Back from php|tek

21 May 2007

php|tek was another well-organized event from the folks at php|architect. Just like my previous experience traveling to a conference, I arrived at JFK to discover that my flight had been cancelled. (This is becoming an unwelcome tradition.) A few more cancellations and delays later, and I was on my way to Chicago, albeit several hours late. Finding a place to stay turned out to be another fiasco, because I had a Seinfeld experience with my hotel reservation:

Jerry: I don't understand. I made a reservation. Do you have my reservation?

Agent: Yes, we do. Unfortunately, we ran out of cars.

Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That's why you have the reservation.

Agent: I know why we have reservations.

Jerry: I don't think you do. If you did, I'd have a car. See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to hold the reservation. And that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding.

In summary, traveling is a pain in the ass. Let's talk about the conference!

My hands-on talk was quite a challenge, because I was still sick (and thus had a difficult time speaking), and because there was no network availability in the room where I was presenting. I typically never rely on the network, but this talk was designed to let people exploit various security vulnerabilities. Luckily, a few people were able to follow along on their laptops, but given the circumstances, I should have given a different talk. I did receive some positive feedback, but I think people were just being nice. :-)

My other talk, The Truth about Sessions, was much better, and there was some good discussion at the end about various trending techniques. I put Nate on the spot (and on the hook) when I mentioned a CakePHP feature / component for trending. As an aside, if you live near Maryland or can afford to make the trip, Nate is giving a talk on Mon, 04 Jun 2007 at the June PHP Meetup at OmniTI:

CakePHP core developer Nate Abele will be presenting a case study on developing a component to enhance session security in your applications. This case study will touch on both how to secure your CakePHP applications, as well as reusable component design, and how to structure your code according to the CakePHP philosophy.

I had some parsekit questions I wanted to ask Sara while at the conference, but unfortunately, I never got the chance. In fact, I excused myself from most social activities, because I was trying to get well. As a result, I didn't get to spend much time chatting with friends. I did manage to participate in the podcast while I was there, and I'm surprised Sean managed to salvage so much content from that evening. :-) I also got to meet some people I've know for a while but have never met in person, such as Jeff Moore, Richard Lynch, and Caroline Maynard.

It was nice to see the ladies of wearing their stylish shirts. They were very well represented.

Although I didn't get to see it myself, I was happy to hear that Rasmus's talk included some of Jeremiah's research on JavaScript malware. There's no better security advocate in the PHP community than Rasmus. :-)

If you're looking for slides, Chris Cornutt of has been doing a great job collecting talks on his talks page.