August 12th, 2010 by Ivo
Those who pay attention to my occasional seemingly random tweets may have noticed this tweet, back in March. It's the first line of the Bob Dylan song "Times they are a'changin", and it marked the start of a long thought process. I had a '10 year itch': I was at Ibuildings since january 2000, back then a 5 person web development shop in the south of the Netherlands, and over the years I had helped Ibuildings grow into a 110+ people PHP service company with 5 offices in 3 countries. Very proud of what Ibuildings had become and my own role in the company, I had a growing feeling of 'what next?'.
In my enterprise PHP book I mentioned 5 major goals I wanted to accomplish in life: one of them is to found and build a company of my own. And although Ibuildings has always felt a bit mine, that's not the same. So I slowly started thinking about starting from scratch and building a new awesome company. Over the course of the next few months I searched for reasons to leave and reasons to stay, but eventually I knew that in my heart I had already made the decision in March, and all I was doing was finding reasons to validate that choice. There's a saying that in the end, you'll only regret the things you DIDN'T do, so finally I made the decision to go for it.
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August 19th, 2009 by Ivo
Somebody just kindly reminded me that it's been over 3 months since I last posted on my blog. Oh my.
What kept me busy mostly the past months is my new home. I moved to Utrecht (which is more in the center of The Netherlands, so I can get around more easily) with Leoni, and as developers say, the house is "90% done". So it'll keep us busy for a few months.
Things at Ibuildings are hectic as always. Our UK office is growing like crazy and is nearly half the size of our NL operation already. And we're working hard to get our Italian office up and running. Behind the scenes we're already working on things there, so if you're looking for a cool PHP job in Italy, drop me an email (ivo at ibuildings dot com). (Actually Ibuildings NL and UK are looking for senior developers too, if you're interested). After a succesful DPC back in June, we're planning a few more events so keep an eye on the Ibuildings website for news on those.
Another thing that has kept me busy is one of my personal pet projects, Flackr, a twitter based breaking news aggregation site. It has fairly basic functionality at this point (we've been mainly working on the news aggregation and event detection algorithms), but will eventually grow into a 'newsroom 2.0' type application with pro features for journalists. Here's an example of how it tracks tweets related to the Hurricane Bill including pictures. Contrary to many twitter aggregators, it doesn't follow the masses, but trusted sources only.
Finally, I'm happy to announce that I've started work on a new book. Enterprise PHP sold very well and it's not outdated yet, but writing it was addictive and now I just feel like writing another one. The book will be about PHP and Cloud Computing. This time around I'm not working on it alone, I'm co-authoring it with Vito Chin, author of the GMagick PHP extension, among many other things. The expected publication date is early 2010.
That's it for now; I hope to pick up blogging with more actual content after summer.
September 1st, 2008 by Ivo
Next week I'm speaking at two 'intimate seminars' in Leeds and Dublin. In Leeds, on September 9, Lorna Mitchell is the main speaker doing an SVN tutorial/presentation/discussion, but I have a small slot to promote enterprise PHP development.
In Dublin, on September 10, I'm doing an Enterprise PHP talk (it will be similar to my ZendCon talk so if you can't make it to Santa Clara this month, you can see me in Dublin).
Information about these events can be found on the Ibuildings website.
Last week, I also got the confirmation that I will be speaking at php|works in Atlanta in November! I'm very excited about that. I visited the php|tek conference earlier this year, and if php|works is anything like that, it's going to be great, and I'm proud to be able to speak there!
October 7th, 2007 by Ivo
I'm going to ZendCon this year.
First time I visit the conference. First time I visit San Francisco and first time I visit the United States.
Today we went into San Francisco to do some sightseeing. Went to fisherman's warf, saw an airshow, did some shopping (both Tom and I did take european->us outlet converters, but we hadn't taken into account that some of our adapters do not support 110 volt
San Francisco is a very nice city with remarkably friendly people. Tomorrow we'll visit the Golden Gate Bridge & Park, and for next friday after the conference we've got tickets for Alcatraz.
