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Once again a fantastically hosted event. Many thanks to the organisers and speakers for providing a wonderful learning environment for us to attend.
I think the mix of talks this year was far better, including the community day - the difference this year with more non-specific Laravel talks was a bonus in my view.
Also have to say that most of the speakers were high, high quality.
I also attended last year's edition and must say that I learned a lot more this year.
The community day was a great idea and generally the majority of the talks has been top-notch.
Unlike other commenters, I appreciated the mix of Laravel-related and different topics.
This made me, for example, discover LISP and also think about software architecture at a higher level.
See you in 2015!
I do agree with the other feedback that a lot of the talks weren't Laravel-specific. It's hard to blame this on the conference though as for all I know there weren't enough speakers coming forward. We did toy with the idea of sending a speaker ourselves but weren't sure we could bring something unique enough on the subject.
Other than that loved the conference, got exactly what we needed from the day: a few new contacts and a lot of influential people to follow and keep us on the right track. Had a meeting with our PHP devs this afternoon to go over the talks and what we can take away from it as a company so hopefully we'll definitely be seeing some beneficial changes thanks to this trip.
That was an unfortunate typo. I meant Bimhuis obviously.
Also I would like to add. Our expectations of the community day were quite different. We thought it would somehow be more hands on or at least with more active ways to interact with each other. Now we had a lot of extra talks.
Not that I'm complaining, a lot of those talks were awesome, but perhaps the name was misleading. Or perhaps the day should've all been lightning talks from community members and no "bigger" speakers ?
I'm not sure. We've had a great time on thursday! But perhaps more people would have showed if they had known what is was exactly ?
For me and my colleagues it was our first Laracon. I've been to two more similar events myself, but I enjoyed Laracon a lot more. I learned a lot and also learned a lot about topics I did not expect.
I can understand that for some people it could have been disappointing that the content of the talk weren't exclusively Laravel related. Personally I think it showed perfectly what makes the Laravel Community so different from Symfony of Zend or other similar frameworks.
- Not afraid and even eager to use 3rd party systems ( Elastic Search, Doctrine etc.. )
- A true community that is far more invested in each member. Resulting in deeply heartfelt talks like Gabriella's and Kayla's and truly inspirational talks like Ross'
I personally think all of this combined has made me a better developer from the minute I left Bumhuis on saturday. In more ways than the obvious technical ones.
Thanks for organizing the event. It was really nice and everything seemed to go as planned. There wasn't long delays or weird uncertainties. Couple of things to improve:
- Announce the talk schedule a lot earlier. It makes travel planning much easier and I would've joined the community day, if I had known what it was and consisted of. And also having the talk schedule beforehand it is easier to argument to the employer that "this is also important".
- Provide tea. Not all developers like coffee. Preferably even good tea instead of just tea bags :)
Cheers and see you next year.
All in all my overall feeling is a bit disappointing to be honest. As a freelancer I do not go to conferences often simply because I need to work real hard to make sure my family comes round every month. Last year though I was bumped I was not able to make Laracon due to several reasons and same counts for this years Laracon NY version. So, when the early bird tickets became available, I think I was one of the first to make sure I had one. Based on the speaker lists which I had studied of the previous Laracons I was super excited to get there.
The reason I wanted to attend Laracon is because I use Laravel on a daily basis on custom projects for my clients as well as personal projects. As I mentioned I am a freelancer which means I am mostly, read always, sitting alone and just talking to me, myself and my rubber duck when it comes to "sharing" insights and experiences. Of course you can learn a lot out of Google and Jeffrey Way's Laracasts has been of tremendous value. For some reason, probably 100% due to myself, I have failed to become a known member in the community yet, which would help out as well.
Anyhow, to make a long story short, I needed this introduction to make my point clear. When buying my early bird tickets for Laracon I thought I bought myself tickets to a three day Laravel learning experience. I was hoping for talks like how Laravel is used to power applications and get practical insights. Tips and tricks on how to get the most out of the framework. Talks about third party software which you can use with Laravel and practical examples on these "like Ben's elastic search". And simply just waaay more Laravel related talks. Talks like the ones from Matt, Kirk, Ben and Taylor where, in my opinion, very useful and relevant to the topic. All these talks however where on day one which made day one for me a great day. Erika's talk was interesting but, again in my opinion, could have pointed maybe a bit more towards Laravel and Homestead as well. So summed up Day one, for me, was a good day where I learned a lot.
Day two however is the day which left me with the feeling of disappointment if I may so so. Talks where unrelated to Laravel, some where really, at least for me, deep into the matter and I just could not pick any usefulness out of most the talks on day two. Most of the speakers seem to know what they are talking about and planned there talks very well so in general credits to the speakers, I just had hoped for a lot more Laravel related stuff.
The venue was in a great spot next to central station so I think it was very easy to reach for anyone, at least for me it was. The seats where not too comfortable and even for me as a small guy rather small. The food, drinks, snacks and other services where simply great. Big props and compliments to whoever has set those up.
To give a summary, I think the organisation was really well done, time schedules went smooth, the breaks where perfect and a good way to try to get to know some new people. The overall feeling I have been left with is somewhat disappointing due to the fact that in my opinion there where too many non-related Laravel talks. Would I go next year again, I would say yes, but I would definitely wait until the speaker list would be available before purchasing my tickets.
I tried to write this feedback as constructing as possible although its very hard to write a clear, understandable text in a short as possible way. Definitely props to the organizers which did a great job, I had just hoped for "Laravel only" related talks which of course could also be my short coming :)
The timing was a little off this year which meant it didn't flow particularly well, some of the breaks were also rather long.
A few more laravel specific talks would have been cool but I really enjoyed some of the others, annotations, testing, diversity, etc...
Overall it was another fantastic Laracon, thank you.
Looking forward to next year!
We missed the community day but thought the weekend part was great. Seemed really well planned out and I learned loads. The whole execution was flawless and all the speakers seemed really experianced in public speaking. I can't wait until the next one.
I'm all for a departure from Laravel or php in the talks but I think two of them were a little too off topic or non-technial to be one hour out of 6 for the day and would have better suited lightning talks.