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Wellington - August 27th-29th - 2014

Victoria University

Our Speakers

Rasmus Lerdorf

Rasmus Lerdorf – @rasmus

Creator of PHP. Rasmus is known for having gotten the PHP project off the ground in 1995 and has contributed to a number of other open source projects over the years. He was an infrastructure architect at Yahoo! for more than 7 years and joined Etsy in 2012.

Nate Abele

Nate Abele – @nateabele

Nate Abele first took an interest in programming at age 11, so you can obviously tell how cool he is. In the course of his career, he has mostly eschewed working for large companies, in favor of the culture found in small, independent businesses & startups. Nate has been employed by one of the most well-known and well-respected PHP consultancies in the world, and has worked on projects of all shapes and sizes. In other, more esoteric periods of work history, Nate has also worked with a humble ‘productivity’ software vendor in the greater Seattle area, and a small fruit vendor outside San José.

However, Nate is probably best known for his contributions to Open Source, including helping to create one of the most well-known and widely-used web frameworks for PHP. The 5 years’ experience working on a large, high-adoption project has helped to inform and guide his current crop of Open Source projects (he accidentally co-founded the Lithium PHP framework, and is a member of the AngularUI team), writing, teaching, and consulting. When not staring at glowing rectangles of various sizes, Nate enjoys eating delicious food, playing guitar, snowboarding, and writing about himself in the third person.

Joshua Thijssen

Joshua Thijssen – @jaytaph

Joshua Thijssen is a freelance consultant, developer and trainer. His daily work consists of maintaining code bases, working on different projects and helping other to achieve higher standards in both coding and thinking. He is the lead developer of Saffire – a web/system language, author of the PHP|Architect book “Mastering the SPL library”, founder of the Dutch Web Alliance and regular speaker at national and international conferences.

Katie Miller

Katie Miller – @codemiller

OpenShift Developer Advocate at Red Hat and co-author of the O’Reilly book Getting Started with OpenShift. Co-Founder of the Lambda Ladies group for women in functional programming. Former newspaper journalist.

Dustin Whittle

Dustin Whittle – @dustinwhittle

Dustin Whittle is a Developer Evangelist at AppDynamics where he focuses on helping organizations manage application performance. Before joining AppDynamics, Dustin was CTO at Kwarter, a consultant at SensioLabs, and developer evangelist at Yahoo!.

He has experience building and leading engineering teams and working with developers and partners to scale to meet demand. When Dustin isn’t working he enjoys flying, sailing, diving, golfing, and travelling around the world. Find out more at

Hamish Friedlander

Hamish Friedlander – @hafriedlander

Programming since childhood, Hamish has dedicated his life to technology. Prior to joining SilverStripe he had a four-year stint running a one-man development shop in Bali, providing HTML enlightenment and a complete range of web-based solutions in that tropical paradise.

Hamish brings with him more than a decade of industry experience and a comprehensive knowledge of open source frameworks and languages. As CTO he uses that experience to ensure SilverStripe remains applicable to the evolving way humans use the internet, technologically advanced without becoming technical and future-focused without losing sight of the present. Additionally he regularly acts as tech lead for some of our most complex projects.

Steven Cooper

Steven Cooper – @developersteve

Developer Evangelist – Paypal Developer

Ben Marks

Ben Marks – @benmarks

Developer & Community Evangelist – Magento, Inc.

Brandon Savage

Brandon Savage – @brandonsavage

In around 2004, Brandon realized that he could automate tasks by writing a small program in PHP. His first application, an online roleplaying game, inspired him to continue learning how to use PHP. Shortly after he graduated in 2007 from University of the Pacific in California, Brandon became a full-time software developer. For Brandon it was a learning experience and a true dream job – one he’s loved doing ever since.

Living in the Washington, DC area, Brandon is a software developer working on the Socorro project, which is Firefox’s crash collection and analysis system. Brandon works from home in Olney, Maryland. In his free time, Brandon is a certificated private pilot and loves to explore Maryland and Pennsylvania from the air.

Brandon is a frequent speaker at conferences and user groups. He has spoken both nationally and internationally at conferences like OSCON, PHP UK, ZendCon and user groups like DC PHP and Baltimore PHP. Brandon is also the author of Mastering Object Oriented PHP and The PHP Playbook.

Aaron Morton

Aaron Morton – @aaronmorton

Aaron Morton has been working with software for over 17 years. In 2011 he left a position at the VFX company Weta Digital in Wellington to pursue his interests in Cassandra. Since then he’s been helping clients around the world get the best out of Cassandra. While contributing to the project and the community through involvement in the user list and IRC channels, and code contributions.

At Weta Digital he piloted the use of Cassandra to provide database services that could stand up to the render farm of 35,000 cores. The key concern at Weta was how to design a scalable persistence layer they could maintain availability in the face of hardware failure and errant clients.

Prior to Weta he worked on large E-Commerce projects in London and created a Content Management System for the National BBC Radio stations.

Aaron frequently speaks at meetups and conferences such as the DataStax Cassandra Summits and the Apache Software Foundation’s ApacheCon. He runs the Data Driven Wellington meetup group to encourage local engineers to explore new technology. Aaron is also a committer for Apache Cassandra and was voted a DataStax MVP for Apache Cassandra by the community

Yann Larrivée

Yann Larrivée – @ylarrivee

I enjoy helping businesses reach their goals by offering advice & technical coaching.As president of the ConFoo Web Techo Conference and the PHP Quebec user group, I work to increase software quality, promote web development best practices and encourage the local developers to network. I am co-authoring a book en titled “10 Warning Signs in IT Projects”. I also speaks at international conferences, to educate programmers and managers on how to detect and prevent project failure.

