Wez Furlong, Oracle's PHP developer of the year

Posted on Mon 21 November 2005 in PHP

Wez beat me to it: I noticed this weekend that Oracle had named him as the PHP Developer of the Year. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the work Wez put into improving the OCI driver and creating the PDO_OCI driver for Oracle -- and that's good for Oracle -- but Wez has put much, much more into the PHP project that I hope the wider community is aware of.

A few things off the top of my head:

  • Newsgroups / mailing lists: earlier this year the server that runs the PHP newsgroups and mailing lists was starting to choke. Wez worked tirelessly to clear the queues and get things moving again. Over time, he helped improve the spam detection and filtering as well. As the PHP development process relies heavily on the lists, this was a critical piece of work -- and I suspect that, sadly, most of the thanks Wez got came from a decrease in the amount of complaints. So consider this a formal "thank you"!
  • PECL: Wez is the "King of PECL", and he wears the crown well. He has helped many a developer (including me) get up and running with PECL projects, setting up accounts, answering all kinds of questions, and debugging problems at the speed of light. PECL is a big reason for the innovation that enables PHP to stay up to date with the latest technology. So thanks, Wez, for playing your part in fostering this community.
  • PDO_ODBC driver -- Wez wrote the PDO_ODBC driver from scratch starting late last year. I was able to "help" with some of the implementation for DB2 by pointing him at the relevant DB2 documentation and samples, giving him an account on my home server so he could easily test his work, and writing basic unit tests for some of the functionality, but this pales in comparison to the effort he put into designing and implementing PDO_ODBC and PDO in general. Along the way, he has weathered all kinds of criticism -- designing a neutral database access API is a thankless task. But thanks! And thanks especially for tirelessly answering my questions when I was trying to pull together the PDO documentation. In the end, Wez added an overview section to the PDO docs that explains the core set of tasks that most developers will need to know -- this should greatly help improve the adoption of PDO. If it ain't easy, it won't happen.

I've known Wez for over a year now, and am glad that I can consider him a friend of mine. I've had the chance to meet up with him at a number of conferences and from the very beginning, when I was completely new to the PHP development process, he treated me well and helped me get started with the group. So congratulations Wez -- it's a distinction that was well deserved!

[Edited 2006-01-03 for markup and typo]