Everything That I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Rabbinical School


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A well delivered truly unique talk.

Really enjoyed the talk, totally agree about the importance of "managing up" as it were. Pursuing and cultivating your own mentors is a superpower. Very professionally delivered.

I enjoy talks that question what you are doing to improve your community and some very valuable points to take away.

Anonymous at 10:57 on 19 Feb 2015

Superb keynote, engaging and delightful

I'm ashamed to admit that I'd wondered about arriving during the first break, avoiding the need to wake up at 5.30.

Thank goodness I came on time! This was a great talk, well delivered and with an optimal blend of inspirational and practical. And now I know what a Rabbinical school is, which I really ought to have known already.

Yitzchok shows great respect for the host and audience, and I imagine every other human being he interacts with. If we all follow his example the world will be a better place.

Thank you!

Liam Wiltshire at 11:09 on 19 Feb 2015

Truly inspirational keynote, great points.

Stephan Hochdörfer at 11:25 on 19 Feb 2015

Awesome keynote. Getting better every time :)

Anonymous at 11:30 on 19 Feb 2015

An inspiring and thought-provoking talk from an engaging speaker. The one star reviewer below was obviously not listening properly because this was not a talk "about religion" at all, but lessons learned from elsewhere in life that can be applied to programming. I thought it was great.

Very nice and inspiring talk urging you to take initiative.

Very interesting and inspiring opening talk

I'll be looking into participating on a open source project after your talk. Thanks!

Anonymous at 12:50 on 19 Feb 2015


Very thought provoking keynote, and very well delivered.

Such an inspiration talk. If this was the only talk I saw at the conference I would be happy and reminded me of things that I should be doing more of.

Great talk and really inspiring.

Superb keynote. Exactly what you need to get any conference off to an inspiring start. Yitz has great delivery and the uncanny ability to find a suitable movie still to illustrate virtually anything he is talking about. The message is clear - have the confidence to mentor and be mentored - everyone's a winner if you do.

Very inspiring, excellent keynote

Good opening talk, has made me want to contribute to open source.

Mark Bradley at 16:53 on 19 Feb 2015

Great talk. very inspiring start to the conference.

That talk was super ... gave me some really great tips to take my "experience" as a software engineer to the next level. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing more of this kind of talks from you.

I thought this talk had some great advice and content. The delivery was very slow, measured and semon-like, which I didn't really react well to but looking at the other feedback maybe that's a personal preference? It felt like the talk overran but that could probably have been avoided by speaking a little faster.

Wonderful and inspiring keynote, I love how Yitzchok shared his wisdom about mentoring, learning and community involvement, all from his unique point of view. Excellent start of the conference!

Very inspiring and insightful talk with an interesting hook. Very good delivery, well paced and engaging.

Superb - very inspiring.

An excellent key note and an excellent start to the conference!

Anonymous at 11:31 on 20 Feb 2015

Some good points, thanks :)

A fantastic view on development (both code and personal). Loved it.

I really enjoyed this keynote, well delivered and interesting.

Anonymous at 13:26 on 20 Feb 2015

Great as always :)

The "wisdom of the sages" ran the risk of feeling a little homespun at times, but overall this was an enjoyable talk. It inspired me to sign up at phpmentoring.org so perhaps it will change my life after all!

The opening keynote at PHPUK never dissapoints. Yitz took us through an inspirational journey that gave me the go getting motivation that I come to these conferences for. Thank you.

Definitely the best talk of the conference for me. I love to walk out of a talk feeling inspired to try new things. The speaker was very professional and delivery was clear and articulate. Not a given!

Very inspiring and a great way to start the conference

Amazing talk really made me think about how I work with others, going to change my day to day habits.

a well presented talk in a different format. totally agree that learning off / teaching others is the way forward...

The core of the keynote I found interesting. But I found the delivery a bit too sermon-like as others have mentioned. Had the Hebrew been left out the talk could have been shorter and a bit more to the point.

I have nothing against sermons or religious views, but at 9am after a 2 hour journey this talk didn't ignite my attention for the day ahead.

The core was good though.

A good, solid keynote delivered with clarity and at a good pace.