Yusuke Ando

Yusuke Ando – @yando

Loving open source community and developing software. Organizing many
events of PHP, Ruby and CakePHP.

Christopher Pitt

Christopher Pitt – @followchrisp

I am a 27 year old developer living and working in Cape Town, South Africa.
I’ve been programming since before I left school, a decade ago. I have spoken at conferences, written books and been involved in numerous open-source projects. I love coding and teaching others about code. I work for Joe Public n.

Dave Clark

Dave Clark – @dkcwd

Based in Sydney, Dave leads the new development team for 4mation Technologies and provides training services for Zend Technologies as a contract instructor. Dave organises the Sydney PHP User Group and founded the Zend Framework Sydney User Group.

Ben Dechrai

Ben Dechrai – @bendechrai

Ben Dechrai is many things, including a technologist, teacher, presenter and hard-core privacy nut, but most of all, he is a passionate supporter of gigantic ideas, minds and goals.

He predominantly works as a consultant helping organisations of all sizes with all aspects of their IT systems, from analysis and design to implementation, maintenance and support. Ben’s skills also include systems and database administration, and standards-compliant and accessible front-end development.

Having over 12 years of experience as a PHP developer, open source contributor and team leader, Ben has the capacity to quickly adapt to a new environment and confidently lead a team of developers. He prefers to work using agile development methodologies.

An international presenter and author, he is able to communicate with any group or audience, be it an internal training session, client briefing or presentation to the board. President of Open Source Developers’ Conference, Convenor of PHP Melbourne and Barcamp Melbourne

Ben also enjoys providing business guidance to Start-ups and SMEs.

Kyle Clarke

Kyle Clarke – @kylehqcom

Lead Developer at Tech enthusiast at all levels, will share knowledge at anytime. Helper of people in need and still respects a persons’ word. Beginner philanthropist, professional fool. Realist for life.

Thiago Almeida

Thiago Almeida – @nzthiago

Thiago Almeida works with the latest technology coming from Microsoft, especially supporting companies working with Microsoft Azure. He is also the local leader of the BizSpark Program for software startups and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). He is originally from Brazil, has been living in New Zealand since 2003 and works at Microsoft New Zealand on the Developer Platform Evangelist team.

Shaunak Kashyap

Shaunak Kashyap – @shaunak

Shaunak Kashyap has been working in the Internet software industry for over a decade. In this time Shaunak has worked at small and large companies (Yahoo) alike. He started his career at a startup in Connecticut, worked at a Hollywood production
company (World Poker Tour) in LA and eventually settled in Silicon Valley. Today, Shaunak works from his home office as a Developer Advocate at Rackspace.

Max Milaney

Max Milaney

Max Milaney is Managing Director of Milaney Maher Sciences, which started providing professional data consulting and application development services to Canadian financial institutions of all stripes when he was just 15 years of age.

Max’s knee-deep exposure to a wide variety of sectors and industries has given him an unusually broad base of both business and technology experience. He has benefited from direct experience in synergistic technology within the context of organizations as large as major national retailers as well as financial and healthcare institutions.

Max’s professional specialties include data integration and MDM,enterprise content management, and financial information systems. These have been developed both formally and otherwise through his work in the private sector and through serving pro bono on various non-profit boards and committees. Max is a proud consultant and values the integrity and honesty of the advice his company renders above any technology.

Max is “fluent” in 12 different programming languages and applies best-fit, sometimes multilingual solutions to his client’s problems. His business is centred on PHP, and he is known professionally for applying this Swiss Army knife of languages to a variety of problems beyond its currently conceived scope.

Max’s research interests include very-large-scale data acquisition and integration as well as experimental data storage and programming methods.

Personally, Max enjoys skydiving, fitness, and dance music. He has also travelled extensively and fuses this passion into his work. At present, Max is also completing medical doctoral and legal training as “side projects”.

Michael Cheng

Michael Cheng – @coderkungfu

I am the founder of the Singapore PHP User Group. I have more than 10 years of experience using PHP to build dynamic websites. I created a PHP open source project called PHP-Queue. I am also a Zend Certified Engineer/Trainer in PHP development. I work at Neo Innovations Inc. as a software engineer.

Dominic Scheirlinck

Dominic Scheirlinck – @nzdominic

Dominic Scheirlinck is a principal engineer at Vend, an online point-of-sales service, and has previously worked for a series of web startups: GrabOne, Sella, Eventfinda and Rimuhosting. In off-hours, Dom maintains Wrench, a native-PHP websocket server, and hacks around in Coffeescript. With a BSc (Computer Science), Dom also has a BA in Philosophy from the University of Auckland. He can still give a half decent incompleteness proof, and enjoys explaining Cantor’s diagonalisation.

Mal Curtis

Mal Curtis – @snikchnz

All round developer, problem solver and bug fixer. Currently building reporting at Vend. Founder of

John-Daniel Trask

John-Daniel Trask – @traskjd

John-Daniel is a former winner of the NZ Hi-Tech Young Achiever Award and of New Zealand’s best known software entrepreneurs. He is co-founder / CEO of Mindscape, makers of popular error tracking software

John-Daniel Trask