I became a PHP programmer in 2003 and used PHP3 at the time.
At this time, I felt like I was doing just my job.
I joined the PHP community since 2008.
At that time, there was a study session boom, mainly in Tokyo area, where study sessions for various programming languages were held.
This was so much fun and I was getting love the PHP community and PHP itself.
Most of the study sessions were held only in Japanese, but some, such as CakePHP, were held with guest speakers from overseas and interpreters attached.
In these sutudy sessions, I realized that Japan is not behind in technology.
Beause the thing that Japanese programmers are worried about is that some people overseas are also worried about the same thing.
There are few people who speak English in Japan, and I was one of them.
So without an interpreter, I couldn’t understand the context, but when I saw ZendCon online, I felt, “What a wonderful conference, I’d like to go someday.”
In 2011, there was the Great East Japan Earthquake. Iwate Prefecture, where I lived, suffered a great deal of damage. A self-defense force rescue camp was set up in the prefectural office, which is very close to my house.
Looking at the scene, I became sad and suddenly thought, “I’m alive, so I’ll do what I want to do as soon as I can.”
And I moved to Tokyo.
In October of that year, I joined ZendCon for the first time.
I don’t understand English at all, but PHP. At that time, I was happy with seeing the programs and diagrams on the slides. And then returned to Japan.
Then, in 2014, I had the opportunity to go to ZendCon again and joined.
Participation at this time will change me greatly thereafter.
At this event where PHP community attendees from all over the world gathered, everyone was kind and fun talking about PHP, and I felt that I love this atmosphere.
If I could speak English, I really wanted to discuss more with some speakers.
I wanted to learn English and communicate more and I really wanted to join this community.
Then I returned to Japan and started studying English conversation.
In 2015, I talked to other participants a little at ZendCon, which moved to Las Vegas. But it’s still just say hello.
Every time I participated in ZendCon, in 2016, 2017, and 2018, little by little, I could talk more.
This year, 2019, I joined PHP [world] instead of ZendCon.
Almost all the participants found that they were very interested in PHP and had a great discussion. I had a lot of fun and the PHP community was really great.
Also this year, I made an English track without an interpreter at a PHP conference in Japan where I attend as a core staff member.
The idea was to create a place where people could communicate in English and hope that more people would be interested in communicating with developers in different countries.
Actually, the number of people who heard the English speech was not so many, but after that, I was able to see the smile and the shine of the eyes of the participants, and I was glad that I did.
I also really thank the English track speakers who came to Japan this year.
My English has not yet reached a level where discussions are possible, but I hope that I can continue to study and become a bridge to the community.
Please join the PHP community in Japan.
As an aside, this year, I created elePHPant for the Japan PHP Conference.
Thanks to the members of elePHPant channel on phpug Slack for helping with the creation.