Archive for January, 2013

Say HI at SunshinePHP 2013

Sunshine PHP 2013

I’ll be attending SunshinePHP Feb 8 & 9 !

If you’ll be there, find me and say HI !


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Visit the Zend Store for details and a Coupon Code


Should I keep MisfitGeek.com or switch to SoftStrategy.com

So here is my first question for my readers.

Shoudl I retire MisfitGeek.com and start a new blog?

I’ve blogged at MisfitGeek.com for a decade and I created the MisfitGeek persona becuase Microsoft (where I worked at the time) wasn’t known for straight talking technical folks who would give developers the best advice even if the best answers we’re made by Microsoft.
MisfitGeek was intentionally irreverent and intended to speak to a rogue audience.

Years ago I secured the domain name SoftStrategy.com which I always thought would be a great blog identity. I choose not to use my name (JoeStagner.com) because I prefer to keep my personal (social / political) writing and my technical writing separate.

Since I’ll be blogging about HTML5, Android, iOS, Linux, DataBase, WIndows, general software development, and patterns and practices – in addition to PHP, Zend Server and Zend Studio – it’s seems like SoftStrategy.com would be a good choice.

I would keep MisfitGeek.com on line for archive use and also continue to tweet as @MisfitGeek and I would swap my feedburner links so no change to your readers would be necessary.

So you tell me ………..

1) Make the switch and start fresh at SoftStrategy.com

2.) Keep MisfitGeek.com

Joining Zend Technologies

I was first introduced to PHP in 1998 as I had begun looking for an alternative to Microsoft’s Classic ASP and Netscape LiveWire which my consulting company was using extensively at the the time.  It was only a few years later after I had joined the Developer Tools & Platforms initiative at Microsoft that I got a call from Brian Goldfarb, who was then also at Microsoft working in the Developer Marketing group. Brian knew that I had done some PHP work prior to joining Microsoft and he was preparing for an executive briefing on “this open source web development technology” that Microsoft was worried about competing against.

For a few years I was the PHP competitive specialist at Microsoft but after a couple of years Microsoft’s PHP strategy started to evolve and the Windows division, along with the IIS team came to believe a better approach was to embrace PHP and work to make it run well on Windows. I spent six more years working with PHP on Windows. At that time, PHP worked on Windows but lacked the performance and stability needed by mission critical production applications.

I met Andi Gutmans (the co-founder of Zend Technologies) as Microsoft contacted Zend to solicit their help with improving the PHP experience on Windows. Around the same time I met Zeev Suraski (the other co-founder at Zend) at a PHP Developer’s event that we were both speaking at.

Over the years Andi and I continued to cross paths and, since Zend’s USA headquarters is in Cupertino CA, and Mozilla’s is in Mountain View, last year I was able to stop by and see the things Zend has been working on. I was amazed.

Andi introduced me to Elaine Lennox, Zend’s CMO. Conversations ensued, the timing is right and so, today I join Zend as Director of Developer Strategy.

What does that mean, exactly. Well, I’m not sure I know, (it’s my first day) but i have a few high level goals that I’ll be focusing on.

  • Helping Zend take a more active role in the PHP community as a whole.
  • Helping Enterprise PHP Developers, including over 40,000 Zend customers successfully build and manage world class applications.
  • Helping the Zend engineering teams understand PHP developer’s needs to that they can build the best possible professional PHP development products.

Ok, but what does that translate to in terms of action ?

Well, it;s only 8:00am on my first day :) but I plan to ….

  • Build a team of community rock stars
  • Build tons of great content for PHP developers
  • Build content that helps developers get the most from Zend Server (including the free version) and Zend Studio
  • Drive adoption of Zend Server FREE Edition
  • Grow DevZone
  • More, more, more…….

I’ve always been enthusiastic about PHP as a language. If you consider the trends toward mobile applications and cloud based computing, PHP presents an even more attractive choice for developers that in the “classic” era of dynamic web applications.

I’m incredibly excited. This feels not just like a great job, but a great opportunity to do exciting and significant things. I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life doing technical community building with a product influence focus, I excited about being able to immerse myself in the PHP community

So I invite you. Use the contact form here on my blog and tell me as a PHP developer or Zend Server / Studio user, what would YOU DO !

Farewell to Mozilla

Friday was my last day as a Mozilla employee.

I joined Mozilla almost 16 months ago after spending a decade at Microsoft. I wanted to move into the open source world and no organization represents open source as plainly as Mozilla, the non-profit foundation that brings us Firefox.

Mozilla is filled with wonderful people. I’ll miss many of them but one cool thing about working at Mozilla, and leaving, is that you don’t have to stop being “a Mozillian”.

I joined Mozilla to evangelise the open web. On my first day at Mozilla there were 165 full time employees. Today there are something like 750. Growth that rapid often results in turmoil and Mozilla is experiencing it’s fair share. More importantly to me is that the developer engagement team has shifted it’s focus to primarily drive developer adoption of FirefoxOS.

Don’t get me wrong, FirefoxOS is very cool and it truly amazes me what a relatively small number of engineers have been able to accomplish so far.

To begin with, I’ve discovered that I’m not really the right personality for a non-profit. Every conversation I had with my management left me reminded that I didn’t really fit in.

I wanted to fit in, but my real reason for leaving is that, while I’ve been able to do technically interesting work at Mozilla, the best part of being a technical advisor is being able to help businesses and professionals succeed.

Focusing on FirefoxOS may someday provide that opportunity to Mozilla’s developer evangelists, but not until after it releases, after cell carriers adopt it, after it is released all over the global market and then only if it can successfully compete against Apple, Android, Microsoft and other new players like Ubuntu to succeed where other players (like WebOS) have failed.

I think FirefoxOS has a chance and I wish them well, but at this stage of my career, and given my prior career experiences, I find greater satisfaction in working with larger and more commercial (existing) audiences.

I plan to stay involved with FirefoxOS and especially the Mozilla HTML5 apps initiative, but for full time employment, I’m off to find a better fit.

I made this decision not knowing exactly what I’ll do next.

I know I plan to work on a team, rather than in a group, and that I want role where I can help my company succeed while helping my customer do amazing things !

Stay tuned – I expect to blog in a week or so about my decision !