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ExpressionEngine Conference Early Bird Tickets Available

May 15, 2014. That’s the deadline for purchasing your ExpressionEngine Conference early bird tickets.

A conference ticket will get you admission to all tracks and panels, access to recordings of session, lunch and refreshments, and more. Last year’s event was a blast.

The conference is October 5-7, 2014 in beautiful Alexandria, VA at the Crowne Plaza in Old Town Alexandria.

Have you been to Alexandria before? I attended An Event Apart there a few years back and it’s wonderful and full of great places to eat and drink.

Posted on Apr 08, 2014 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

Gee Up Conference Announced

Speaking of conferences…

Today Low announced a new conference coming next June: Gee Up. And it’ll be focused on ExpressionEngine.

The conference will take place in June in Leiden, The Netherlands. This is, of course, the same place that the first EECI took place in late 2009 (2009 was a great year for ExpressionEngine).

Posted on Nov 11, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

ExpressionEngine Conference Videos Available

Since the ExpressionEngine Conference wrapped almost a month ago, the team behind the conference has been busy prepping videos of the conference sessions. Every session in the conference was recorded and they are being posted on the ExpressionEngine Conference website for attendees and anyone who wants to purchase them to watch.

The cost to get access to the recorded sessions (not the workshops and classes) is $150. Videos will come in low resolution and HD resolution. New videos are released every week.

Interested? Learn more about After Show Access to the videos.

Posted on Nov 11, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

Ben Croker’s EE Conference Wrap-up

Ben Croker wrote a nice summary of his experience at the ExpressionEngine Conference:

Well the conference was a mega success, from the location to the schedule, the food and facilities and of course the presentations. Also all of the talks were video recorder and should be available soon. Considering it was Brad Parscale’s first time organising a conference he did a tremendous job!!

Read Ben’s entire write-up (and thanks for the compliments on my talk!)

Posted on Oct 27, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

Wrap-up - ExpressionEngine Conference

I had to leave early on the second day of the conference to fly home in time for my wife’s birthday the next day, so I missed the sessions in the second half of the day.

My Day 2 started with an early morning walk to Stumptown Coffee, where I ran into Marcus Neto and Sean Smith. They were enjoying coffee, surrounded by a couple dozen donuts they picked up at Voodoo Donuts. I grabbed a donut for the walk back to the hotel.

Shortly thereafter, I gave a talk on how to improve your clients’ experience with the EE Control Panel. As always, it was an attentive audience, who had questions and feedback.

After that I attended Adrian Macneil’s excellent talk on creating products (Adrian is the guy behind Store, the e-commerce module I use to run Mijingo).

I will restate what others have already said on Twitter and in person: this year’s conference was a huge success. Brad Parscale and his team put on a great event. There was a lot of variety in the program, a solid venue in a great city, and enough food, drink, and snacks to keep everyone going through the days and evenings. It was well-done and everyone could just focus on hanging out, learning, talking, and sharing.

From my point of view, everything went off without a hitch.

Next year, I hope even more people come out to the conference, wherever it’s going to be.

Posted on Oct 17, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

Day 1 Wrap-up - ExpressionEngine Conference

Day 1 of the ExpressionEngine Conference started with Derek Jones giving a keynote on behalf of EllisLab. The entire EllisLab team was present at the conference and participated in the EllisLab Q&A session later in the morning. The day was seasoned with a lot of talks and panels on ExpressionEngine security, burnout, SEO, comparison to other content management systems, business, task management, and more.

The first day wrapped up with individuals grabbing some drinks and conversation at the hotel bar and then everyone gathered at the reception that included plenty of free drink, food and conversation for all attendees. Brad Parscale and team did an excellent job putting people in the same room as food and drink so we could all enjoy a beverage and fill our stomachs without having to splinter off and be scattered across downtown Portland. When I left the reception about 9PM it was still going strong.

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

Reactions and Thoughts - ExpressionEngine Conference

Here’s a bit from the EE Conference:

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

EllisLab Q&A Session - ExpressionEngine Conference

Dan Diemer tweeted some of the questions from the EllisLab Q&A session at the EE conference. Follow him on Twitter.

Thanks, Dan!