Truly professional - the benchmark of conference speaking

An excellent talk - Yitzchok has a wonderful, rich, deliberate delivery sprinkled with dry wit. Obviously his source material is rich, but enriched it even further.

I enjoyed this talk, and there are several advices that i'll take on board!

Anonymous at 21:39 on 21 Feb 2015

Some good nuggets in there that are definitely worth considering, although I agree with others on the delivery - the Hebrew added nothing for 98% of the audience.

One thing the speaker seemed to forget to mention was a work/life balance - there's a line between passion and obsession (500 consecutive days of commits?)

A great, and thought provoking opening to the conference.

I always enjoy talks such as this that compare the act of development to something completely unrelated and show related themes running throughout both, so due (as well as the the content and delivery) to that I rate this talk highly.

I never particularly noticed the sermon or preachy nature of the talk that many of the commenters have pointed to, although in hindsight can understand that it could have come across in such a way

Please note: feedback to speakers should be in compliance with our Code of Conduct. Any public commentary found to be in violation of the code of conduct will be removed. http://phpconference.co.uk/conduct/

Could listen to "Yitz" all day. Truly inspirational.

Saw the 60 minute version of this talk at PHPBenelux and liked the 30 minute version even better: it feels more balanced.

Again: the opening phrases are brilliant. One would think you're doing a sort of intro, but you're already in full-on Rabbi mode. Awesome.

And the Hebrew/Yiddish is relevant, don't be fooled by other comments about it. This talk is how you apply Talmudic insights to your work as a developer. You learned it in Israël where they speak those languages.

Still one of the best keynotes I've seen.

How to make it better? The slides ... the slides ... the slides. They just don't fit your message. Git rid of the Pacman font, change the colors to black and white and apply your speaking style to the layout of your slides.

Very inspiring with some useful pointers and ideas. Love the idea of online mentoring, something I have traditionally done in a face to face role

Just what was needed to get everyone in the mindset of the next 2 days, thanks

Interesting an thought provoking

Took me a while to get into the speaking style, which was unexpectedly slow, but beneath that there was clearly a huge depth of wisdom that was very useful. The message about mentoring came across loud and clear.

Really inspiring, a great kickstart to the phpuk15.

Thank you everyone for the wonderful feedback. It seems that in general the talk was well received and for that I am grateful. For those who took an extra moment to leave specific advice or suggestions, you have my appreciation (and those of future attendees of the talk, I'm sure!).

It seems there was some mixed reaction to the inclusion of the Talmudic Maxims in their original. I sought feedback from a dozen or so people on that very point after PHPBenelux and their reaction was unanimous in that I should leave them in as it lends "authenticity". The talk at PHPBenelux, however, was a 60 minute version and therefore included some interactive segments, more examples of those who "get it" and a few more stories, so the actual Talmudic Maxim content (the number of which is the same in both versions) accounts for a smaller portion of the talk. That might have been the difference. I'm strongly considering including them only in translation in future presentations of the 30 minute version based upon your feedback.

Finally, know that the only thing better than positive feedback is to see that the talk made a difference to you. If you left at all inspired, take action! And if you're so inclined, email ([email protected]) or tweet (@coderabbi) about your experience, I'd love to hear how it's going for you!

Thanks again to all who attended!

This talk started the conference beautifully. Yitz presented his talk in a confident, exciting and engaging way. The messages he was sharing are thankfully messages which are being spread more and more widely thought the development community. Using his own life learning as a reference was an fun, entertaining and engaging way to spread the messages e was sharing. Great talk and a great start to the conference.

I found the talk a little slow, and whilst it was a good introduction to the running theme for the conference - the importance of community - most of the advice could have been just as applicable to any community, not just one of PHP developers. Perhaps that was the point, but I don't recall that being stated explicitly.

Still, there's no doubt that we have a great community and we can all gain from further involvement in it; as a reminder of that the talk was good.

This talk really resonated with me, really hit me where it counts. Whilst Yitzchok and I have walked different paths, I kept feeling that they we're actually quite similar. I loved the calm, and polished feel of the talk. I listen to a lot of speakers, but seldom one with such an obvious gift for speaking. This talk motivated me to figure out how to make the best of my own situation and to begin speaking at conferences myself. Thanks Yitz for such a well put together talk.