Pacific Northwest PHP


At PNWPHP, you'll have the opportunity to hear from world-renowned speakers from the PHP community and companies like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, Zend, and more.

Adam Culp

Adam Culp (@adamculp)

Adam Culp (@AdamCulp) author of "Refactoring 101" and consultant at Zend Technologies is passionate about developing with PHP and contributes to many open source projects. He organizes the SunshinePHP Developer Conference and South Florida PHP Users Group (SoFloPHP) where he enjoys helping others write good code, implement standards, refactor efficiently, and incorporate unit and functional testing into their projects. He is a Zend Certified PHP 5.3 Engineer, and holds a seat on the Zend Framework Certification Advisory Board. When he is not coding or contributing to various developer communities, he can be found hiking around the United States National Parks, teaching judo, or long(ultra) distance running.


Amber Matz

Amber Matz (@amberhimesmatz)

Amber Matz creates and manages educational content for Drupalize.Me. Amber has over 14 years of experience as a full-stack web developer. She has built PHP/MySQL applications and Drupal sites for small businesses, educational institutions, and major corporations.

Amber enjoys sharing her knowledge with others and jumps at the opportunity to speak at local user groups and conferences on a variety of technical topics for beginning to advanced-level audiences. She is a regular speaker at the Portland Drupal User Group and recently presented at DrupalCon North America, Devsigner — a conference for designers and developers in Portland, and will present at PNWPHP in Seattle in the Fall of 2015. She also regularly participates in a code mentoring group here in Portland.

One of Amber's primary responsibilities is creating Drupal tutorials for Drupalize.Me. You can find her training materials on Webform, Mapping with Leaflet, Panels, Getting Started with Responsive Web Design and others in the Drupalize.Me Library. She also contributes regularly to the Drupalize.Me blog, writing on topics related to Drupal 8, Object-oriented PHP, the Drupal Community, and upcoming releases to Drupalize.Me's training library. She is also a regular hostess of the Drupalize.Me podcast, a bi-weekly show featuring guests from the Drupal community and beyond.

Amber lives out in the 'burbs of Portland, Oregon with her husband and kitty cat and enjoys a variety of hobbies including crocheting and gardening.


Anthony Ferrara

Anthony Ferrara (@ircmaxell)

Anthony Ferrara is the Director of Engineering at Grovo. He specializes in Object Oriented Design, Application Architecture, Web Application Security and PHP Internals. He is a contributor to multiple Open Source projects, as well as the PHP community as a whole. You can follow his blog at or on Twitter at @ircmaxell.


Beau Simensen

Beau Simensen (@beausimensen)

Beau Simensen (@beausimensen, has been a professional polyglot programmer since 1998. He owns Dragonfly Development (, a consulting company, and is co-host of That Podcast (@thatpodcast, An active open-sourcer, he created Sculpin ( and helped create Stack PHP ( He is also the Sculpin representative to the PHP Framework Interoperability Group (PHP-FIG). Beau is a proponent of framework agnostic code. Unglue all the things!


Ben Lobaugh

Ben Lobaugh (@benlobaugh)

Ben Lobaugh has been an avid open source enthusiast for over 15 years. During that time he has work on all sort of projects from mom & pop shops to multinational corporations. In his downtime Ben can be found cruising Puget Sound with on his beautiful sailboat Zippey or play with his dog Bella in the park.


Ben Marks

Ben Marks (@benmarks)

Ben has been developing with, teaching, and talking about Magento for seven years. He enjoys helping merchants and developers solve the challenges of commerce as much as he enjoys helping to improve Magento for everyone's benefit.


Benji Schwartz-Gilbert

Benji Schwartz-Gilbert

Benji is currently a Dev Manager in Business Systems at Tableau Software Inc. He and his team build and maintain the online payment, eCommerce, and cloud integration systems for the company.


Cal Evans

Cal Evans (@CalEvans)

Many moons ago, at the tender age of 14, Cal touched his first computer. (We're using the term "computer" loosely here, it was a TRS-80 Model 1) Since then his life has never been the same. He graduated from TRS-80s to Commodores and eventually to IBM PC's.

For the past 15 years Cal has worked with PHP and MySQL on Linux, OSX, and Windows. He has built a variety of projects ranging in size from simple web pages to multi-million dollar web applications. When not banging his head on his monitor, attempting a blood sacrifice to get a particular piece of code working, he enjoys building and managing development teams using his widely imitated but never patented management style of "management by wandering around".

These days, when not working with PHP, Cal can be found working on a variety of projects like Nomad PHP. He speaks at conferences around the world on topics ranging from technical talks to motivational talks for developers. If you happen to meet him at a conference, don't be afraid to buy him a shot of Bourbon.

Cal is based in Nashville, TN, where he is happily married to wife 1.31, the lovely and talented Kathy. Together they have 2 wonderful kids who were both smart enough not to pursue a job in IT.