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

Derek Jones Keynote - ExpressionEngine Conference

The ExpressionEngine Conference in Portland kicked off this morning with Derek Jones of EllisLab giving the keynote.

Derek opened by talking about who EllisLab is, including some interesting statistics (like one member of the team can eat 2 .5 lbs of pancakes), the makeup of the company, and how appreciative they are that they can do what they love every day.

Using quotes from Mark Cuban and Scott Adams, Derek jumped into talking about passion and how EllisLab does what is important to them. ExpressionEngine is important to them and over the last year they’ve refocused exclusively on ExpressionEngine and put all of their efforts behind it.

Derek touched on competition, noting that early on in their existence, EllisLab brushed off the idea that other tools–like Drupal or WordPress–are their competitors. “Of course they are competition” he said, describing how clients are asking companies to use tools like Drupal and WordPress instead of EE. So many people are now running up against competitive bids for projects that use other tools. There is no doubt there is competition there.

Derek highlighted private support including stats on the success of support. 26% of customers retain support subscription after free trial (you get a free, 90 day support trial with each license purchaseeach new customer of EE gets a free 90-day trial), and EllisLab has a 96% annual retention rate for people who sign up for support (of course they only have one year or so of data, but it’s a good sign).

Charging for support was important because growing the company without bringing support under control (in terms of cost), meant that the financial burden of unlimited, free support would crush their ability to improve the software.

Speaking of improving the software: everyone in the compay is focused on building and improving ghe product . He says it shows in the results with 260+ bug fixes and numerous other improvements. EllisLab also claimed 14,000+ ExpressionEngine core downloads since they made Core available again (great news for growing the community!)

Going into the future, EllisLab will continue to hone the ExpressionEngine product, simplify and improve what they’re building.

Were you also at Derek’s talk? Add your thoughts and reactions in the comments.

Posted on Oct 14, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

ExpressionEngine Conference 2013

The ExpressionEngine Conference takes place today and tomorrow in chilly Portland. I’ll be posting updates throughout the two days and posting photos.

I arrived yesterday and immediately ran into many old and new friends in the community.

Posted on Oct 14, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

Learn Add-on Development from Low

Next week at the EE conference, Low Schutte is teaching a class on ExpressionEngine add-on development. The course is over two days and totals 8 hours of learning (and hanging out) with Low.

Low is a great teacher and can easily explain and teach the concepts about EE add-on development. If you learn from anyone, make it Low.

Go here to learn about the class and to register.

Posted on Oct 07, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences, EE Add-ons

ExpressionEngine Conference Next Week

See you there!

Posted on Oct 07, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

ExpressionEngine Conference Early Bird Reward Ends Soon

There are only a couple more weeks left to register for this year’s ExpressionEngine Conference and to still be eligible for the early bird gifts from EllisLab.

We have a small reward for those who register early. If you register for ExpressionEngine Conference 2013 by Friday, September 6, you will receive two free gifts upon arrival courtesy of EllisLab. To claim your reward, simply forward your conference registration receipt to team@ellislab.com.

(I’m thinking a new car for everyone. Oprah style.)

This year’s conference takes place in wonderfully quirky Portland, OR. See you there?

Register for the conference

Posted on Aug 26, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

ExpressionEngine Conference: Did you register?

The summer (here in the northern hemisphere) is screaming by and before you know it October will be here. And if you don’t register for the ExpressionEngine Conference soon you will be sitting at home, staring at Twitter and wishing you could also participate in the stellar lineup of talks and seminars that Brad Parscale and his team put together.

The conference takes place October 14-15 2013 in Portland, OR at the beautiful Benson Hotel in downtown. I already booked my flight and my hotel room. I’ll be speaking once on day one and once on day two.

Registration is open and there are couple options available if you need to get there on a budget.

See you in Portland!

Posted on Aug 11, 2013 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences

Revisiting Peers Conference 2013

Eric Lamb is the developer of professional and enterprise grade ExpressionEngine add-ons. Founded in 2009 Eric’s company mithra62 aims to be a leader in ExpressionEngine add-on development and has a reputation for stability, usefulness, and being highly configurable. Check out Eric’s popular ExpressionEngine add-on Backup Pro.

