ConvergeSouth 2011 Five Questions: Brandon Burke

This post is part of our ConvergeSouth series.  Today’s five questions are with Brandon Burke. If you haven’t yet registered and would like to attend, you can sign up [here]. Earlier posts in the series: Sue Polinsky & Rob AinbinerJeff SanGeorge, and Katie Morris.

Brandon Burke is a web developer and all-around maker of things on the internet. He specializes in coding PHP, Ruby, and pretty much anything that works with WordPress. One of the cool things I’ve realized from Brandon as I’ve gotten to know him is his ability to find solutions and make things work. He isn’t just a guy who can bang out syntax. Brandon has a vision for what an application is supposed to do. He is an architect.

Five Questions with Brandon Burke:

Q1: What are you you speaking about at ConvergeSouth and what can people expect to get out of attending your session?

In the developer track I’ll be talking about HTML5. It is a bit more challenging to give a meaningful presentation to developers in such a short time period, but I’m up for the challenge. I plan to briefly cover the basics for the uninitiated, but not spend half the time on new markup. I’ll share some things that I’ve picked up working with HTML5 websites, cover some best practices and necessary hacks when using HTML5 in production, and will showcase some of the things that are not so obvious that is being done with HTML5.

I’m also excited to be sharing an intro to WordPress in the 101 track. I’m looking forward to giving this talk as I find it to be much more rewarding because the ah ha! moments typically come faster. Things start clicking, people start generating ideas and taking notes, and you are able to quickly begin making a difference in the way people understand the web

Q2 : What is the next big opportunity for businesses on the web?

Don’t tell anyone, but I do have this unique idea for a social coupon buying website. 😛 Really, I wish I knew what the next big opportunity was! It feels like we’re in a bit of a web business bubble. Social is becoming saturated IMO, local has seen a lot of attention lately, and companies without profit are getting crazy valuations again. Developers are doing cool things in just about every space so my best answer is that the next big opportunity that I see online is being a developer!

Q3: If you could have any super power what would it be and why?

The ability to become an expert in anything, instantly like Neo in the Matrix. “…I know Kung Fu”

Q4: If you could have dinner with two people from history, who would they be and why?

Not very distant history at all, but I think I would opt for an entertaining dinner over an intellectual one. I try not to take myself too seriously. Robin Williams for the obvious reasons, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple computers – he’s gets technology, but I find him funny, albeit in a crazy uncle kind of way. We would have toast and tea, of course by toast I mean pizza, and by tea I mean fine wines and beers

Q5: Higher Klout Score: PHP, Ruby on Rails, .NET, or HTML5?

Tough Question to answer. In my circles Ruby on Rails and other open source framework technologies have been generating a lot of buzz. Something new is happening each day, and the developer community is eating the lunch of any of the other aforementioned technologies.

PHP isn’t as newsworthy any more, but reliable and incredibly widespread. I’m the wrong person to ask about .NET, but things have come a long way since I last wrote ASP. HTML5, sure it is a lot of hype, but it is changing the way that we interact with information in amazing ways. Document markup isn’t very sexy, but people are doing some mind-bending things with it while leveraging other technologies. Its Klout score hasn’t peaked yet.

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