Chris Hartjes

Chris Hartjes (@grmpyprogrammer)

Chris Hartjes has been building web applications of all shapes and sizes since 1998, ranging from catalogs of CD compilations for professional DJ's to portal pages for large US cable television providers. Chris gives back to the programming communities that have helped him by mentoring, speaking at conferences, and by co-organizing TrueNorth PHP. As the author of two books on writing testable PHP code and using testing tools, he believes that testing and automation are secret weapons that organizations can use to deliver high-quality applications quickly. He works from his basement office in the snowy wilds of Canada. He can also be heard semi-regularly on the /dev/hell podcast with Ed Finkler


Dave Stokes

Dave Stokes (@stoker)

Dave Stokes is a MySQL Community Manager for Oracle and has been using PHP & MySQL since they both became available.


Davey Shafik

Davey Shafik (@dshafik)

Davey Shafik is a full-time developer with over 14 years of experience in PHP and related technologies. He is a Community Engineer at Engine Yard and has written three books, numerous articles, and spoken at conferences the world over. He is best known for his books, the Zend PHP Certification Study Guide and PHP Master: Write Cutting Edge Code, and as the creator of PHP Archive (PHAR) for PHP 5.3.

Davey is passionate about improving the tech community. He co-organizes the Prompt initiative (, dedicated to lifting the stigma surrounding mental health discussions, and has worked with PHPWomen since its inception.


Ed Finkler

Ed Finkler (@funkatron)

Ed Finkler, also known as Funkatron, started making web sites before browsers had frames. He does front-end and server-side work in Python, PHP, and JavaScript.

He served as web lead and security researcher at The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University for 9 years, and he's an partner emeritus of Fictive Kin. Along with Chris Hartjes, Ed is co-host of the Development Hell podcast.

Ed's current passion is raising mental health awareness in the tech community with his Open Sourcing Mental Illness speaking campaign. He is part of Engine Yard's Prompt campaign.

Ed writes at


Eryn O'Neil

Eryn O'Neil (@eryno)

Eryn O’Neil is a web developer and technical lead at Clockwork Active Media in Minneapolis, MN. As part of an interactive agency, she has worked on everything from e-commerce to online promotions to creating and maintaining an internal framework and CMS. Her philosophy is to build software by placing humans first: both the people who will use it and the developers who will build it alongside you (and maintain it afterwards). Based in Minneapolis, MN, Eryn spends most of her free time swing and blues dancing, rock climbing, and wishing it weren’t snowing.


Frank Laszlo

Frank Laszlo (@FrankLaszlo)

Frank Laszlo is a Software Engineer at Nexcess (@nexcess) where he spends his time writing Object Oriented PHP and full-stack Javascript implementations. He has worn many hats over the last 15 years in the industry, including System Administrator, Security Analyst, and Small Business Owner. He was a Ports Committer for the FreeBSD Project and contributed to many Open Source projects, both large and small. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, composing/playing music, and flying model aircraft.


Gemma Anible

Gemma Anible (@ellotheth)

Gemma is a software engineer, video gamer and recovering classical violinist who has been developing PHP web applications since before PHP5 (and applications in C, .NET and Delphi since before then). She is passionate about using pragmatic processes and tooling to support developers of all types and skillsets, and her level of excitement over learning new dev technology tends to correlate strongly with her level of caffeination. Gemma and her husband live with their two dogs in New Mexico, where they climb volcanoes for fun.


Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr (@jeffbarr)

Chief Evangelist for the Amazon Web Services (follow me for AWS updates and chatter). Father of 5, grandfather of 2. Author. UW MCDM Graduate.


Jeremy Lindblom

Jeremy Lindblom (@jeremeamia)

Jeremy is a Software Engineer at McGraw-Hill Education (and formerly at Amazon Web Services), co-author of the AWS SDK for PHP (@awsforphp), organizer of the Pacific Northwest PHP (PNWPHP) conference, president of the Seattle PHP User Group (@seaphp), voting representative of the Guzzle project for PHP-FIG, member of the Zend Certification Advisory Board for the PHP 5.5 exam, purveyor of PHP poetry (@phpbard), and a maker of funny faces.


Jeremy Mikola

Jeremy Mikola (@jmikola)

Jeremy Mikola is a software engineer at MongoDB's NYC office. As a member of the driver and evangelism team, he helps develop the PHP driver and contributes to various OSS projects, such as Doctrine ODM and React PHP. Jeremy lives in Hoboken, NJ and is known to enjoy a good sandwich.


Jonathan Weiss

Jonathan Weiss (@jweiss)

Jonathan Weiss is leading the AWS OpsWorks team in Berlin. Before building a company and ending up selling it to Amazon, he was a Ruby consultant. Running an Amazon Web Service is the perfect opportunity for Jonathan to experience first hand the perils of large distributed applications and learn every day.


Joseph Fontes

Joseph Fontes (@joedangerfontes)

Joe Fontes is a Solutions Architect with Amazon Web Services in Seattle. Joe has an extensive history working with infrastructure as a Systems and Network Architect. An open source evangelist, educator, and technologist, Joe has designed and implemented infrastructure across numerous industries.


Josh Holmes

Josh Holmes (@joshholmes)

Josh Holmes has spoken at hundreds of conferences, is a former president of his Toastmasters club and a classically trained actor and director. In this workshop, he brings all of that experience to bear to coach and mentor the speakers that participate as we run exercises to make you more aware and better connected to your audience in everything from word choice to moving on stage.


