JesterZ Improv lobby

About The Conference

JestPHP is 1-day, 1-track, affordable, community conference for PHP developers in Arizona and beyond. Join us for a day of learning and laughter, that you will not not forget.


You will receive instruction from a talented, carefully-curated crew of 8 speakers, covering crucial topics related to PHP and the craft of software development for the interwebz (see our Schedule below).


You will be entertained with brief stand up and improv comedy acts. You'll also want to stick around in the evening to attend the JesterZ Improv comedy show, for even more laughs.


You won't go hungry! There will be donuts and coffee when you arrive, a catered lunch, and a happy hour nearby after we finish.

Special Thanks to Our Partner Sponsors!

GPS Insight Logo Pagely Logo
RingCentral Logo McGraw-Hill Education Logo


Here's all the juicy details. Subject to change, but we'll keep this updated.

  • JestPHP Avatar

    8:00 AM

    Check-In & Donuts

    Sponsored by Pagely
  • Headshot of Jeremy Lindblom

    9:00 AM

    Welcome & Opening Act

    By Jeremy Lindblom
  • Headshot of Cal Evans

    9:10 AM

    Leadership is as a Joke

    By Cal Evans

    Leadership, Team Dynamics, Productivity
    Provide feedback on

    Everybody wants to be a leader. Everybody wants to be the Drum Major out in front leading the band. How many actually know how to be a leader?

    To help each other become better leaders, let's examine a kids joke and see how meany leadership lessons we can extract from it. (Spoiler Alert: More than you think) :)

    About Cal
    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 Day Camp 4 Developers. He gives motivational talks to developers around the world. If you happen to meet him at a conference, don’t be afraid to buy him a shot of Rum.

    Cal is based in West Palm Beach, FL – US where he is happily married to wife 1.35, the lovely and talented Kathy. Together they have 2 wonderful kids who were both smart enough not to pursue a job in IT.

  • Headshot of Tim Lytle

    9:45 AM

    Everyday Docker: Yak Free Uses That Aren't Deployment

    By Tim Lytle

    Docker, Development Environments, Containerization
    Provide feedback on

    Though it's the common use case, deploying your application using docker may seem a bit daunting at first, and require some changes you're not ready to make.

    But if you want to get started with docker, there are plenty of uses that aren't deployment. In this 99% Yak-Shaving™ Free session, we'll focus on the ones that require little (or no) setup. You might even be using them before I stop talking.

    About Tim
    Tim likes making things, is a lover of well built APIs, and hates the top reply.
  • JestPHP Avatar

    10:30 AM

    Morning Break

    The bathrooms are in the back!
  • Microphone Picture

    10:40 AM

    Stand Up Act: TBA

    by Mike Stowe
  • Headshot of Tim Klever

    10:45 AM

    Testing: Everything I Wish I Learned in School

    By Tim Klever

    Testing, Unit Testing, TDD, BDD
    Provide feedback on
    Some of us come to software careers with engineering degrees, others find our way through bootcamps and night classes, and more still are self-taught do-it-yourselfers. No matter what your educational path to software development, one question unites us all. “How do I make sure any of this actually works?” This talk, an introduction to a wide variety of testing topics, seeks to arm attendees with enough practical examples to be successful now and enough theory to keep growing. Topics covered include: Unit Testing, Behavior Testing, Double Loop Refactoring & more.
    About Tim
    Born and raised in the blistering heat of Phoenix, Arizona USA, Tim Klever has been breaking builds since he was a young boy. A self-described "testing zealot", Tim brings with him a passion for automation and spreads the good word of software craftsmanship to the teams he's blessed to work with. When he's not working on software or discussing testing at length, he can be found on the mats practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
  • Headshot of Jeremy Lindblom

    11:30 AM

    Protecting Your Code From A Mischievous Future

    By Jeremy Lindblom

    Provide feedback on
    Your code is perfect! Well, at least until the next set of requirements come in and tries to "sweep the leg" of your beautiful codebase. However, by following the SOLID object-oriented design principles, you can minimize the churn or hacks needed as your code is forcefully evolved. Let's learn the concepts of SOLID in the context of some real code.
    About Jeremy
    Principle Software Engineer at McGraw-Hill Education. Tenor. Father of 3. Maker of funny faces.
  • JestPHP Avatar

    12:00 PM

    Lunch Break

    Sponsored by GPS Insight
  • Microphone Picture

    1:15 PM

    Panel Discussion (Improv style)

    by JestPHP Speakers
  • Headshot of Mike Stowe

    1:30 PM

    Good API Design, Bad Magic, and Even Worse Puns

    By Mike Stowe

    API Design, REST, HATEOAS, GraphQL
    Provide feedback on
    The greatest show on earth this is not — but prepared to be bedazzled with API Best Practices ranging from API design to implementation to security musts — all surrounded by horrible puns (the kind that would make any dad proud), and the type of magic you can only find at the 2nd grade talent show. There may (or may not) be juggling, sword swallowing, mind tricks, card tricks, and even a funny joke or two — but be assured you are guaranteed to learn a thing or two about RESTful APIs from the very guy who wrote a book on API design as he couldn't find a steady job as a comedian, a magician, a model, or an actor.
    About Mike

    Despite being on National TV on numerous shows, playing a lead role in Sharkatraz, and being in both San Andreas and the new Steve Jobs movie, you've probably never heard of Mike unless you’ve picked up his book Undisturbed REST: a Guide to Designing the Perfect API. That's OK, in fact that's the entire purpose of this bio. With over 15 years engineering experience, Mike has put his focus on API design and community building - serving as the Head of Developer Marketing (again, a failed actor) for RingCentral and having spoken at numerous API and PHP conferences around the world.

