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.
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I love this conference. It is because of the work Adam has done that led me to the greater community and so many friends. Its truly the highlight of the year when I hop on a plane for Miami.
The panel was a lot of fun, the talks very diverse in topic and speaker experience. I loved the spacious lobby for the hallway track, and that the sponsors didnt feel crammed in a room. It was a tad bit cold in the lobby but Im not sure that is something that the conference themselves could fix.
TL;DR This was my first Sunshine PHP and I'm already thinking of coming back next year!
To me attending a conference is as much about learning and listening to some interesting talks as it is about hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones. Sunshine ticked all the boxes.
The positives, in no particular order:
- friendly, relaxed and fairly informal atmosphere
- great and clear communication from Adam before, during and after the conference
- good mixture of speakers and topics, the talks I've seen were well-prepared
- good quality projectors and visible screens
- plenty of sponsors and plenty of prizes to give away
- (free) elePHPant for every attendee!
- food and desserts
- hotel staff were welcoming and friendly
- happy hour and pool/jacuzzi created an amazing atmosphere for socialising
- the uncon track and Cal recording an episode of his podcast added to the excitement and fun
A few things that could be improved in the future:
- the whole event space was unnecessarily cold. It made sitting in the lobby or throughout an hour long talk quite challenging at times. I often found myself escaping outside or to my room upstairs to warm up, which was a shame as the lobby is nice to sit with a laptop or with a group of people.
- it would have been nice to have coffee available throughout the day, not just during breakfast and lunch
- given we ended up spending the entire day indoors (in freezing temperatures at times) and not seeing much of the sunshine, maybe it would be a nice idea to serve lunch outside?
- some speakers struggled with mics at times, either drowning in/out or interfering. I think a headset mic would work better.
From a speaker's point of view, I found it a bit unusual to not have anyone from the Sunshine PHP crew in the Key Biscayne rooms. I had to find someone to turn the projector on for me so I could check my slides before the talk, and then it was the case of helping myself to the mic and wondering whether I should just start talking at the scheduled time or if someone was coming to kick things off (this was my first time at Sunshine so I didn't know from previous years). I didn't mind doing that at all as I know the drill well and am happy to be a bit more proactive, but I think first-time speakers could feel a bit lost. I think it's nice to have someone in charge of each room to be on hand to answer queries and prep the speaker and make sure everything is ready to go. It might also be worth giving speakers an option to test their slides in advance during dedicated slots. This wasn't a huge problem of course, I'm just comparing with my experience from other conferences.
Overall, it was a great event and kudos to Adam and the volunteers for putting it on!
I absolutely loved SunshinePHP 2019! The talks were awesome. I had the chance to talk with the speakers, ask questions and then solidify that knowledge even further by discussing it with other attendees. This conference had great breakfast and lunch too. I enjoyed that lean chicken and the salmon + salad for lunch and the omelettes for breakfast. They also had green beans and mashed potatoes (my favorite). The cupcakes were on point. The staff from both the hotel and the conference were very helpful. The sponsors were cool to be around. Thanks for all the swag they provided us.
My thoughts on the event are mixed and require more depth than I'm able to provide in a comment box on this website, but, in short:
I feel that SunshinePHP needs to decide upon whom it wants to cater to. If the primary audience is "junior programmers" that's just fine, and, if the primary audience is "15+ years of experience" that also fine. Problem, for me, now is that the level of the talk are all over the place. From the lowest-of-the-low-beginners-level to internal-core-PHP-developer-for-20-years-level. I, personally, would appreciate a track-like schedule with more talks at the expert/architect level. But, at least, I'd love for SunshinePHP find it's niche as this would also make it much easier for me to decide whether to attend or not.
And, if SunshinePHP is to stay at the Embassy Suites, please, please, please have them fix the darn AC. For the second time running I'm going home with a cold from the freezing conditions. You'd think that part of the attraction of SunshinePHP is the sunshine (and the warmth it brings) part of the name. Why then, are we subjected to absolutely freezing temperatures... It just plain sucks.
Feel free to contact me directly should if you'd like a more in-depth comments.