I am winding down my “tour of duty” with the MTA crew for CodeWorks 2009. This is a really ambitious adventure, seven cities in two weeks. I was a member of the A-Team, doing 3 hour long tutorials on the first day of each city, while the B-Team was arriving. The following day, we would travel to the next city while the B-Team gave 1 hour long presentations. While some folks are signed up for the entire ordeal, I was only able to arrange for one week off, and therefore I am getting off of the train after Dallas.

My presentations were on the topic of Test Driven Development. In an attempt to make the material more interesting and useful for attendees, much of the talk is actually done with live coding. The idea is that after a brief introduction to unit testing, sitting through a simple but reasonably complete example of Test Driven Development for 45 minutes, I can then return to the presentation material and the ideas presented and potential benefits will be more tangible and accessible having had the hands on experience.

This is a copy of the presentation as it was presented in Dallas, and here is a zip file containing all of the live coding examples from all three sessions. I would really appreciate feedback from anyone who attended. Please feel free to tweet, comment on this blog, or use If you visit this page there are links to each of the conferences and presentations for you to leave comments. Your feed back for any author is very valuable, to allow us to make any changes to make these talks more useful to audiences in the future.

The format of the trip allowed for much less “hallway track” time, at least for me on the tutorial day crew. I had a wonderful time catching up with my many PHP friends, and some new ones from among the many faces of the conference attendees. If you are attending these conferences, I highly encourage you to hang around with the speakers during the social events. You may learn as much during these times as you do attending the talks, though perhaps not on as focused of a topic. We had some great times, accompanied by good food and drink.

I got a fair dose of humility as well. I discovered it actually matters which airport in Dallas you book your return flight home from. (Note to self: next time book the return flight at the airport next to the hotel.) The upside of that little adventure was I was able to attend the the Microsoft sponsored social event hosted by Josh Holmes, who did a great job interacting with the community during our Dallas stop on the conference tour. After they departed we had a few beers, but no bottle opener. As I was attempting to open it by popping the edge of the cap on the table, from twenty feet away the server let me know “Dude, it’s a twist off”. Ah, live and learn.

Another great PHP conference in the books, now back to the grind stone.