I just got back from the first, of what I truly hope will be many, Peers Conference in Chicago a couple days ago and my head is still swimming with all the awesome I absorbed. While everything’s still fresh in my head I wanted to put together a breakdown of my trip, as not only a presenter, but also a huge fan of conferences in general (regardless of my role in them).

If you’re not familiar, Peers Conference isn’t a platform specific conference like the ExpressionEngine Conference or WordCamp; Peers Conference is much more diverse and comprehensive to the web developer at large. It’s put on by the extremely talented and charismatic Jessica D’Amico and it lived up to its name in every sense. Peers felt like the entire conference was full of people I either greatly respect and/or admire who were completely open to sharing their knowledge and experiences.

Peers Conference was held at the Chicago Cultural Center in downtown Chicago from June 26-28. This is one of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever attended a conference at much less visited as a presenter. Words really can’t do it justice; I strongly urge everyone who’s unfamiliar to spend a couple minutes and just click through those 2 links above and absorb the scenery. Simply gorgeous.

After some initial bumps getting into Chicago I checked into my hotel and immediately hoofed it to the speakers dinner (an hour late), held at a really tasty Mexican restaurant called Zocolo. It was exactly what I needed. Good food, wonderful and strong margaritas, and lively conversation among friends. The perfect way to start unwinding from the reality of daily life and into the conference mindset.

Wednesday

The first day of Peers were the workshops. These were essentially classroom style settings where all us attendees heard lectures on the ins and outs of the elegant PHP library Laravel from the creator Taylor Otwell and the new CMS, Craft, from Pixel & Tonic.

As a PHP developer, the Laravel workshop was something I was really looking forward to. I’ve long had a fascination with Laravel but just haven’t had the time to dig into at the level needed to own it as a resource so hearing the gospel straight from Taylor’s mouth was amazing. My head is still running wild with the possibilities this amazing framework offers. Things like unit testing, closures, and other advanced PHP functionality coming back into my life, after a couples years stuck in PHP limbo with CodeIgniter development, has me plain excited. It really is an elegant framework.

The other workshop, “Build a website with Craft”, was put on by Brandon Kelly (with some impressive tech support from Brad Bell) of Pixel & Tonic where he walked everyone through the process of setting up a website with their new content management system Craft. Brandon’s a really good teacher, had assignments and everything, and it was quite easy to follow along and see the beauty in Craft. It’s easy to see that creating sites with Craft is going to be a treat for us and our clients.

After the first days workshops Jess had an amazing treat for everyone; a catered party to an old school video arcade with an open bar called Emporium Arcade Bar (Best. Name. Ever). More though, to ensure the safety of everyone (because drinking and a new city can be a real problem) she worked out a deal with Uber to provide transportation to and from the event. She even added a cherry on top with a sweet idea of having each car setup with a presenter so the attendees and speakers can get to know each other. Very classy in my opinion (though, I was more impressed with my passengers than the other way around).

Thursday

The second day was when the various tracks, “Developer” and “Business”, started. This is a trend I’m really happy to see become adopted in conferences more and more. The basic crux is that there are more options available to attendees by having a variety of topics running concurrently. So, if you don’t want to hear about X you can always go watch Y or, sometimes, even Z. Really, the only downside is when multiple talks are interesting but scheduled at the same time and you have to make a choice. Peers had that awesome problem.

For example, right off there were 2 talks from 2 amazing speakers. Taylor Otwell was back, talking about Laravel for the CodeIgniter developer, and Chris Newton (from CartThrob) talking about shaking things up for your company.

Since I was there for Taylor’s workshop the day before I had to make the tough call and go watch my buddy Chris drop some knowledge. I’ve seen Chris do a couple presentations and they’re always entertaining and fun and this time was no different. Very funny and full of insights on how to get momentum back in your company when things start going wrong.

After Chris’s presentation I decided to watch Anna Brown talk about her trials dealing with some insane performance issues with a HUGE ExpressionEngine site instead of Alan Branch’s talk titled “Allocating Your Time for More Revenue”. I heard from those that went to Alan’s talk that it was really good but Anna’s talk is right in my wheel house, being about performance and hardware, so I had to check that one out.

