My second week at Zend was spent in Las Vegas at the Zend annual kickoff.

In my career I’ve had the great fortune to work for and with many pioneers in the software development world.

Many years ago I help the position of Assistant Director of Technical Services for JPI TopSpeed and worked for Niels Jensen, the co-founder of Borland.

At Microsoft I got to spend a number of years working for Scott Guthrie (co-inventor of ASP.NET) and interacting with Anders Hejlsberg (the guy behind Turbo Pascal, Delphi and C#).

At Mozilla I worked in the realm of Mitchel Baker (Open Source pioneer and Mozilla Founder) and Brendan Eich (creator of JavaScript).

I kept with that theme in my decision to join Zend Technologies and now I have the privilege of working with Andi Gutmans  and Zeev Suraski (co-founder’s of Zend Technologies and co-developers of PHP3, based on Rasmus Lerdorf ‘s origination PHP creation.)

Andi & Zeev at the Zend 2013 Kick-off

Last week in Las Vegas, Andi outlined the business success and future of Zend as a company.

Zend’s Zeev Suraski and Guy Harpaz

Zeev Suraski (Zend CTO) and Guy Harpaz (PM for Zend Studio) were on hand to show us the awesome new versions of Zend Server and Zend Studio.

Stay tuned as I’ll be focusing a lot on the “professional” platform and IDE for enterprise PHP development in the coming weeks.

In addition to those folks, more of Zend’s executive leadership was on hand.

Zend CMO Elaine Lennox & VP of Worldwide Field Operations Siddhartha Agarwal

Zend CMO Elaine Lennox & VP of Worldwide Field Operations Siddhartha Agarwal (pictured above) were present as well.

Though I must admit that when the heads of  marketing and sales put their heads together and look like they are having that much fun – it can only mean trouble for the rest of us !

We spent three PACKED days learning about the new products, services and strategies.

But we still managed to have some fun.

Who say’s executives don’t know how to party !

Of special note is this photo of Mike Pavlak, Zend Solutions Consultant and PHP on IBMi specialist !

Mike promised to only have ONE beer on our night out on the town !

I’m thinking I’m going to have an awesome year !