PHPNW 2013

Who's this? Oh wait, it's me. I've finally taken the time to fix my blog. This means my archive of old blogposts is back, although unfortunately the comments are not. I took some time yesterday at the most excellent PHPNW 2013 conference to finally get my new blogging software (Octopress) up and running, together with Disqus comments. But really, this is not what I wanted to write about! What I wanted to write about was the PHPNW 2013 conference!

On Thursday afternoon, Ingewikkeld took off from Schiphol airport to fly to Manchester, where we were picked up by Jenny Wong of the PHPNW crew. After being dropped off at the hotel, we checked in, found our rooms, freshened up to continue onwards to the tutorial speakers dinner. Both Mike van Riel and myself were scheduled to be delivering a tutorial on Friday, so a good dinner was quite welcome. The conference made sure we felt welcome, and we had an awesome dinner.

Friday morning, time for the tutorial day! I delivered my "Build your first Symfony2 application", covering the basics of building an application using Symfony2. To my surprise, none of the delegates had any technical issues (which are often the problems that take up a lot of time), so by the time we had a coffee break halfway along, we'd already run through all of the basics: Installation, configuration, controllers, Doctrine basics, Twig basics. This allowed us to move onwards to more advanced topics such as the slightly more advanced Doctrine stuff, the service container etc. I was quite impressed by the amount of material we were able to cover.

I took the afternoon "off" to finish my slides for the talk I was scheduled for on friday afternoon. Also, as I got talked into doing a 20-minute talk in the unconference by Kat right in the first uncon slot in the morning, I started thinking of topics to cover for that. After finishing the slides and talking to a lot of people, we had speaker's dinner. Again, a good time was had. After the hackathon, where we hacked a bit on several different open source projects (with me spending some time on ProTalk), the night was ended with a game of Cards Against Humanity, a game I first got to know at the WhiskyWeb conference which by now seems to be required playing at every PHP conference.

Saturday started with a very exciting keynote by Ivo Jansch and Lorna Mitchell. Exciting because the content was really good, but also because Ivo and Lorna were split out over two rooms with a live video- and audiolink. The keynote was an excellent overview of different ways to become a better developer, and Ivo and Lorna launched a book on the same topic.

After the keynote, I made my way to the uncon room where I spoke about "How to get the most out of a developer conference", a brand new talk (without slides so far, so I can't link to the slides). In 20 minutes, I gave the delegates an overview of things to do while at a developer conference. After I was done, I sat in on the other 20-minute talk in the first uncon timeslot, which was "Errors, Exceptions and Logging" by James Titcumb. James was a first-time conference speaker with this talk, but he could as well have been speaking for the tenth time. His talk was an interesting overview of error handling and logging, and some stuff (like the logging architecture he described) could make a full talk on it's own. I hope to see that at some point.

At the end of the day, in the last slot, I delivered my talk "How Cilex and Silex became the glue for a media transcoding application". I was not completely satisfied with this talk, but the feedback I got was still pretty good. I do have some good pointers now for improving this talk before I do it again.

Spread out over Saturday, I got to see some excellent talks! Great content especially of Chris Saylor (on event-driven programming), where he talked about how to do event-driven development, why it is cool, but also some of the pitfalls. The uncon was also quite nice, with even some Ticket to Ride during the lunchbreak. The Saturday social event included some excellent food, nice drinks and excellent company. And again: Cards Against Humanity ;)

On Sunday morning after doing out for a short run and getting some breakfast, it was time for the talk I had most anticipated, "Don't be STUPID, grasp SOLID" by Anthony Ferrara. In this talk, Anthony delivered in his own very impressively good speaking style some important principles on object-oriented design and programming. A great talk for sure, and definately lived up to my expectations. I then took a short break, after which I went to see the keynote by Rowan Merewood. I think I've seen this keynote 3 or 4 times by now, but it is still a good reminder of some important topics of how to improve yourself or other developers.

And with that the PHPNW Conference was closed off. After some closing remarks by big boss Jeremy Coates, we headed for a nice lunch, and then off to the airport back to Amsterdam.

What a fantastic conference. The atmosphere, content, people, venue, everything is just right. I will definitely be going to PHPNW again next year.