As a kid, did you have ambitions for the future? "When I grow up I want to become a ...". Maybe you wanted to become a fireman, an astronaut, a nurse, a teacher, a police officer? As you grow up these ideas evolve and get replaced with actual ambitions, actual hopes and dreams. These might be entirely different than your childhood dreams. But how do you reach these goals? How do you accomplish these dreams? By listening to your parents, friends, or teachers? By doing it yourself? Or maybe you have given up and settled for a watered down version of the career and life you envisioned? People often attribute success to luck, and lack of success to incompetence. But what if I told you it's all about controlling the variables? Luck is something that you can control in a way. The more you figure out the context, the key players, the relationships, the values, and the rules of the ecosystem in which you want to succeed, the easier it is to gain from it. The more variables you control, the easier it is to find potential opportunities and to bank on them. Maybe you didn't get lucky, maybe you just saw it coming, and prepared yourself for it. In this keynote talk, Thijs is going to share his experiences, his hopes, his dreams, and how he applies a positive mental attitude to level up in his career, and in life in general. This is not a growth hacking talk, but a simple set of tips and tricks to succeed, even if it seems like the odds are stacked against you.


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Rob Waller at 09:59 on 21 Feb 2019

An interesting and fun talk, you made some great points and you're a natural speaker, it felt very relaxed. I also loved you're a football fan, I wish more developers loved football, they could learn a lot.

One improvement I'd suggest, focus on your 'golden thread' a little more. It wasn't always clear how and why your points connected.

Very well done though, a good start to PHP UK 19.

An awesome start into the conference amazing talk and fantastic keynote.

Inspiring and motivational.

Would love to have slide here too.

Dave Stokes at 11:13 on 21 Feb 2019

I love your enthusiasm for life

Matt Dawkins at 13:31 on 21 Feb 2019

Not sure exactly what the talk was about, but the use of videos in your slides was really effective!

Mark Bradley at 13:38 on 21 Feb 2019

Really enjoyed this talk. Really good topic for the start of a conference.

Great inspirational talk.

Glyn Morgan at 08:52 on 22 Feb 2019

Found the Thijs very enthusiastic and really managed to inspire me to be more open to opportunities.

Aran Reeks at 08:53 on 22 Feb 2019

A highly motivational talk that really inspired.

Very informative

David Yell at 09:16 on 22 Feb 2019

A good talk delivered well

A great start to the conference - really effective slide design and a positive message to start with, while being sufficiently different from other keynotes. Thanks Thijs!

Donald Tyler at 18:39 on 22 Feb 2019

A good general topic to start the conference off with. The speaker was charismatic and spoke clearly. The content was entertaining and educational.

Stefan Stanic at 23:50 on 22 Feb 2019

Good ending keynote, interesting views on deploys.

Alex Youngs at 11:43 on 23 Feb 2019

Thijs is an extremely enthusiastic and natural speaker, a great choice to open the conference.

As others have hinted a little bit, this was definitely more of a motivational speech than a talk as such, but it was a nice way to ease into the conference.

Dominik Zogg at 08:30 on 25 Feb 2019

It was a pleasure to hear this talk again (last time at the php amsterdam).

Mike Lehan at 12:56 on 25 Feb 2019

The best set of slides I think I've seen at a conference, the timing as the videos progressed on some was truly skilful. The message was good and Thijs balanced the level of self-promotion (kind of needed to make the point) with humility and accepting of individual experience.

To offer one suggestion for improvement, the middle of the talk felt like it needed some pointers as to what bit we were currently being told - maybe a downside to the big animated slides was that they didn't remind us which "variable" we were currently dealing with

Chris Barnett at 22:25 on 26 Feb 2019

This was a really great talk and was very motivational.

The presentation itself was very well made and professionally delivered, but the actual content was simply not particularly interesting to me personally and was too focused on presenters personal experiences.