I'm really looking forward to the Zend Conference. Meeting lots of old friends and hopefully a lot of new PHP enthousiasts. Sessions that I'm interested in are the ones from Matthew, Ilia, Eli and
Joel. There are many more I'd like to see; unfortunately I can only visit one at a time.
Some tips for those that haven't arrived yet:
- Tom is in the Hyatt (where the conference is); I'm in the Bay Landing Hotel about a 3 minutes walk from there, because the Hyatt was already booked for some of the days I'm here. However, it turns out that the Bay Landing Hotel not only is 80$ per night cheaper, it also has complementary breakfast (18$ in the Hyatt) and free internet (9$ in the Hyatt), so that turned out just fine.
- When we arrived, we took a taxi to the hotel. Today we discovered that one floor up from the taxi stand at SFO airport, there is a 'hotel courtesy shuttle' stand, with free shuttles going to most hotels in the region, including the Hyatt.
- When you do take a taxi, tell them 'Hyatt Burlingame'. Tom discovered that just 'Hyatt' takes you to the Hyatt in san francisco city center.
So, if you're going too, see you at ZendCon! And if you're not going, you're missing out on a great event!
September 25th, 2007 by Ivo
I'm not a fan of bragging, but something is going on here that makes me extremely proud.
It's been 7 years since I started to work for Ibuildings. Back then, they were an average development startup, focussed on delivering web applications, and they were using this fairly new, experimental, open source scripting language called PHP3.
It's fun to see how a company can grow with a language. I've seen PHP go from PHP3 to PHP4 and later from PHP4 to PHP5, and in the meanwhile, Ibuildings' focus has shifted more and more from a development shop to a PHP service company. Companies that used to be our competitors, gradually became our customers. And we've grown from a 3 people group to a crowd of 48.
And I'm proud (and not too shy) to say that at the moment, we are the only 100% PHP service company in The Netherlands, with projects ranging from plain old development and outplacement, to training and consultancy (audits, development methodology implementation, architecture etc.). And promoting PHP in general, with events such as the DPC earlier this year.
Last year I was very proud when Zend made us their official representative in The Netherlands. Besides the fact that we can now sell Zend products and services, which is nice for our sales people, I was particularly fond of this, as it confirmed that we must have been doing something right.
And now we're happy to announce we're going to do something left.
Recently we've seen increasing demand for PHP services in the UK. The adoption of open source in the UK has been a bit slower than on the European mainland, but PHP is finally gaining momentum there.
And if there's a market for PHP, there's a market for PHP services.
We already have a small group there doing cool things with PHP. And we're happy to have bright people such as Gavin Lee Foster, the author of Xinc on board.
I'm not bragging entirely without a reason. We are hiring. We have job openings in both the Netherlands and the UK. And we have plans in several other European countries as well (servicing those primarily from the UK and NL for now).
So if you're above average in terms of PHP skills, have good communication skills, and you want to use those skills not only to develop, but also to help others learn to see the power of PHP, send us proof of your skills, and an up to date resume, and we'll be in touch.
July 4th, 2007 by Ivo
On june 16th we organized the first Dutch PHP Conference in Amsterdam. The event was attended by more than 250 people and with speakers such as Cal Evans, Kevlin Henney, Lukas Smith, Derick Rethans and many others, I think it was a great event.
We've decided to make it a yearly event, so mark June 14, 2008 in your agenda for the next instalment.
The DPC was not the only new conference, last monday I visited the first Zend UK PHP for Business Seminar organized by the London office of Zend. This conference was targeted at 'business people', and featured speakers such as Zeev Suraski, Harold Goldberg (Zend's new CEO), David Boloker (IBM) and Clint Oram (SugarCRM).
I had the honor of presenting a talk on 'enterprise PHP development' on the seminar. Since it was targeted at business people, I explained the development process of PHP applications using metaphors. What may be obvious for most of us, isn't so obvious for a lot of people and companies, so I found it important to talk about the process surrounding PHP development, and not just plain PHP coding itself.
Below are the slides of this talk:
This is the 7th presentation I did in 3 months time; I'm beginning to get the hang of this.