Overcoming My Fears

Last month, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the PHP Days conference in Verona. Initially, I was quite apprehensive about going, and for two main reasons:

  • I’m quite shy when it comes to speaking English exclusively, especially in front of strangers (hard to believe for those who know me, right?).
  • I assumed the conference would cover ultra-technical topics (I mean, it's called PHP Days), and given my level of self-confidence, I worried I wouldn't understand anything.

A Pleasant Surprise

However, what a delightful surprise it turned out to be!
As I moved from one talk to another, I kept reassuring myself, "It's okay, you might be a junior developer, but you understand what the speaker is saying." Then, unexpectedly, a non-technical keynote about decision-making was presented by Rick Kuipers. Rick's talk was captivating—he engaged the audience beautifully, making the content relatable and valuable. I found myself drawing parallels with my own experiences and realizing solutions to past dilemmas were right in front of me.

The Technical Sessions

After this insightful break, the technical sessions resumed, and you can read about them in this blogpost. The conference culminated in a keynote by Sarah Savage. To say her talk was impactful would be an understatement—it was transformative and continues to resonate with me.

A Shift in Perspective

Earlier, I mentioned my struggles with self-confidence and feeling like a "junior" developer. In just 45 minutes, Sarah managed to erase these burdens. Her words were exactly what I needed to hear. The key lesson I took away from her keynote was to keep being ourselves, strive to do our best, learn from one another, and remember that we are all in this together. The term "junior" doesn't hold much weight when you think about it.

Embracing My Identity

I’m not just a junior developer. I’m a developer. While I may not know as much as some, I possess knowledge in areas they might not.

My Advice to Fellow Developers

For anyone who feels like I did, my advice is to attend as many conferences as you can, whether the topics are within your expertise or not. You'll meet wonderful people who will uplift you, bring clarity, and offer new ways of thinking that you can, in turn, share with others.