What did you like about this event, and what do you think could be better for the next time? Leave your feedback to help the organizers know what you liked, and what could be improved on.


Comments are closed

The organizers, speakers, and attendees have done a great job with the conference this year. Speakers, you did an awesome job! But the people I met and the conversations I had are why I'll be asking my employer to send me back next year.

The negatives I found were with Wifi (where?) and AC (is "Antarctic" a setting on Addison Conference Center thermostats?). Both things are beyond the control of the conference organizers.

The conference is small enough that it feels like a friendly community, yet large enough that even though I came from 2 states away, I felt like I was a member of that community (TX & International PHP)!

Keep up the great work! I look forward to LSP16!

Simply put, I was blown away. Sure, there were problems - the aforementioned spotty wi-fi, occasionally cold indoor temperatures, long lines for food, and lack of vegetarian options for those who would appreciate them - but none of that is stuff I will remember when next spring rolls around and I'm considering whether I want to come back to Texas for a PHP conference. No, what I will remember were the amazing speaker sessions, fantastic afterparties, and terrific opportunities I had to see familiar faces and make new friends.

I heard at some point that Lonestar was the first local community conference. The hard work and dedication exhibited by the conference organizers is evident - this event is clearly a labor of love, and I'm incredibly thankful to those of you that volunteered your time to make this possible.

I'm going to do everything within my power to make sure I can attend again next year. Thank you.

Grr comment box timed out and lost my long review....

Overall another great year, I absolutely love the venue and location. Yes wifi sucks, I'd almost suggest running cat5e to a few tables but then people would think it unruly, but it could help remove a large group of wifi users. Some of the talks were not as engaging this year, but not every year can be awesome right?

After parties and food was fine but I feel the night time is lacking some kind of hack-a-thon or extra talk. Like an impromptu how to install and setup a frame work or something, just to keep people motivated for another hour or two after conference end. I've seen other conferences open the floor up for things like this or mini speeches, just a thought. Regardless I'll be back next year.

Anonymous at 15:47 on 20 Apr 2015

I'm vegetarian and the food/drinks gets an A. The barbeque sauce poured over the bread saved the day for me on Saturday. The baked potato was also very good. Let's not forget that cobbler. Oh my, I am hungry now. Cheese pizza on Saturday was awesome. The temptress made me forget my purpose in life. Maybe I shouldn't order two next time.

The only improvements I could suggest on the vegetarian food, please don't include bacon in the beans or have an option for black beans? Also there was bacon bits in some other non-meat entree, I think the macaroni. I would've liked that on the side instead of in the macaroni. Thanks -Mr Herbivore

Again, overall I would give the food an A. I didn't go hungry either day.

I enjoyed 75% of the talks I was in. This number is down from last year where I remember thoroughly enjoying about 90% of them. I felt the descriptions could've been a bit better. Like if a talk was going to require prior knowledge of something, it should state it. Ex: The composer description read like perhaps you should know/used composer for that talk to make sense. Not all talk descriptions did this. Some assumed you were an expert in certain areas, but the audience might've been left clueless? Just an observation. I think the presenters should do a better job in writing their description. Perhaps have a pre-req field?

--After party--
A+ on this. I wasn't able to stay as long as last year, but the drinks/food and games were really nice after a long day of talks. The jeopardy game was funny and Burt Reynolds was hilarious. I laughed way more than I was expecting to.

Overall --
This was an awesome conference. I'm already excited about next year and kudos to all the organizers. You added several new items which made the conference a lot of fun.

I would like to commend and strongly encourage the continuation of Training Day. There is no substitute for actual coding. Samples are great, but typing it in yourself, debugging it and watching it run - all of this engages the deeper mental capacities required to understand it, whatever it is. Help me do it, not just read about it or watch someone else.

Providing a Training Day allows you, the presenter, to enter that special realm of performance art where you get to go beyond Tell. In an interactive development training session, you can move into Show. For conceptual introduction, Tell is great. Every story benefits from exposition, but once you're into it, Show it instead of only Telling it. For the ultimate, go beyond Show into Help.