This site’s just plain crazy. Tons of complicated data sets stored in an ExpressionEngine site and a client who just wouldn’t let up on the edge cases and WTF scenarios. Frankly, it’s a wonder she’s still sane. She’s clearly a resource to utilize if you have ExpressionEngine issues. Also, EngineHosting appears to be just bad ass at hosting these types of sites and keeping them up.

The Statamic workshop came after Anna’s talk. This was just like the other workshops in format (devs show how to use their tool) though obviously about the CMS Statamic and given by those developers. (BTW, how cool is it that every workshop at Peers was given by the developers?)

Unfortunately, I had some weird biases against Statamic (that I’ve since learned weren’t accurate) so I didn’t attend. I did get to talk shop with both Fred and Jack (name dropping!) afterwards though and can’t wait to dive into it in the next couple weeks.

The last event of the day was the “Roundtable Discussions & Peer Review”. This was essentially an event where attendees could work 1 on 1 with another developer and talk about anything. Seriously. ANYTHING. It had started out as a pretty formal “schedule a time” style thing but ended up being much more informal and social (though still focused on problem solving tech issues). I think with a little more announcement this could be a real treat at the next Peers Conference. Still, lots of fun even listening to others problems and solutions.

Friday

Whoooo! Blackhawks!!! Whoooooo!!!1! Hockey Rulze!!!! Whooooo!!

That was Friday morning in Chicago. Not. Bad.

Having grown up in Los Angeles, where the sports celebrations are heavily regulated and regimented (read: boring), this was a sight to see. Literally millions of people out on the streets of Chicago showing their support and love for their home hockey team. Yes, it made getting to the venue first thing in the morning frustrating, but that was a small price to pay to see something like that in my opinion (and looking back on it from home).

The first talk on Friday (and last day of Peers) was probably one of the most profoundly touching and moving presentations I’ve ever witnessed at a technology conference. Greg Baugues, of Table XI, talked about the elephant in the room of technologists with his presentation titled “Devs and Depression”.

As the title suggests, Greg’s talk was all about his experiences dealing with depression (personally and professionally) and how it is truly a problem in our industry more than most. The similarities between his experiences and others in the industry were striking and really hit me right in the feels. Depression and metal illness is something we should all be aware of and he really made a great case. It’s unfortunate that, with the parade, not everyone was able to see it but, hopefully, he’ll continue giving it at other conferences.

After Greg’s talk I had to start preparing for my talk so I sat the next few sessions out. Being a programmer, design does not come naturally to me so I obsess over things like my slides a bit more than I should. There’s a lesson there I think…

I’m pretty of disappointed I missed them though since they were all developer centric and really interesting topics. Greg Ferrell talking about building a Craft add-on and Phil Sturgeon discussing Composer would have been especially useful to me specifically but, considering my front end and Git skills aren’t as pro as they should be, Rob Sanchez’s and Trevor Davis’s talks would probably have earned me more money in the end.

My talk went over pretty well I think; had my slides all done with pictures and words (in English even!) and everything. Can’t really be subjective about it though so you’ll have to hear from others about quality or usefulness. Still, the overall theme was to be aware of the problems inherent in our choices. Use a CMS, know what performance bottlenecks you’ve setup so when issues happen you’re not caught unawares. Build a patchwork system; better know the issues you’ve laid out for yourself. Etc.

After my presentation, Angie Herrera had her presentation about finding balance in our professional lives. Not something that comes easy to most of us. I had never watched Angie speak before but she’s quite charming and clearly put a lot of thought into how to stay happy while working. Of course, I had to miss Adrienne Travis talking about Stash and all the usefulness that offers.

Lodewijk Schutte (Low) closed out Peers Conference with a really good “think talk” asking why we work and what we work for. Very thought provoking and interesting idea: what are we doing all this for and why?

Overall, Peers Conference was a wonderful experience with tons of notable speakers and topics. I walked away energized and ready to attack the challenges of this neat little industry we live and work in. I can’t wait for the next one.

Posted on Jul 02, 2013 by Eric Lamb

Filed Under: Conferences, Life as a Web Professional