Joshua Warren

Joshua Warren (@JoshuaSWarren)

Joshua Warren has been developing web applications with PHP since 1999. He is the Founder & CEO of Creatuity in Dallas, Texas, where he works on eCommerce projects with Magento and the Yii framework. He founded Creatuity in 2008 as a development firm and has grown it to a team of over 25, including 14 developers working across 2 continents. When Joshua isn't developing, he enjoys traveling to new countries to try local food and beer while meeting developers at local meetups as well as connecting with developers around the world via Twitter.


Keith Casey

Keith Casey (@CaseySoftware)

Keith Casey currently serves as Director of Product for Clarify working to make APIs easier, more consistent, and help solve real world problems. Previously, as a developer evangelist at Twilio, he worked to get good technology into the hands of good people to do great things. In his spare time, he works to build and support the Austin technology community, blogs occasionally at and is completely fascinated by monkeys. Keith is also the author of A Practical Approach to API Design from Leanpub.


Larry Garfield

Larry Garfield (@Crell)

Larry Garfield has been building web sites since he was a sophomore in high school, which is longer ago than he\'d like to admit. At Palantir, Larry is a Senior Architect and Community Lead, developing solutions for medium to large cultural and educational institutions. He also works to represent both Palantir and Drupal in the broader developer community.

Larry is an active Drupal core contributor, including the principle architect of the Drupal 7 database system and the Drupal 8 Web Services Lead. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Drupal Association and the Drupal representative to the Framework Interoperability Group. Larry holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from DePaul University.

Larry is a co-author of "Drupal 7 Module Development" from Packt Publishing. He blogs at both and


Luke Kysow

Luke Kysow (@lkysow)

Luke is a Software Engineer on the Platform Team at Hootsuite in Vancouver and co-organizer of Vancouver’s PHP Meetup. He's working on splitting Hootsuite's PHP monolith into distributed microservices so they can scale even further. When he's not at his laptop you can probably find Luke climbing up, or falling off, a cliff somewhere.


Margaret Staples

Margaret Staples (@dead_lugosi)

As part of the AesopGames team, Margaret writes the code that makes the game work! She takes design documents and translates them into game functions, and then takes those and delivers them to players through the web client and to the AesopGames Unity developer through the API.


Michael Babker

Michael Babker (@mbabker)

Michael Babker is a multi-talented IT geek working for WebSpark, Inc. He’s been developing in PHP since 2010 working primarily with Symfony and Joomla code. He’s known to be rather opinionated on all matters code and enjoys learning new platforms and taking in the many sights the world has to offer.


Michael Dowling

Michael Dowling (@mtdowling)

Michael Dowling is a software development engineer at Amazon Web Services and the creator of Guzzle, a PHP HTTP client. At AWS, Michael works on the AWS SDK for PHP, the AWS CLI, and Boto (the AWS SDK for Python). In his spare time, Michael enjoys fighting with the Rust compiler and playing around with functional programming in Clojure.


Phil Sturgeon

Phil Sturgeon (@philsturgeon)

Founder of PyroCMS, Senior Developer at Ride, Programming Polyglot, PHP-FIG member, and occasionally gets chased by bears.


Robert McFrazier

Robert McFrazier (@rmcfrazier)

I have been in the software industry in the Seattle area for over 15 years in many different roles including LAMP engineer, software developer, technical trainer, architect, technical support, and manager. I enjoy learning new things and working on strong teams. I spend my free time with my wife and my son, trying to stay dry in the pacific northwest. I spend all day with my head in the clouds and containers.


Samantha Quiñones

Samantha Quiñones (@ieatkillerbees)

Samantha Quiñones is a polyglot hacker and systems architecture expert. Over the course of her 17-year career, she has built software and led teams for some of the largest names in financial services and digital media and is currently a Principal Software Engineer on the content platform team at AOL. Samantha is an accomplished writer and frequent speaker at technology conferences, a participant in the White House Data Jam on STEM Workforce Quality, Flow, and Diversity and has been recognized by the Huffington Post as one of the top Latinas in American Media.


Sara Golemon

Sara Golemon (@SaraMG)

Sara Golemon is a Compiler Nerd and Open Source Fanatic. She's made many contributions to both PHP and HHVM as well as a host of PECL extensions and other projects. Sara is the author of "Extending and Embedding PHP", large parts of the PHP documentation, numerous tutorials on PHP and HHVM internals, and helped produce the official PHP language specification. #iLookLikeAnEngineer


Yitzchok Willroth

Yitzchok Willroth (@coderabbi)

Yitzchok Willroth is an independent application developer, consultant and coach living in Lakewood, NJ. A start-up vet, dev bootcamp instructor and popular conference speaker, Yitzchok is the organizer of the ShorePHP User Group, co organizer of the NY-PHP User Group, and an active participant in the PHPMentoring Initiative. Passionate about clean code and robust application architecture, he is also a strong proponent of remote teams as a way for organizations to thrive while affording developers a healthy work:life balance.



Thank you to all of our sponsors who are supporting this community-run event.