    You can also find his work on APIs featured on DZone, InfoQ, Nordic APIs, and more, view his past talks online at, or follow him (PLEASE, HE NEEDS OUR SUPPORT) on Twitter: @mikegstowe

  • Headshot of Keith Casey

    2:15 PM

    API Security: When Failure Looks Like Success

    By Keith Casey

    APIs, API Security, Authorization, Security
    Provide feedback on
    In the last decade, APIs have become fundamental to our teams, partners, and customers. While we’d like to believe it all happened as a carefully executed plan, let’s be honest... there’s as much luck as foresight in the mix. Luckily, success drives success so we’ve seen things explode in great ways. Unfortunately, that very success has cost us too.
    APIs are becoming a consistent and devastating attack vector for applications that store everything from financial records to passport information to what you’re looking for in a date. In this session, we’ll reconsider some our earliest assumptions and lay out some strategies for bringing our APIs out of the shadows and protecting ourselves, our partners, and our customers.
    About Keith

    Keith Casey currently serves on the Platform Team at Okta working on Identity and Authentication APIs. Previously, he served as an early Developer Evangelist at Twilio and before that worked on the Ultimate Geek Question at the Library of Congress. His underlying goal is to get good technology into the hands of good people to do great things. In his spare time, he helps build and support the Austin tech community, blogs at and is fascinated by monkeys. He is also a co-author of “A Practical Approach to API Design” from Leanpub.

  • JestPHP Avatar

    3:00 PM

    Afternoon Break

    Don't forget to visit the sponsors' tables!
  • Microphone Picture

    3:10 PM

    Stand Up Act: Code Reviews

    by Jeremy Lindblom
  • Headshot of Evan Coury

    3:15 PM

    Event Sourcing 101

    By Evan Coury

    Event Sourcing, CQRS, Architecture, DDD
    Provide feedback on
    Event Sourcing can cause as many problems as it solves. Join Evan as he explains the pros and cons of this decades-old technique that has been regaining popularity among developers in recent years.
    About Evan
    Founder of Roave; lover of dogs, aviation, and coding.
  • Headshot of Elizabeth M Smith

    4:00 PM

    Welcome to the Internet:
    We Have Packets!

    By Elizabeth M Smith

    Internet, PHP, DNS, HTTP, Browsers, History
    Provide feedback on
    The theory, history, architecture, and future of the Internet and World Wide Web.
    About Elizabeth
    Breaker of things, doer of things that should not be done, history buff.
  • Headshot of Jeremy Lindblom

    4:45 PM

    Raffle & Closing Act

    Yay! Prizes!

    Possible prizes include a tech gear, plush elePHPants, and technical books/courses.

  • JestPHP Avatar

    5:00 PM

    Happy Hour @ Matta's Cantina

    Sponsored by RingCentral
  • JesterZ Jester

    7:00 PM

    JesterZ Improv Show

    Special attendee discount available

Our Speakers

Come learn from and laugh with this marvelously motley crew of community leaders and subject matter experts.

Headshot of Cal Evans

Cal Evans



Headshot of Elizabeth M Smith

Elizabeth M Smith

Senior Software Architect

Burr Oak Tool Inc.

Headshot of  Keith Casey

Keith Casey

API Problem Solver


Headshot of  Mike Stowe

Mike Stowe

Master Magician


Headshot of Tim Lytle

Tim Lytle

Maker of Things


Headshot of Tim Klever

Tim Klever



Headshot of Evan Coury

Evan Coury

Software Engineer


Headshot of Jeremy Lindblom

Jeremy Lindblom

Principle Software Engineer

McGraw-Hill Education


Jesterz Improv (Comedy Club)

1061 N Dobson Rd #114, Mesa, AZ 85201, USA

Near the intersection of the East 101 and North 202, in the Mesa Riverview development.

Short drive from the Phoenix airport and Arizona State University. Plenty of parking!

Lots of restaurants, stores, and things to do nearby, including Riverview Park.

Need a place to stay? Check out the nearby Hyatt Place.

Register Now!

Can't Physically Attend?

We are going to stream the event!

If you are unable to attend in person due to distance, cost, or disability, we invite your attend virtually by watching our live stream of the event through Nomad PHP.

To gain access to the JestPHP event, you must subscribe to Nomad PHP.

Visit Nomad PHP

Need Financial Assistance?

We have discounted/free tickets available!

We have two opportunities for you:

  1. Sign up to Volunteer at the event for a discounted ticket.
  2. Apply for a free ticket through our diversity/scholarship program.

Sign Up for Our Mailing List

We will send you occasional emails that include news and updates about the event.

Our Sponsors

We are thankful to all of our sponsors for their generous support. Please check them out!

We are looking for additional sponsors to support us in providing this low ticket price
and expanding what the event can provide to attendees.

Become a Sponsor


You have questions? We have answers… we hope.

I wanted to create an event that is full of both learning & laughs, code & comedy, and education & entertainment.

"Jest" means to speak or act in a joking manner, and while we plan have some seriously technical discussions, I hope they are delivered with a side of attention-grabbing humor. "Jest" is also short for "jester", and jesters have been depicted as both entertainers and educators in times of olde. Also, "JestPHP" sounds like "just PHP", and it is my opinion that, even in 2019, it is OK to be just a PHP developer.

So, never feel ashamed of your PHP jobs and skills. Come and join with like-minded, PHP-developing friends for a light-hearted take on technical training by a terrific troop of PHP jesters.

JestPHP Conference Code of Conduct

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.


Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organizers.


Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualised images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualised clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualised environment.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately. Conference staff can be identified as they'll be wearing branded clothing and/or badges.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.

We expect participants to follow these rules at conference and workshop venues and conference-related social events.

For any questions or to report a incident please call (480) 205-5465.

Code of conduct is adapted from

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