are up to with their Raspberry Pi's. 

We have meet-ups across from the Eaton Centre with sirens a-blare-ing and horns a-honk-ing. So dogs barking, children running around, spouses interrupting -- it's par for the course. No worries. You can always temporarily mute your microphone.

THOUGHTS FOR OUR FIRST JOINT VIRTUAL MEET-UP: ALWAYS ASSUME YOUR MIC IS "HOT"


It's a good idea to always assume that your mic is "hot": it is on, it is transmitting, and that others in the virtual meet-up can hear you. Even when you put your mic on mute! 

IMO, if you mute your mic to talk to someone around you, step away from the mic anyways. 

It has happened that people have muted their mic, or assumed that their mic was off, but it was actually on. 

People make assumptions what sounds their mic will pick up. And what sounds the mic will not pick up. 

People also assume that their cam will not be displayed to others, and "mouth" things. Just assume that we see and hear you.

I podcasted for a time, and literally could not believe what my mic picked up. Sneezing and coughing were sharp thunderclaps, so I learned to turn my head away from the mic. An orchestra of subconscious sounds recorded in the finest fidelity -- breathing, nervous ticks, clapping my desk, sniffling. During a live broadcast I talked with my hand and knocked my mic off the desk. 


MEET-UP ITINERARY


Introductions:
• Rick Radko, organizer, Ottawa PHP
• Nuno Souto, organizer, Full Stack Buffalo
• Colin DeCarlo, organizer, Guelph PHP User Group
• Vic Metcalfe, organizer, GTA PHP
• Bob Bloom, co-organizer, York Region PHP, the very dormant Laravel Toronto

Q&A "Rounds":
I am thrilled that Caleb Porzio is joining us to talk about all that he is up to. 

Caleb is prolific in his podcasts and presentations, including speaking at the recent Laracon Online, so there are many presentations to enjoy. Let's use our joint virtual meet-up as an opportunity to engage Caleb with our burning questions. 

To encourage discussions, let's tweak the format a bit: Caleb will do a very brief introduction to a topic, then we'll open up the floor. I do not think we need a moderator, nor need someone to pass on questions. This is still a meet-up! 

• Burning Question: Why do you think Laravel events and listeners are bad?

Topic: Caleb going on his own for a while, and then building sponsorship income.

Topic: Livewire. Quick introduction, then Q&A
• Laravel PR on Twitter April 27th: https://github.com/laravel/framework/pull/32558
• comment on https://twitter.com/emjayess/status/1254857283672010752

Topic: AlpineJS. Quick intro. First question: What makes it "rugged"?

Topic: VS Code efforts. First question: Better PHPUnit demo

Topic: Podcasting. Is it worth it? Shouldn't you be doing a YouTube channel instead?
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See you on the 29th!