Congratulations! By attending php[world], you are now a full-fledged member of the PHP community. My goal is to make that seem exciting instead of intimidating, especially if this is your first PHP conference (or perhaps even your first tech conference altogether!). But even if you’ve attended php[world] before, there is probably more you can get out of the conference and give back to the community. Maybe you’re an introvert or struggle with social anxiety, and fully engaging with the conference and fellow attendees has always seemed scary or physically exhausting. As an introvert with moderate social anxiety myself, I can relate.

But becoming involved in the PHP community has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, so I’m here to help you overcome these challenges. From navigating the talk schedule to deciding whether or not to attend the official and unofficial after-hours events, I’ll offer advice for how to get the most out of the conference based on what you’re hoping to take away. For the introverts in the audience, we’ll discuss how to build in breaks for quiet time so you can recharge and be at your best for the rest of the conference. For those struggling with social anxiety, we’ll coordinate groups to sit together at lunch and talk about other strategies to handle the evening socials so you can meet new people without overwhelming yourself. I’ll go over the speaker lineup and introduce you to some of the stalwarts of the PHP community, most of whom would be more than happy to talk to you one-on-one. In the process, I’ll mention several organizations (local, national and international) within the PHP community or adjacent to it that are worth knowing about and involvement in whom is a great way to keep in touch after the conference ends. We’ll also discuss the importance of giving feedback on the sessions you attend using and review best practices for how to write constructive comments. Finally, I’ll go over ways to become more involved in the community, such as contributing to open source, blogging, or speaking at meetups and conferences — and why the latter isn’t nearly as scary as you might think, even as an introvert with social anxiety.


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Colin O'Dell at 09:55 on 14 Nov 2018

As a shy, introverted speaker myself this talk strongly resonated with me. Nara did an excellent job welcoming new members to the community, giving tips on having a successful experience, and providing a path on how to grow yourself and the community.

Eric Mann at 10:11 on 14 Nov 2018

Fantastic introduction to the event and the community as a whole.

Great introduction to the community as a whole, and led nicely into the "New to php[world]?" Birds of a Feather session.

Brian Sanders at 11:43 on 14 Nov 2018

This was a very fish rank5 (aka excellent) introductory talk for the conference. I've been inspired to give my local PHP Meetup a try. Lots of engaged and nodding heads in the audience. No idea there were so many first-timers at this conference!

As a first time attendee at PHPWorld, this talk introduced me to a lot of organizations (NomadPHP, PHP Mentoring) and methods for getting involved in the community that I was not previously aware of. I'm now looking for a local user group in my area that I can get more involved in.

T Capece at 17:01 on 16 Nov 2018

First of all, I give Nara all the credit in the world for fighting her fears and getting up on stage in front of so many. It was obvious she was fairly nervous and it was a struggle for her to be up there. That said, I feel she lacked the energy needed to kick off a conference of this magnitude. The opening keynote (in my opinion) should get the conference participants excited and enthused about the upcoming events. The only time she seemed energized was at the very end when she stated that she is excited because her talk is concluding. It's just not how a large event should get under way. Just my constructive criticism.

Ryan Howe at 09:49 on 20 Nov 2018

Thought that this was great keynote and a great way to start the conference. I think that this should be taken down to a few pages and put in every php event booklet as a guide for new people as well as a reminder for not new people.

Adelle Frank at 12:10 on 26 Nov 2018

Nara's visibility and vocalness as an introvert with some social anxiety was incredibly inspiring! She helped me feel less alone and modeled some helpful strategies for conference survival.