Presenters, set up your system so that you can code directly on screen. This could involve mirroring your display so you can watch your own coding without having to turn your back to the audience. This may also involve an enormous projection screen if you need to show a lot of code at once. You may need a cursor enlargement util. You might want a real time zoom util. Do not skimp on amplification. Be mindful of audio feedback, especially if the presenter walks into the audience.

Finally, regarding venue infrastructure: In a web development conference, you absolutely must be able to depend on robust, high speed wireless. A 10 person WAP will not cut it. The current venue needs to step up their game, or risk losing out. In the absence of that capability or perhaps in addition, consider a local web server with your own WAPs that contain the resources needed for training. As a last ditch alternative, multiple USB keys for all platforms should be ready with the downloadable resources prepared. Bonus points if they are branded with sponsor logos and given to attendees.

Anonymous at 09:25 on 20 Apr 2015

Overall, I enjoyed the conference as I have for years but was very dismayed to see Friday's lunch being served from only one table and the line reaching past the Juniper Room door. I left and went to a restaurant rather than wait through that crazy line. The conference T-Shirts look like they are bottom of the barrel in quality (can see right through them). Was sad there weren't any 'swag' T-shirts like in years past (Engine Yard, you let me down).
Very very frustrating to not have WiFi. I repeatedly connected to the conference center network but never got internet access. That is enough to make me reconsider returning next year.

The conference itself I very much enjoy. The talks I attended were great, the speakers themselves were great, and there seemed to be a good selection of topics from which to choose. This being the primary motivation behind my attending the conference, I would definitely attend again.

As you have already acknowledged, wifi was problematic, and often entirely unusable. My only other critiques are that I found it excessively cold throughout the venue, and the lack of vegetarian food options was troubling.

Overall this was a great conference. My observations below are given in the hope that nagative issues can be avoided in the future, as they take away from the rest of the greatness...

* Signage - as I pulled into the conference center area the first morning, there were no signs *anywhere*

* Nothing directing me to a parking area
* Nothing telling me which building the meeting was in

* Check-in was odd. The first person found me in the system, hit a button, and then looked to the next person in line. I was given no indication that I was done, no 'thank you,' no suggestion that I move to the next person in line. It was a rather mechanical, cold start. It would be good to have someone a little more socially aware and perhaps friendlier as the first live, in-person contact. In my case, this was the first person I dealt with who represented the conference.

* Wi-Fi
* This was a problem the entire conference.
* Downloads were very slow, and there were a TON of downloads for training day.
* My iPad was unable to upload a simple photo. Something about the connection literally kept it from being able to use the internet.
* Given that this is a conference for *programmers* it would seem that Wi-Fi should be a major concern when selecting venues.

* Climate Awareness
* In the PHP Foundations room, I nearly froze to death the first morning. I ended up covering up with my new t-shirt. Normally I'm the guy who sits in front of the fan. I *sleep* with a fan running all night. But that room was COLD and I was sitting in the back right in front of the speakers. Only after lunch did the temperature get turned down. This improved on following days.

* Food
* Drinks are essential, but so is food. This is the first time I remember a conference where there were no pastries or cookies available outside of meal times.

Speaker Slidedecks - Huge screens. The projected 16:9 background white area is takes up 85% of the screen. But the code examples are in a box taking up maybe 10% of the whole screen, and the code inside is so small it's unreadable. This was a problem in 90% of the sessions I attended, even in smaller rooms.

Anonymous at 16:43 on 18 Apr 2015

Next year, can we please have some better vegetarian food options? Saturdays option was a baked potato with buter, cheese and sour cream. No salad, no veggies? Friday was a bit better.

Anonymous at 15:40 on 17 Apr 2015

Please consider functional wireless access next time around. Greater availability of per-table power could also improve laptop usage.

Anonymous at 11:21 on 16 Apr 2015

Wifi is terrible