Farewell Engine Yard!


After almost 4 years at Engine Yard, my last day will be July 3rd.

It is a sad thing, but it also means I am moving on to hopefully bigger, exciting, more challenging, and better things.

On Saturday I gave my last conference talk as a Yardee, and I think it was fitting that it was about “What’s new in PHP 7”, as my first talk for Engine Yard was at PHPUK 2012 and it was about “What’s new in PHP 5.4”.

I have had an amazing time working for Engine Yard, learned a lot from lots of smart people, been able to travel the world and meet even more fabulous people. I have been allowed to shape my job around the life I want to lead: to be a good person, to teach and help people, and to spread the joy of the things I love to as many people as possible.

I will be moving on to Akamai Technologies on July 6th as a Developer Evangelist.

I will be working on some thing bigger than I can conceive and I’m excited at the prospect of helping people — particularly in the PHP community — to achieve amazing things using these tools and more.

But I wouldn’t be here if not for all I’ve been enabled to do the last four years:

Thank you Engine Yard ❤️

Y’all should go check out Deis and Deis.com/Deis PRO, they’re pretty awesome!

Lets Play Catch-up


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Despite my seeming intent at killing this blog, it has yet to happen; in fact the number of visitors that still come is quite amazing to me — thank you.

As you no doubt notice, this blog looks a little different. Unfortunately, due to a stunning number of bad coincidences (two dead hard drives in the space of 6 weeks… mirrored raid ftl) I lost several months of posts — although, thanks to Helgi Þormar Þorbjörnsson I was able to recover the majority of my posts, excepting the ends of those truncated by Planet PHP — and I also made the transition to WordPress, which I must say I’m enjoying far more than Serendipity (sorry guys, but WP 2.6 was good, 2.7 is great).

So what the hell have I been doing for the last year or so? Mostly… nothing. At least, not till about  4 months ago when at a party for my sister-in-law, I met a wonderful girl who has forced me to pretend I have a life. (oh no, twist my arm so hard… not)

I have, in the last year, garnered a new love for typography, reading The Non-Designer’s Type Book taught me enough to truly appreciate just what it is that Chris Shiflett and Jon Tan find so beautiful in “simple” words.

I’ve also thrown myself into twitter and mobile web 2.0 thanks to my iPhone and Tweetie. As well as into photography with my [not quite so stellar anymore but it does the job] Canon PowerShot S2 IS that I thoroughly love, and even after 3 years am still learning the ins-and-outs of.

It’s thanks to this camera that I have been able to capture so many wonderful moments in the last 4 months, and hopefully soon I’ll be able to trade it in for a Canon PowerShot SX1 IS or a Nikon DSLR of some kind (though my wallet shudders at the thought of it being possible to replace the lens on my camera…)

In the last 4 months, we have been to every Disney (Florida) Theme Park; We started with Epcot because I had never been there before… or at least, I thought not — the day before I went, I called my mum to let her know and she told me I had been when I came in 1996… oops. Still, I couldn’t remember it obviously, so, feeling like a kid in a candy store I explored Future World, the World Showcase (during the Food & Wine Festival no less!) and all the wonders that only Disney can bring together in one place… or 5 or 6 places as the case is.

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Shortly after this, I was treated to dinner at the T-Rex Cafe soft launch in Downtown Disney

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[note: the second image is actually a video of the very neat meteor shower than occurs on the ceiling every 30 minutes or so]

Then in November we made it to Disneys Animal Kingdom, then we spent a night at the wonderful Disney Beach Club Villas [where we got to see the Epcot fireworks display, Illuminations, from the balcony!], followed by a day at SeaWorld:

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Somewhere in there, we also got to visit Busch Gardens, our local theme park, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios (formerly known as MGM Studios) and Disney Quest, Disney’s take on an arcade, with everything from bumper cars with cannons to classics like the original Pong!

In addition to all of this, we’ve been to nightclubs (OK, one), painted my bedroom (work in progess!) and much much more.

The latest thing has been attending the Alafia River Rendezvous Pre-1840 re-enactment, which was tremendous fun!

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As you can no-doubt tell I’ve had quite the whirlwind time lately, and it doesn’t stop; this weekend we’re planning to go Swing Dancing, which while I am sure I won’t be any good, promises to be tons of fun :)

I hope to start blogging on a more regular basis, I have a custom design with some neat features coming soon, and I will definitely stick to mostly technical topics [and photography], after all, if you want my personal life blow-by-blows, you can follow me on twitter  😉

– Davey


Don’t miss my pictures of the lunar perigee:

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Seven Things


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I figured seeing as I can’t come up with original content for my blog, I’d jump on the “seven things” tagging malarky, seeing as I was tagged by Matthew/Elazar.

My seven things:

  1. I was lead vocalist in a Funk-Jazz band in senior school (high school) called The Funk Junkies — we toured in Spain one summer, it was awesome
  2. My favorite subjects in senior school were History and Religious Education. I never had the option to do anything related to computers.
  3. I don’t have a degree even though I spent 3 years in higher education; I learned far more in ##php (back then, #php) on Freenode than in the classroom.
  4. I consider myself very lucky to be a mutt: half English, half Egyptian, Jewish on my mothers side, Coptic Christian on my fathers side, and living in Florida. This means I had a very colorful childhood
  5. I love to cook, and have had to learn to cook all sorts of things I took for granted in the UK (for example, a decent curry, or good bread!)
  6. I wanted to live in Florida since I was 11, and I came to Walt Disney World® with my mum and sister — I would never live anywhere else :)
  7. I got on the internet (using AOL) in 1997 thanks to my Grandpa. Just the other day I had to remind him about Skype, which he showed me when it was still beta and apparently forgot about 😉  — also, I used a P200 (w/64MB RAM) till 2001, when I upgraded to an AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.1Ghz, it screamed!

Apparently, I also need to tag 7 other people, so here goes:

  • Paul Reinhiemer for making me squirt tea out of my nose at |works 05
  • Lorna Mitchell for making the best gingerbread biscuits (and for pretending the Smirnoff Ice was for her…)
  • Ed Finkler because I’m pretty sure it’ll piss him off
  • Vidyut Luther because I still remember the night I saved him from killing his mother-in-law over a basketball game 😉
  • Marco Tabini for being the only person crazy enough to publish me
  • Greg Beaver for getting my name into phpinfo()
  • Sara Golemon for showing me around San Jose (and Santa Cruz) after ZendCon… oh and for the awesome food she cooked me!

And here are the rules:

  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post — some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

– Davey



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OK, so… exercising is hard.

For the first few rides on my new bike, I took it outside, eschewing my trainer for some asphalt… and also because the tires that came with the bike were simply too deeply treaded to use on the trainer.

I did about a mile each time, several revolutions round the few blocks around my house. The heat definitely takes it’s toll very quickly.

Now i’ve picked up some semi-slick tires, which have an (almost) smooth middle-section and tred on the outer edges so it can still be used outside. (Similar to this).

I’m now cycling 2 miles each time (though admittedly, I should be doing it at least every other night, right now it’s every 4 days or so). I think I’ve finally got the trainer setup nicely, to where there is almost no friction on the lowest setting, and it’s right at the top of my strength on the highest (5th) setting. I typically leave it at the 5th, because I find that it’s not the strength required that makes it tiresome, it’s the number of revolutions.

I’m also looking at the One Hundred Pushups Challenge, though my upper body strength is already good, and is mostly what I work out in the pool. I don’t see pushups contributing much to weight loss (compared to say, swimming or cycling), it would just be cool to complete the challenge.

– Davey

I hate changing tires/innertubes with a passion