Amsterdam is most definitely one of those cities that everyone should visit at least once in their life and I can highly recommend the Dutch PHP Conference (DPC) as a reason to make that visit. This is also the second year that DPC has been joined by the Dutch Mobile Conference, a ticket to one gives you access to the other. This leads to a great mix of developers from different disciplines and generally means that regardless of your particular skill-set, there will be a talk running whose subject is completely new to you.
This review starts with the first day of the actual conference rather than the initial tutorial day as my colleague, Ben and I took the rare opportunity to be tourists for the day instead of our usual attempt to cram a whole week of sightseeing into the few hours between leaving the venue and catching a flight. Still, this isn’t a “what I did on my holidays” blog so the only thing I’ll say is if, like me, you get most of your UV exposure from fluorescent lights then bring sunscreen otherwise your hour-long, open-top boat tour at high noon will create a different sort of lasting impression.
The conference opened with our Ibuildings’ organisers Ross and Martin charting their journey from Vlissingen over to Amsterdam. This provided a nice reminder, that actually the sunshine was a bit of a freak event over there as well. Things then kicked off with an opening keynote from Google’s Ade Oshineye on “A Web of Identity”. This had some nice messages for a mixed PHP and mobile conference that pushed forward the idea that focusing on the X vs Y mentality (e.g. mobile vs native) is generally wrong, instead it’s about the end to end experience a user has when they try to achieve something - which can span multiple services, devices, and locations. This tied nicely back to the principles on which “the web” was founded - its accessibility to authors, the ability to link so easily to other services, and the ability to do all this without needing permission. It left me wanting to get into more detail on the technical challenges of being able to persist your own identity throughout different systems.