The year started well for our dutch usergroup with the "Frontend Special". A great event which, looking back, was probably a practice event for our PHPBenelux Conference which we're organizing end of this month. It was also the month where I was really excited to announce that I'd be speaking at PHP|tek as well as PHP UK Conference. And, I got convinced of "static public" instead of "public static".


In February, the biggest thing was the announcement I made of symfonyUnderControl, a plugin for symfony to allow it to output XML that could be picked up by phpUnderControl. Unfortunately, I've not had enough time to work on the plugin recently, but since the new symfony version 1.3, lime allows the output of *Unit XML format anyway. One of the many good reasons to switch. Also, Zend launched Zend Server, a new application server for PHP which I checked out. In February, I spoke at PHP UK Conference, and really enjoyed my time in London. I am very happy to be speaking again this year.


March was another big month for conferences for me. I was speaking at the 4developers conference in Poland, where the hospitality completely overtook me. It was also very cool to be at a conference where it wasn't strictly PHP. Talking to people from other languages (Ruby, .NET, Java) was very nice. Also, I went on a trip to Rome for the PHPCon Italia, which was a great experience. I also wrote about my experience about writing to improve your presentation


April was a lot about the Ibuildings Techportal for me. As back then I still worked for Ibuildings, I was able to get two articles published on Techportal, the developer portal for PHP developers provided by Ibuildings. The first one to drop was Buy vs. Build which went into to choice between using existing software or components versus building something custom. The second article was about refactoring your application, a topic which has been getting more popular over the past year. It's good to see many people writing and speaking about this topic, as it is an important but underestimated part of software development. In April I also attended the pfCongrez again, a single-day conference organized by dutch usergroup "phpFreakz". They're doing another one this year under the name pfcongres, and their CfP is open right now!


May was a crazy month for conferences and other events for me. It started with the PHP TestFest for PHPBenelux, which took place in Utrecht. It was a great success, with Pierre coming over to mentor attendees. Lots of tests were written and committed, and people seemed to enjoy the day. Then it was time for me to fly to the USA for the first time in my life, to attend and speak at PHP|tek, the conference organized in Chicago by PHP|architect. This was a mindblowing experience for me, because it was my first time meeting many of the American PHP community members. I had several talks there, but the one that most stood out for me was the one I did together with Lorna Mitchell on how to work with the PHP community. Then the month ended with me speaking at Microsoft DevDays in The Hague, a nice experience that was slightly negative thanks to my MacBook Pro's screen breaking an hour before my talk (sure, at a Microsoft conference, why not?). I did the presentation without the slides but people seem to have liked it anyway. I got a lot of excellent questions and discussions going. The day after that I was off for Belgium to attend the PHPVikinger (un)conference. This was a great community event, with lots of interesting talks, and meeting the belgian community is always great.


At PHP|tek I had the great honor of being part of the first meeting of a group of people from different PHP open source projects that wanted to discuss a joint standard (at that time dubbed the "PHP Standards Initiative") for making it easier to use different projects together. In June, I wrote about the experience. It was unfortunately also the month that I learned I had no more future at Ibuildings, but I was amazed at the community stepping up to help in finding me something new. June was of course also the month of Dutch PHP Conference, which was content-wise one of the best conferences I've been to in a while. And last, but not least, I need to get your focus again to my review of a fantastic book: The Productive Programmer.


While looking for a new job, I found out that many companies and developers still limit themselves to a single framework. I wrote about that and started with the preparations for a talk on the subject, which ended up being accepted at several conferences. I was also happy to announce I had found a new job. Even with the overwhelming response from the community, I was happy that I had finally found a new place to work at.


August started out awesome. After having just started my new job at Unet, I was also asked to become the new Community Manager for symfony. July was void of any events, but in August the holidays were over with two events organized by PHPBenelux


September started with a great new event for the symfony community: Symfony Day Cologne. It was a great day and I am still grateful to Interlutions for organizing it and asking me to do a full-day workshop for people wanting to start working with symfony. I also announced to be speaking again at the excellent PHPNW conference, and was interviewed by DevExp.


In October, I attended and spoke at two conferences. First of all, PHPNW in Manchester, which was even better than last year. And the second conference was in Barcelona, a new conference for me but I've met quite a few very nice people there. Also, I published one of my most discussed articles ever with my "If it ain't broken, don't fix it" article, which received 13 comments so far.


It was a busy month in November, which led me to not publish much on my blog. I only published Telecommuting is the new black, which received even more comments than my article in the month before (20 so far). So what was I so busy with? We had a PHPBenelux meeting at the end of the month, but even more important, before that we organized Symfony BugHuntDay, where people came to help with fixing bugs in symfony. And even before that, I had a workshop at the phpFreakz Workshop Day. Great events with really cool attendees and speakers.


Then last month, another busy month. No events anymore but lots of work for the organization of the PHPBenelux Conference 2010, and symfony released two new versions. More than anything, I am looking forward to the PHPBenelux Conference 2010 :)

Next Year

There is enough I already know about 2010, but I'll keep that for a new blogpost. One thing I know is that 2010 will be an awesome year, with the scheduled release of the major new version of both symfony and Zend Framework, lots of conferences (no PHP|tek for me this year though :( ) and I'm sure lots of new and exciting things will be launched.